Monday, March 27, 2017

MD-2: Glendale v Park City

Glendale Raptors v Park City Haggis

When Haggis comes to Denver Rugby City, you may depend on more than just some of the tastiest fare ever to be laid upon table, it’ll be rugby of the finest order: nevermind it be painch, tripe or thairm. That was most assuredly the case this past weekend as “The Beast of a Feast” opened their two-match league double Saturday on a warmly heated StoveTop under overcast skies during the RugbyDay at Glendale. Haggis looked to improve its fourth-place setting on the league table, while Glendale sought to claim high honors in Rocky Mountain Rugby Men’s Division-2 and a USA Rugby playoff berth for the knockout competition two months hence.

Park City’s flyhalf, Joe Pututua, lofted the commencement drop deep into Raptors territory. Glendale elected to run from inside their own 22 and were contained by the lively Haggis rush. Ball turned over was gathered by 8man, Sam Orders, who muscled into goal for his touch down that had the visitors in front, 5-nil, after three minutes gone off the clock.

A Glendale penalty shot from inside the interior right hashmark on the 22 sailed wide its mark 12 minutes in.

Haggis were awarded a penalty for hands in, and Pututua’s shot for touch had the Haggis lineout 12 meters from Glendale’s goaline. Raptors poached the throw and mauled impressively upfield for 15 meters before breakdown and a subsequent no-release penalty shifted possession and Haggis were back inside the Raptors 22 with the lineout toss. That won and spun, Park City worked the close-communication passing drill well into the Glendale business district, scant meters from goal, but a knock forward gave the ball back to the home side for their subsequent wonscrum and clearance by flyhalf Derek Smith.

Wind kicking up intermittently and a second Smith penalty attempt went wide the uprights in the 22nd minute.

Haggis were back into the Raptors 22 after pick-and-goes and near channel work from breakdowns gained ground in steady and ominous manner. Five banging smashes from the breakdown five meters out inched Haggis towards the line before ball swung wide saw flyer, “Swift” Justice Colman, free for the corner in goal. That smart wing’s turn to center for the grounding made for Pututua’s following extras, and it was one dozen for the travelers against zero for homeboys after 25 minutes of play.

Glendale got onboard when a wonscrum five meters from goal was snatched at the rear by backrow lock Mike Hall, who angled across the line for a try converted by Smith and 12-7 Haggis at minute 28.

Inside center Justin Pauga cracked a crease in the Haggis threequarters defense and carried on to goal for touch down: 12 for everyone known right now and heat on high the StoveTop’s griddle as field magistrate Summers sounded the halftime whistle. And a cracking good game of footie first forty with each XV showing success at the greedy grapple in the breakdown and bursts from that possession, combined with smashing charges in the midfield, meant entertaining rugby for the sizable crown strewn along touch and on the Eastern Terrace.

A bit of wind evident now at the re-start, but a right start to the second stanza for the home team as their long, lanky number 5, Shane Godding, broke the Haggis defensive alignment for a 25-meter loping jaunt into goal for his touch down that, along with Smith’s added deuce, brought accounts to 19-12 for Glendale in the 42nd minute.

Field spread wide by the speed of Raptors recycle, and the skip pass to fullback, Thomas Downey, who made space cleanly to dot for Smith’s plus two, and 26-12 at 45’.

Haggis hit back on a try by number 17, Scott Horsten, that closed the gap to nine, 26-17, at 48’; 

Glendale struck back with a score by replacement 8man, Zac Pauga, + 2 by Smith: 33-17 at 51’.

A try by hosts scrumhalf, Wes Laborde, and its conversion by Smith made tallies of 40 and 17, before the Haggis fast- flying, hot-stepping Justice Colman would record his brace. A final dot the Glendale outside center, Josh Barry, completed by Smith and the result was 47-22, and Glendale would celebrate the league title this evening.
                Glendale - Try: Hall, J Pauga, Godding, Downey, Z Pauga, Laborde, Barry;                                                            Con: Smith (6);
                Park City - Try: Orders, Colman (2), Horsten; Con: Kututwa

Match Officials: Derek Summers (Referee); Chris Brewer, Cam Pettit (RAs)

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