Friday, September 22, 2017

RMR: Men's D-2 Preview

Rocky Mountain Rugby: MD-2

The 2017/18 USA Rugby men’s d-2 competition got underway with a bang down the Kettle at Infinity a fortnight ago and Denver Barbarians were convincing in their 36-24 victory over arch-nemesis, Glendale Merlins-née-Raptors. Three of the remaining four clubs in the regional competition start league play on the morrow, and though the Barbos have set the standard thus far in the young season, each XV in the 6-team competition is capable quaffing from the Rocky Mountain Rugby men’s d-2 championship flagon come next April.

The Merlins, who’ll undoubtedly be in the mix during the spring run to the playoffs, roll up route 36 to Colorado’s finest paddock at PleasantView for a derby with Boulder Rugby and a noon kick. Glendale will not like opening their innings with defeat to the Barbo and will seek redress on the road tomorrow; Boulder, a perennial finisher in the league, will be looking for joy from their initial outing and levying despair on their guests; end of the day, too-close:to-call.

Newly promoted Denver Highlanders take on rival from the Oneida Hood, Denver Harlequins, at ‘Landers daunting bastion the Jake in also a 12pm boot. Harlequins, as ever, will field a formidable XV of canny, fit players with plenty of gas in the tanks of their outside three quarters, and large, sparking potential of the front eight. Meanwhile their hosts, eager for the return to the region’s top division and a statement-win, will need to damp the explosive charge of the ‘Quins pack and contain their back-three backs, both offensively and crucially on the fools’ methodic counter. Only one who knows how this one’s gonna turn out just now would be WW, Himself.

The aforementioned five will be joined October 7 by a squad from the other side of the Divide, Park City Haggis, as the Utah club enters the fray in a large way, hosting the Merlins at their magical mountain redoubt in the Utah SkiTown up the canyon from SLC. Himself’s Favorite Meal after a night out will take on Barbarians the following weekend, 10.14, in Park City; the outcomes of these two fixtures will go a considerable way in determining the fall alignment of the division, one should think.

2017-18 promises to be the best show yet on Rocky Mountain Rugby’s estimable timeline marquee, though one would be somewhat foolhardy to predict spring’s champion at this early stage.

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