Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rugby at Infinity: Angels, Raptors soar

Rugby at Infinity on the weekend featured a trio of league tryfest blowouts: a pair down the Kettle and a flaring match on the StoveTop turf pitch. Weather conditions may have been a tad chill for fans, but it was overcast skies and an ideal coolness for players that swiftly wore off after each field magistrate’s starting whistle signaled the beginning of sport on this day.

MD-2: Glendale Raptors v Boulder Rugby

Raptors were looking to cement their spot at the top of the table, while third-placed Boulder Rugby would want to close the gap between themselves and those loftily soaring hunters. Homeside ran out to a 30-nil advantage before their guests were able to dot in the second stanza to escape a whitewash, but Raptors got it back immediately and went on to a 61-5, five table-point victory.

With 30 points now, having cashed all on offer from their half dozen matches, Glendale’s magic number to win the league outright is now two with one of them needing to be a bonus point win – an eventuality that is looking more and more likely after yesterday’s demonstration of excellence on the pitch.

Glendale lines up against Provo Steelers in Utah next Saturday (RugbyDay) while Boulder will take on Denver Harlequins at PleasantView right off the Diagonal in Boulder on that day, March 18.

HSB: Denver East High Angels v Chaparral Wolverines

Rugby Colorado perennial championship finalists, Denver East High Angels, showed why and whatfor at the Infinity Rugby Complex Stadium in a comprehensive and consummate display of emergent rugby that earned them five table points and a triple-digit tally by referee Nick Tricarico’s last blast.

Hat-tricks of trys from inside center Yanni Stavropoulos and fullback Luke Neureiter, along with braces of groundings by backrow lock Henry Page, flyhalf Sam Adix and outside center Holden Kjerland-Nicoletti were part of a sixteen-score onslaught for Angels, against a late dot for the Wolverines, meant a result of 102-5 in the end.

Angels speed to breakdown and immediate action to gain or maintain possession therein and thereafter meant an impressive amount of front foot action for Denver; with Adix employing a variety of effective tactics behind his hungry and smoothly mobile scrum, the Angels fluid offensive machine was on fire in the Kettle throughout the match.

Denver East travel up 36 for a date with undefeated Monarch next Saturday and a 10am kickoff at Williams Field in Superior, while Chaparral visit PAC next this upcoming Wednesday evening.

MRC: Glendale Raptors v Rugby Utah

recycle by Raptors scrumhalf Shaun Davies

Five groundings by Glendale’s high flyer, Jon Ryberg, and added braces of scores by Ryberg’s wing partner Dustin Croy and Denver Barbarians talisman, Maximo de Achaval, meant a rout by the homeside over Rugby Utah under cloudy skies and temps in the 50s at Infinity on Saturday.

Glendale received Utah’s opening kickoff and worked their method upfield, never relinquishing possession, until Ryberg crossed in the corner for a 5-nil lead after four minutes of play.

Raptors straightaway back for more in the form of wing Dustin Croy and his cross-and-dot that was converted by de Achaval’s towering shot from touch and homeboys up by a dozen in the sixth minute.

Utah turned possession at a breakdown and worked short, bruising pick-and-goes and near channel smashes into Raptors territory and down into the predators’ 22, before a knock-on ended that multi-phase movement.

Glendale flyhalf, Will Magie, chipped a looker into space for Ryberg’s second try and de Achaval’s added deuce made it 19-0 at minute number 13.

Utah got onboard when full back Joe Nichols stepped around a defender 10 meters from goal and scooted across for conversion by inside center, M. Palu, and it was 19-7 in the 16th minute. Utah back for more swiftly as Palu split the sticks for three from Raptors ten-meter line just inside the interior right hash: 19-10 as Utah pressured well and bore the bounty of that lively intent after 20 minutes of play.

The travelers were once more into Glendale territory and with a penalty awarded by referee Derek Summers, here is where Utah made a fatal mistake. Spot of the infraction was on Glendale’s 10-meter line, in the same location as the previous penalty-made-three by Palu though on the other side of the pitch. Three points would have drawn the visitors within half dozen of their hosts, but Utah elected to go for touch and more. Glendale’s draining defense was up to the task and turned ball over; within ten minutes the Raptors had widened their lead from nine to 23 points after a pair of groundings converted to goal by their numbers guy, de Achaval, and it was 33-10 at 30’. Three more trys by Raptors took the scoreline to 52-10 by Summers’ halftime tweet.

The XVs traded converted trys early in the second stanza with Ryberg’s fourth followed by a grounding from visiting flyhalf Ben Nicholls for the visitors, and it was tallies of 59 and 17 at the 53rd minute; five further dots by the home team, all taken to seven by de Achaval, and the final of 94-17 was the record at the end of the high-scoring contest.

Glendale Raptors will play Brigham Young University on March 25 in Utah upnext, while Rugby Utah travel to Texas for a derby with Austin Huns on April 1, the Saturday.

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