It was a close affair with the Barbarians trailing for most of the match, only to snatch a one point lead with three minutes left in the game, and ride it out until the full-time siren sounded. After the match Brian Erichsen, head coach of the Denver Barbarians noted, "This feels pretty awesome. Whether you win by one or fifty it doesn't matter, but when it's by one- wow."
Wow was right, it was an intense affair and one that saw to evenly matched teams engaged in a game that all those in attendance are unlikely to forget. The game got off to a furious pace, both teams declared their intentions early, but poor handling, cost each side points in the first ten minutes. It was never a question of if but when a team begin the scoring fiesta. Detroit opened the scoring in the 11th minute, and their celebrations were short lived as Denver hit right back; and so began the story of the first half. Every time the Tradesmen crossed the line the Barbarians were right behind them and then the Tradesmen would score again. After the first try of the game was scored there was never more than a five-minute gap in the first half before the other would respond. At the end of the first stanza a missed conversion is all that separated the two teams. Detroit lead, 21-19.
Coming out of the sheds to begin the second half the Barbarians looked to close in on the Tradesmen and hope to catch them napping, and that they did. In the first seven minutes of the second half the Barbarians got a penalty and a try to put up eight unanswered points and claim the lead. It looked as if the altitude may have got the best of the Tradesmen, but they came back stronger than ever. After giving up those points to the Barbarians the Tradesmen came back and put up 17 unanswered points and with only twelve minutes left to play the Barbarians found themselves down 11 points and against the flow of momentum.
As they had done all through the first half, the Barbarians picked themselves up off the ground and marched back down the field and not a minute later they had responded thanks to a beautiful dummy that sold twenty-eight of the thirty players on the field. Now with just over ten minutes to play the lead was four. Denver needed a try and in the 77th minute that's exactly what they got, the Barbarians recapturing the lead for only the second time all day and for the first time in half an hour. Denver held onto the ball off the kick off, despite constant contention at the breakdown the Tradesmen couldn't win the ball back. The siren went and the Barbarians won the championship 39-38.