The Rocky Mountain men's senior club season continued into October this past weekend, with several large match-ups on tap.
In Division 2 play, Boulder Rugby continued its unfortunate streak of close losses, with Colorado Springs holding off a second-half rally to defeat their opponents, 27-26. For the Grizzlies, it was their 4th consecutive victory, continuing their hot start to the season after a lackluster 2013-2014 campaign. Colorado Springs #8 Matthew Woerner scored two tries in the match, extending his scoring try-scoring streak to 4 games.
Elsewhere in the Front Range, historic Observatory Park was once again home to high-thrill rugby action. Formerly the site of two USA Rugby test matches (1991 vs. France; 1992 vs. Canada), the park saw 2014 national playoff participants Park City Haggis battle past the Denver Barbarians' reserve squad. The men from Utah prevailed 48-41, but the Barbarians' effort was not lost on the day as the squad garnered two critical points in the standings.
Continuing their Colorado road trip into Sunday, Haggis also squared off with the Denver Highlanders in a clash between last year's second- and third-place teams. Despite an early lead, and a clear penalty advantage, the Highlanders couldn't quell a late Park City rally that resulted in a Haggis win, 26-21. Park City moves to 3-0 for the season, and remains one of only 2 undefeated teams in the parity-laced, 9-team Division 2 competition.
In Division 3, the Fort Collins-based Northern Colorado Flamingos cruised past the visiting Northside Marauders, 50-7. The Flamingos were relegated out of Division 2 last season, and are finding their form in Division 3 while recruiting and rebuilding. The Marauders, meanwhile, continue to turn in a series of gutsy performances despite being founded just last summer.
The weekend of October 11 will continue to thrill rugby participants and fans in the Rockies, with several more big games to be played.
Starting the weekend in Division 2, the Gentlemen of Aspen will make their way up to Boulder, reigniting a rivalry that goes back over 40 years. For Aspen, the match will mark their second game since returning from a 3-year competitive hiatus. For Boulder, the game is a big home match, and a chance to finally play a complete, 80-minute match.
In a rematch of last year's Western Championship, the Glendale Raptors D2 squad will travel to Utah to take on Park City Haggis. The two squads were neck-and-neck last year, giving the region some of the best matches it's seen outside of the PRP. Despite some early season struggles from the Raptors, it is expected that the match will be a thrilling contest for fans in the greater Salt Lake City area.
Also traveling to Utah is the reserves of another PRP squad, the Denver Barbarians. The Barbos travel to Provo for what will surely be a physical demonstration against the Provo Steelers. Both teams are renowned for their hard style of play, and both clubs are looking to sort their standing in the league after close losses to Park City.
The Denver Harlequins will host the Denver Highlanders at Cook Park, with both teams needing a big win to reignite their seasons. Currently sitting in 8th and 7th place (respectively), the winner of the Harlequins-Highlanders match has a chance to climb as high as 3rd or 4th in one week. The curtain-raiser to the showdown features the Denver Harlequins D3 team competing against the Northern Colorado Flamingos. The winner of that match has a chance to take first place in Division 3, and will most assuredly be no lower than second after the weekend.
In other D3 action, league-leaders Queen City will take the field against the Colorado Rush in a Denver city showcase. The Rams hope to extend their winning streak and remain atop the leaderboard, while the Rush look to notch their first win of the season.
Men's Division 2 Standings | October 5, 2014
Men's Division 3 Standings | October 5, 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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