Sunday, March 24, 2019

RMR MD-2: Denver Highlanders v Denver Barbarians


Highlanders v Barbarians

Denver Barbarians served notice yesterday to the league of intent: 2019 USA Rugby National Clubside Championship is still very much the goal of the Men in Green and they did this by routing Denver Highlanders at the Jake, 51-12.

Stiff, bitey breeze blowing out of the eastern goal would give lift and length to hoists from that end of the pitch, a thin layer of overcast and high-40s for the first whistle from referee Brian Kelly.

Barbarians dropkick by returned-10, Charles Ajarrista, and game on as Highlanders knocked-on inside their own 22; Barbo attacking scrum. That won, the Barbarians established their pattern of a couple-three tight, banging pick-and-goes interspersed with slings to numbers one and two runners until failure to release at tackle enabled Highlanders to clear their lines.

That clearance didn’t find touch and Barbo were swiftly back at it, into their adversaries 22 with gait and gusto. Highlanders defensive alignments working just now.

Offsides at breakdown 15 meters out on the left post, entry level stuff for Ajarrista’s cannon and 3-nil Barbo after nine ticks.

Highlanders were having trouble with consistency and continuity as inclose knock-forwards and outside errant passes truncated movements, requiring possession exchange.

Barbarians got their initial grounding of the game after choosing to scrum a penalty awarded five meters from goal. Set piece won and CSU-product, 8man Jason Christenson, picked up from the base and drove steadfast to the line. Stopped short scant meters and the offload to fast flowing tighthead, Sione Leger, and the front rower broke through to touch down for Ajarrista’s conversion and 10-0 Barbos in the 20th minute.

Leger got his brace on a powerful trundle into the Promised Land for the grounding completed by Ajarrista: 17-0 at ’29.

Another try by Barbarians had tallies at 22 and 0 at the field magistrate’s halftime signal. Barbarians with more possession on better method and surer hands; Highlanders, at times, looking dangerous and moving quickly, but damnable mishandles their bane this RugbyDay.

Five second stanza scores by Barbarians against a pair by Highlanders made a five-point result for the reigning national champions. Pending information on the outcome of yesterday’s Boulder-Harlequins match, the Barbo are now in second spot on the chart, and that’s a playoff position.

Match Official: Brian Kelly

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