QUEEN CITY RAMS 36 – 26 COLORADO SPRINGS GRIZZLIES Match Report 9.22.2018
Jacobs Park, Denver Colorado
Beautiful day in Colorado, bright and sunny without a cloud in the sky. The grass field at Jacobs Park was in great shape and ready for an epic battle between two of the leading clubs in Rocky Mountain Rugby Division 3. It has been a while since City had beaten the Grizzlies from Colorado Springs and the Men in Orange and Black were bound and determined to rectify this discrepancy. A good week of preparation was had by City leading up to this contest. A tale of two halves came down to City making a tremendous goal line stance in the waning minutes to hold off the hard charging Grizzlies after building a substantial lead in the first 55 minutes of the match. The team decked out in their Orange and Black jumpers was led out by Captain Hayden Kinnear. The Captain won the toss and elected to receive going up hill defending the west in-goal.
The first 30 minutes of the match was a slugfest highlighted by great defense by both teams. The match was basically played between the 22s for this half hour. A lineout at the 50-m mark of the pitch saw the ball out to Flyhalf Tim Flynn then out to Inside Center Kaine Dimech who hit a looping Flyhalf Flynn. The ball was then skipped to a surging Fullback Lewis McKissick from Gloucester who powered, and side stepped his way down to the 5m line. The tackle was made but the Grizzlies were whistled for a ruck infraction by Referee John Kenney. The ball was placed into touch and the drive was called by Captain Kinnear. Executed to perfection, the City forwards march across the chalk for Flanker Steve O’Malley to dot down for the first points of the match. Fullback McKissick split the uprights from a tough angle to give the Men in Orange and Black the led at 7 – 0 at the 33rd minute of the match. A lead that they would not relinquish.
The ensuing kick-off was secured, and the pill was recycled by City forwards. A long break was made by Flanker O’Malley who offloaded to his Flanker running mate Kinnear who continued the drive ahead. Once again, Referee Kenney spotted a Springs infraction. Hooker Luke Porter took the quick tap and started the move towards the in-goal. He offloaded to a supporting Kinnear who offloaded back to Porter. Luke danced his way into the in-goal to dot down under the sticks. Fullback McKissick added the extras and City up its lead to 14 – 0 at the 36th minute.
The half ended much the way it had been for the first 30 as neither team could mount any offense due to stout defense. Half time score Queen City 14 Colorado Springs 0.
The second half started with a bang. The Grizzlies took the second half restart and start an assault towards City’s line. The Men in Orange and Black weathered the storm. A good counter ruck saw the City forwards poach the pill. The sea parted, and Flanker O’Malley streaked his way from 55m out as he stepped the last defender to score in the corner for his second 5-pointer. The conversion sailed wide; but, City extended its lead to 19 – 0 at the 41st minute of the match.
Colorado Springs finally cracked the Men in Orange and Black stout defense and dynamic Flanker Leon Wilkins danced his way into the in-goal for the Grizzlies first points. Flyhalf Evan Williams added the extras as Colorado Springs cut into City’s lead 19 – 7 at the 45th minute.
Undaunted, City struck right back. A lineout in Springs territory. A drive was called by Captain Kinnear. The drive was stopped, and the ball was quickly recycled. Referee Kenney whistled the Grizzlies for two infractions in a row. The second resulted in a kick-over that was ran down by the City backs. A ruck ensued and the backs mounted a counter. Springs was once again whistled for a ruck infraction. Fullback McKissick was true on his kick at the posts from the middle of the pitch and City up its lead to 22 – 7 at the 50th minute.
Colorado Springs started on the comeback trail. The Grizzlies pounded hard at the City line, driving closer to the in-goal area. However, an errant pass was picked off by Inside Center Kaine Dimech. The Londoner raced 80m to the other end of the field to dot down for the 5-pointer. McKissick added the extras and the Men in Orange and Black again extended their lead to 29 – 7 at the 54th minute mark of the match.
