The red-hot start to the Colorado Springs Grizzlies’ season finally cooled to a simmer, as the Denver Harlequins traveled downstate and emerged victorious, 15-12. An early, 3rd-minute try from slippery Springs scrumhalf Travis Carrasquillo was not enough to rattle the Harlequins’ resolve, as they responded in form with tries from 8-man Sosefa Vitapa and fullback Kregg Hyer in the 14th and 33rd minutes (respectively). Taking a 12-7 lead into halftime, the Peter Borlase-coached Quins knew they needed to maintain pressure to pick up a much-needed win. A penalty kick (PK) by Thomas Oliver in the 47th minute extended the Denver lead to 15-7, but a bursting try from Grizzly wing Nicholas Rosales brought the Springs within 3 points with 15 minutes to play. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, the Harlequins’ defense held firm, and the low-scoring affair reflected both sides’ standing as the top two defenses in the league.
Elsewhere in the Rockies, the Gentlemen of Aspen moved into the win column during their third match of the season, with a 38-36 barnburning victory over the Denver Highlanders. The Aspen back-three accounted for 33 of 38 points on the day, and flyhalf Daryl Furlong was sensational in directing his club around the pitch. Despite a 6-try effort from the gutsy Highlanders, the boot of Aspen wing Cyle Bilger appeared to be the difference, as the Gentlemen converted all five of their tries, with Bilger picking up a PK as well. Wiehan Pretorius and Garrett Lincoln also bagged a pair of tries each.
The Provo Steelers made their first trip across the mountains this year, falling to the Glendale Raptors’ D2 squad, 52-17. Traveling light, the Steelers displayed much heart in pushing the Raptors around the pitch, particularly dominating in the scrum, but they were unable to overcome the incredible pace and skill of Glendale’s outer backs. For Provo, center combination Misi Tukia (2) and Etu Lavulavu accounted for all three of the Steeler tries, while Glendale’s sensational backline grouping of Rohan Fenton (3 tries), Kleslie Alovili (1 try), Kyle Harris (1 try), and Nathan Fa'amatuainu (1 try, 6 conversions) helped the Raptors put in their first complete performance of the season.
In Division 3 action, the Glendale third side raced past the Northside Marauders, a second-year club from the northern Denver suburbs, by a score of 88-0. The Glendale D3 squad had previously forfeited two matches for playing too many players, so the result gets the Raptors back into the hunt for the Rocky Mountain GU’s only D3 playoff spot.
Next week will see a massive Division 3 clash between the Denver Harlequins D3 team and the Queen City Rams, as well as an opportunity for Glendale D3 to keep its momentum going against a physical Northern Colorado Flamingos squad. In the final Division 2 match of the Fall, Boulder Rugby will also travel down to Denver for their second encounter of the season with the Denver Harlequins. Boulder won the previous encounter this season, 15-11, and this match will give one club or the other a distinct advantage in securing a spot in the 2015 Rocky Mountain Championship weekend.
Held May 2-3, the 2015 Rocky Mountain Championship will involve the top two teams from Division 2 competing for the #1 seed in the Frontier Conference playoffs. The loser of that match will be forced to play the winner of the #3 vs. #4 match (also May 2), on Sunday, May 3, for the right to the #2 seed in the Frontier Conference playoffs. To be held May 16-17, the Frontier Conference playoffs are the de facto USA Rugby Round of 32 and Round of 16 events, with the champion of the event heading into the USA Rugby National Quarter-Finals on May 30.
Division 2 Results | October 18, 2014
Colorado Springs Grizzlies 12-15 Denver Harlequins
Gentlemen of Aspen 38-36 Denver Highlanders
Glendale Raptors D2 52-17 Provo Steelers
Division 3 Results | October 18, 2014
Colorado Rush 0(F)-20 Denver Harlequins D3
Glendale Raptors D3 88-0 Northside Marauders
Men's Division 2 Standings | October 19, 2014
Men's Division 3 Standings | October 19, 2014
The Rocky Mountain Rugby Union is a geographic union within USA Rugby that encompasses one of the nation's most historic rugby-playing areas. Rocky Mountain member clubs have captured 21 national championships, including 11 at the Men's Senior Club Elite / Division 1 level. Overall, Rocky Mountain teams have appeared in 42 national championship finals since 1979, when USA Rugby first began conducting national championships. The union currently consists of 17 senior men's teams, 4 senior women's teams, 17 collegiate men's teams, and 11 collegiate women's teams.
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