Sunday, February 12, 2017

Raptors v BYU

Glendale Raptors v Brigham Young University Cougars
Denver Barbarians featured large at Infinity Park’s Rugby Kettle yesterday as Raptors schooled their collegiate adversaries in every phase of the game. BYU led 7-5 after a brilliant cutter back inside by the Cougar fullback had him dot for his flyhalf’s conversion, and the sides battled fitfully through three-quarters of the first forty, but the floodgates opened shortly thereafter and Glendale put a further eight groundings on their guests to complete the rout.
When Barbarians talisman, Maximo de Achaval, has a good day down the Kettle, it usually comes at the expense of the Raptors, but M-D-A, along with Barbo mates, Logan Collins and Kyle Hitt, donned the red-white-and-blue of the Raptiors XV and demonstrated explicitly the difference between the elite levels of the college and adult leagues.
Max conducted a clinic in the number 15 jersey in the initial half of play as Hitt opened the scoring in the 6th minute, taking a skip pass from his fullback into the corner for a 5-0 host advantage.
BYU got it back and claimed the lead with their own 15’s try and its completion to goal by their standoff, and it was 7-5 for the travelers after 16 minutes. The sizable crowd onhand settled in for the contest as rainclouds built over the Front Range. But it was a torrent of trys by the homeboys in the next half hour of play that carried the day for Glendale: de Achaval grounded the next two Raptors scores, the last on a rapid rounding of the Cougar hooker en route to his brace (and his own conversion): 17-7 in the 35th minute.
Flyhalf Will Holder crossed for a score converted by de Achaval prior to the midpoint and Glendale took a 24-7 advantage into the lockers after an enjoyable first forty of footie. With de Achaval covering the fullback slot in consummate manner and the forwards looking powerfully sleek and greedy at breakdown, Brigham Young appeared at times bemused and beffudled due the intensity of the Raptors effort.
Glendale’s fullback swithed to standoff in the second half and his canny skip-passes and deft inclose offloads mesmerised the young Utahns. A handful of second stanza scores, one pair a brace by Glendale stalwart Zach Fenoglio  and all but one completed by de Achaval, made for a final tally of 57 for the host, while BYU managed a second try, converted to goal by their 10, for a record of 57-12 in the early-season friendly.

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