At this point the tide turned against the Men in Orange and Black. Sending wave after wave at the City line, Grizzlies’ replacement Winger Luke Downs broke down the sideline for the try between the posts. Flyhalf Evan Williams converted to bring the score line to 29 – 14 at the 58th minute. Trying to stem the tide, Winger Bobby Haynes was whistled for a dump tackle at the 50m line and shown a yellow card for his efforts at minute 60. Colorado Springs continued their onslaught. Flanker Leon Wilkins broke through for his second try on the day. Flyhalf Williams again added the extras to draw the Grizzlies to within 8, 29 – 21, at the 62nd minute. A couple of minutes later, Winger David Geigar struck again scoring out wide to bring the score to 29 – 26. The conversion sailed wide and City was under the pump at minute 65.
At this point, Captain Kinnear gather his troops giving them words of encouragement trying to rally them to stop the onslaught. However, the Grizzlies kept coming driving hard deep into the Men in Orange and Black territory. The Grizzlies forwards pounded hard at the line, the Rams’ defense regrouped and repelled wave after wave of Colorado Springs attack. Finally, the Springs’ Scrumhalf Cade Lang decided to spin the ball out wide. The final pass went awry and Flyhalf Tim Flynn hacked the ball through. Giving chase saw Flynn grubber the pill 4 times down the field. Getting a good bounce Tim gathered; but, the cover defense was good, the tackle made, and the off-load was made to replacement Winger Christian Graham. Christian crossed-over to put an exclamation point on the match. Fullback McKissick added the final points of the match at the death of time as Referee Kenney blew the final whistle. Queen City Rams finally get the monkey off their backs with the victory 36 – 26. Long time coming. Congratulations for the hard-fought victory.
Congratulations to City on the win, well deserved! Three cheers to Colorado Springs for a hard-fought match. Thank you to all the Olde Boys and supporters who turned out to cheer on the Men in Orange and Black. A good start to the season coming out with the victory and a 2 – 0 league record. Flanker Steve O’Malley garnered the Man-of-the-Match for his tireless efforts all around the field and his two tries. Evan Monhagen took home the Forward Player-of-the-Game; whereas, Fullback Lewis McKissick collected the Back Player-of-the-Game. Congratulations to all the recipients. Next week is a D4 match at the Marauders and the next D3 match is in a fortnight in Laramie.
After match thoughts from the Coach and Captain:
Coach Ken Stone: “This was a game of two halves. The first half was fantastic, and City was strong. The second half the Grizzlies put us under tremendous pressure. However, we stayed strong, controlled the match when needed to, and played in the right areas of the field. Queen City deserved this win.”
Captain Hayden Kinnear: “M****R F*****G goal line defense. The Boys had the grit to hold them off and come together as a team. Got the W!!! I am extremely proud of the team.”
Queen City (36): Chris Cummins, Luke Porter, Evan Mohagen, Joe Olivetti, Brian Gustafson, Hayden Kinnear, Steve O’Malley, James Jimenez, Kevin Chiu, Tim Flynn, Mike Anderson, Kaine Dimech, Sylver Romero, Bobby Haynes, Lewis McKissick; INTERCHANGE: Ed Doka (40), Christian Graham (45), Nate Feldman (54), Matt Hurley (59), Devin Toth (65), Pat McGuire (72), Chris Burpee (77).
Tries: O’Malley 2 (33,41), Porter (36), Dimech (54), Graham (80)
Goals: McKissick 5 from 9
Colorado Springs (26): Cody Wagner, Irish McGee, James Lopez, Jack Murphy, James Rowan, David Hanisch, Leon Wilkins, Jon Gillin, Cade Lang, Evan Williams, David Geiger, Cody Dingman, Frank Griffin, Devon McIntosh, Sam Harrison; Interchange: Joel Rubletz, James Donovan, Patrick Trujillo, Gunnar Tokar, Chris Gordon, Phil Cabasi, Max Reynolds, Luke Downs
Tries: Wilkins 2 (45,62), Downs (58), Geiger (65)
Goals: Williams 3 from 4
Man-of-the-Match: Steve O’Malley
Scoring sequence: 7 – 0, 14 – 0, 19 – 0, 19 – 7, 22 – 7, 29 – 7, 29 – 14, 29 – 21, 29 – 26, 36 - 26
Penalty Count: 18 – 15
Yellow Card: Bobby Haynes (60) – Dangerous Tackle
Referee: John Kenney