Sunday, October 14, 2018

Men's Division-2: Harlequins v Highlanders FMR


RMR MD-2






Denver Harlequins v Denver Highlanders: Full Match Report (FMR)

Sunny in the sixties with minimal breeze at kickoff of a Colorado rugby rivalry ongoing better than half a century between Denver clubs, Harlequins and Highlanders, at Cook Park’s Cooker Rugby Grounds. Host Harlequins were yet to post their initial victory of the season, while Highlanders had counted only a single win though that was in defeat of an unlost and first-placed Boulder Rugby at that joy.

all eyes on the ball at the well-contended lineout


Visitors were off and running immediate the kickoff, into their opponents territory and down within the Harlequins 22 on a number of occasions, but mishandles and the keen attention of the host defense at breakdown that enabled turnover ball kept Highlanders from goal.

Highlanders on the front foot and mounting an attack at the Quins 10 meter line when a lazy, loopy transfer was pinched by the attentive Harlequins pivot, Clem Curet, and that man outpaced the chase 50 meters to goal for a touch down made seven by the Harlequins inside center, Steve Zaugg, and 7-0 to the hosts in the 13th minute after making the absolute most of their stolen moment.

on the ball


Travelers returned on the heavy front foot, posing questions in the form of short, stabbing pick-and-goes from breakdown and mid-channel bashes off the loose piece, but still the containment corps of their adversaries functioned well and true, turning over ball at stoppage and forcing miscues in the Highlanders three-quartersline.

With the lineout won 30 meters from goal, Highlanders mounted an attack, cycling the pill out wide and then working the pick-and-go in brief, angled gains forward while the action crabbed across the pitch. A five-meter scrum hooked well by Highlanders 2, Jeff Westbrook, provided 8man, Josh Slater, opportunity to scoop ball and scythe into goal untouched for the try, that when converted by second rowman Sean Welfare, made drawn scores in the 31st and all cried “7s” just then.

Highlanders claimed advantage via a quickly-tapped penalty on the Harlequins 22 and the ensuing rush brought play into the Quins business district, 10 meters from goal, and breakdown. Quick collection at the back of that ruck by Welfare and he’d crossed and dotted for his own conversion in the 35th minute: 14-7 for visitors the vital statistics at the field magistrate’s halftime whistle.

Highlanders with an overwhelming amount of territory and possession, but testimony to the Harlequins ability to affect all manner of  turnover from knock-on, to Casper passes, to major penalties in their defensive attention to detail; therefore only seven points the differential after the first forty. Quins flyer, Paul Bordenkircher, making the most of scant handles out wide, with crowd-pleasing, swervy and jinky counters of significant length along touch.

Highlanders with a scrum 25 meters out from goal. Harlequins pack shoved the opposing pack off the ball, big and bossy, taking the strike against the head, but a penalty award went to Landers and Welfare made no mistake in knocking three through the posts and Highlanders advantage increased to double-digits, 17-7, in the 47th minute.

Harlequins now making and eating penalties and the voracious Highlanders offensive machine a pack of terrible, salivating, exploitive hounds on the run. Lead extension after second row, Mark Gleed, received tapped lineout ball from five meters out and barreled in for the try that made tallies 22-7 at the 53rd minute.

Quins with a lineout and meaning business six meters out when blindside forward, Tony Fisher with ball-in-hand, cut cleanly into goal for his touch down that, along with completion by Zaugg, made the scoreline 22-14 still for Landers come the hour mark.

Highlanders lost a man to a ten-minute seat for conduct unbecoming his high tackle in the 67th minute and the Harlequins capitalized on their extra-man benefit a short time on with a bang-bang from breakdown that saw replacement Casey Nordwald ground for a tightening of tallies at 22-19, still for visitors, but one thought, “Hello, wotcher boys? Now it’s 70th minute and who’s got the last ten?”

Fierce and furious the final actions with the sides ratcheting up their game, tackles coming hard and deliberate with turnovers and trys being their intended result, and Highlanders got one near time, sending fullback Brian Dutill fast through a spread Quins defense to touch down for the bonus point and a record of 27-19 at the Sir’s last blast.

Scoring
               Harlequins – Try: Curet, Fisher, Nordwald; Con: Zaugg (2);
               Highlanders – Try: Slater, Welfare, Gleed, Dutill; Con: Welfare (3);                                             Pen: Welfare

                                                 






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