Sunday, June 24, 2018

Bulldog best at Barbo 7s

Bulldog flyer, Jihad Khabir, scoring first five in final          image: h. Richard

Regards 7s rugby, there is a new dog in town... and it's a big dog... and yesterday it was top dog as a side heretofore unknown in these parts blasted through the competition to unequivocally claim first place in the opening round of the three-tournament system that will determine Frontier Conference's pair of sides to contest USA Rugby's national club 7s championship August 11, 12. 

Bulldog Rugby, an invitational side comprised of American college students from across the nation and piloted by Colorado favorite son and consummate rugby authority, Steve Lewis, cruised through the competition to record an historic 29-7 championship victory over favored Denver Barbarians Premier side in the trophy match.

In years past it has been near foregone conclusion that Barbos and KC Blues would meet in the finals, but this year Lewis' side, who are currently on three-week sevens training regimen up in the Hills conducted by the former Vail and Highlanders coach, topped out. Bulldog is sponsored by rugby promoters, David Fischer and Mike Newcombe, and as evidenced by yesterday's outcome, is raising the grade of sevens competition.

Barbos and Bulldog were in the same bracket and each won their pool matches handily before drawing 14-all in the bracket. Barbos earned the higher seed heading into the playoff round by scoring more trys, 13-12, than Bulldog. Denver then topped Utah Peak, 29-10, in their semi and Bulldog obtained the championship match with 35-10 victory over Kansas City Blues 1st.

Speed to and from breakdown, effective grapple at tackle and lightning-fast communication along their line of attack meant an impressive offensive display in the opening half and Bulldog went to the sheds with a 19-nil midpoint cushion.

Barbarians managed a converted try in the second stanza, but Bulldog got a brace unconverted for the record of 29-7 at the Sir's final whistle. Bulldog got 6 points for their winning efforts; Barbo, 4; KC Blues 1st, 2; and Utah Peak, 1. Next stop on the three-tournament tour will be in Kansas City at the 2018 Heartland Sevens on Saturday, July 14th (Bastille Day, non?).

The third and final stop on the tour leading upto nationals is Denver 7s, which will be held at Dick's Sporting Goods Park just outside the city limits of Colorado's capitol in Commerce City on Saturday, June 28. I'm goin', you goin'?

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