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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Rugby Colorado Boys High School Quarterfinals: Denver East v Chaparral

Rugby Colorado Premier Division Quarterfinals:

Denver East High Angels v Chaparral Wolverines

Warm with a spotless sky and a gusty, breezy crosswind from the east at kickoff of Angels versus Wolverines quarterfinals match at Angels campus homeground, Heaven. Each side looking keen for it in their respective, preparatory workups and both looking to advance to the RC semifinals of the Premier Division next weekend.

Chaparral captured the kickoff and showed strong pack industry initially with tight fivers banging away from breakdown for 4- and 5-meter gains at a momentarily rear-legged Denver defense, before ball spilled forward exchanged possession; scrum to hosts. Won and worked upfield steadily with short-gainers out of breakdown by openside Zak Jacobs and 8man Kilauea Tora complemented by shifty, backline maneuverings orchestrated by the inimitable East standoff, Sam Adix.

Penalty on Wolverines for hands-in enabled Denver numbers man, Max Gottesfeld, a shot on goal 18 meters out at the exterior hashmark; a sticksplitting strike for the fullback and 3-0 for East in the 1st minute.

Adix struck a long ranger deep into Chaparral territory from his 10-meter line that the Chaparral back-three had trouble corralling in the face of the containing swarm of red jerseys.  East scrum, 13 meters out. Feed by scrumhalf, Theo Bennett; hook by the number two, Aiden Rocchio, followed by impeccable channeling through the tight five. Swift service by Bennett on out to Adix who spied the gap and accelerated through it for 20 meters and five points-made-seven surely by fullback Gottesfeld and 10-nil for East after five ticks off referee Chris Brewer’s timer.

Denver back straightaway into Wolverine territory and Chaparral clearance blocked in goal for inside center Yanni Stavropoulos’ alert pouncing; with Gottesfeld cleaving the posts once more, tallies of 17 and 0 in the 7th minute of the lively, fast-paced competition.

First chance for the travelers with a failure to roll away at breakdown assessed and touch made at the East 22; lineout for Wolverines won and mauled forward initially before breakdown and channel distribution to inside center, Cole Williams, who displayed a quick-step before being brought to ground, 15 meters from the Denver goaline. Turnover won by Angels, slung by Bennett to Adix, who banged clearance beyond the defense and the fast chasing choir pressured turnover and East had the scrum-put, 22 meters out, center of the pitch. Won and weak side gallop by Adix and his timely offload to second row, DeShawn Burks, followed by Burks’ own physical closing and Gottesfeld’s plus two, and it was 24-0 at minute 25.




Home team would ground twice more as Adix and Stavropoulos got their braces and 38-0 as Brewer whistled up the half.

East flyhalf Adix shooting sparks from his boot and Rocchio, Jacobs and Tora speedy and physical into contact making for much front foot action by the homeside, while Chaparral successful in the direct, tightly-woven, repeating pulses from breakdown.

Bennett would join the suspenders club by the 10th minute of the second stanza behind his credible work rate to breakdown and savvy action thereafter in blinding pick-step-and-dots, each converted by Gottesfeld for a 52-0 scoreline.
Adix’ looping skip pass found outside center Nico Read at pace to turn the corner for a try and an uncharacteristic miss on the completion by Gottesfeld, and 57-0 in the 20th minute.



Chaparral got onboard after an East penalty for offsides had the lineout inside the East 22. Won and spun and patient multiple phases worked inside the Angels business district, 10 meters from goal, until Wolverines flyhalf Christian Woodward gathered the pill and crashed over to touch down for Williams’ conversion, and it was 57-7, 25 minutes into the period.

East would see one final crossing by replacement forward, Skee Springman, converted by Gottesfeld before Brewer’s last blast and 64-7 the record.

In another quarterfinal Friday evening, Palmer Terrors topped Aurora Saracens 37-10 at Garry Berry in Colorado Springs.

The fourth quarterfinal is on this morning at Kellogg Stadium on campus of Regis Jesuit High School as the Raiders host Colorado Springs Grizzlies, 11 am kickoff. I’m going, you going?

Scoring

                Angels – Try: Adix (2), Stavropoulos (2), Burks, Bennett (2), Read, Springman; Con: Gottesfeld (8); Pen: Gottesfeld;
                Wolverines - Try: Woodward; Con: Williams


Match Officials: Chris Brewer (Referee); Cam Pettit, Bill Fallt (RAs)

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