Friday, March 24, 2017

Rugby Colorado: East v Regis

Rugby Colorado
Denver East High Angels v Regis Jesuit Raiders

Ideal weather conditions at Heaven for the derby between last year’s Rugby Colorado Premier Division Championship finalists, each looking to make a statement on this season’s competition. A try ratio of 6:3 carried the match for winners in as physical a battle as you’re like to see at this grade. Fans in the stands a raucous bunch.

Regis received kickoff and clearance unfound was collected by East flyer, DeShawn Burks, who spun ball crossfield to fullback, Luke Neureiter, and the Angels were on the attack and into Raiders territory. Three phases later and Neureiter into goal for the touch down that was made seven by winger Max Gottesfeld, and it was 7-nil for the home team after five minutes of play.

The visitors turned ball over after restart, but knock-on in the three-quartersline reversed possession and East proceeded to work their pattern with pick-and-goes interspersed with a variety of backline movements orchestrated by Angels standoff, Sam Adix. East first to the breakdown and grappling as demons, which provided the Angels plenty of front foot action.

East were back for more with Neureiter once again crossing the paint and Gottesfeld striking the extras from near touch and Denver was ahead by a scoreline of 14-0 in the 12th minute.

Adix showed the dummy, broke to space and with a bit of a shimmy, transited half the pitch swiftly to dot for Gottesfeld’s deuce and 21-0 for the high flyers two-thirds of the way through the opening 30 minutes.

Jagged jaunts from breakdown opened short, sharp tears in Jesuit defense and Angels looking hungry right now.

Angels with the put at midfield. That set piece won and spun, inside center Yanni Stavropoulos jinking and janking his way into Raiders business district to breakdown shy of goal. Pill gathered by home side and spun out wide for flyer, DeShawn Burks, and his fantastic finish. 26-0 as sands fled to halftime.

East with the scrum at their own ten-meter line. Won, spun and four phases later penalty assessed by field magistrate Stu Geiger for no release at tackle. Regis flyhalf stroked the ball to touch and the ensuing Raiders lineout, seven meters from the East line was spun to tackle five meters out. Regis hooker, Drew Scheible, gathered ball and would not be denied, storming into goal for the try converted by Life University-bound -and the hero of last season’s title game- scrumhalf “Sweet” Lou 
Vera at time in the half. Regis were on the board, tallies were 26 and 7, and at Geiger’s signal, lads to lockers for midpoint instruction.

Four groundings by a smoothly functioning Angels XV versus a single touch down by the travelers. Regis would work at ball retention second stanza, while East wanted more of their same.

Three minutes after re-start Adix challenged the Regis back-three backs with the Garryowen launched into the evening sky. Collection fumbled by Raiders and East turned the ball over at capture. Three phases later Adix worked the reverse inside channel into Regis business district and spread the field with a skipper to Gottesfeld who rounded the corner to dot for his own conversion: 33-7 for homeboys then.

Yellow for an Angel in the 12th minute of the period. Regis quick to take advantage of the one-player surfeit and hard work by their forwards, especially openside Hayes Ward, enabled halfback Vera to dive across from three meters out to touch down; his own conversion made it 33-14 heading to the midpoint in the half.

East’s own openside, Zach Jacobs, whose work rate continues to impress this campaign, dotted the next home side try and 38-14, 15 minutes in.

Adix off with a bad peg and Neureiter moved into the string-puller’s slot and promptly drove a superb line drive punt into the coffin corner and Regis were on their heels. A second yellow card shown East in the 24th minute had Angels roster at a deficit once more and Raiders eager to capitalize… which they did in fine form, tearing upfield in brief smashes from breakdown until first five-eighths Soren Heitman popped across the paint for a fiver-made-seven by Vera and it was 38-21 with yet half dozen minutes left on the ref’s chronometer.  However, that was all the numbers this evening and East recorded the result at Geiger’s last blast.


                East - Try: Neureiter (2), Burks, Adix, Gottesfeld, Jacobs; Con: Gottesfeld (4);
                Regis – Try: Scheible, Vera, Heitman; Con: Vera (3);

Match Official: Stu Geiger

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