7NEWS highlights from April 6 OPSB match
Scrum half Shaun Davies 4/24
Back James Paterson 4/22
No. 8 Nic Johnson 4/2
Lock Casey Rock 3/19
Captain Zach Fenoglio 2/25
DII slips in race for top spot
- Published on Wednesday, November 7, 2012
- Written by Phillipa Snyman
The Raptors DII team’s game at Infinity Park on Saturday was a battle for the top spot in the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union DII league. With only a couple of points separating the two top spots, the game between the Raptors and the Denver Harlequins was certain to be a humdinger of a game — and that it was!
Severely depleted in regular starting players due to the DI team experiencing similar problems and needing players, the DII team found themselves up against a determined Denver Harlequins side. The Harlequins made no secret of the fact that they came to Infinity Park to win the game and claim top spot on the league standings. They did just that by beating the Raptors 30-22.
“It was disappointing that we lost the game after being up 17-8 at halftime,” commented Joe Bradley, assistant DII coach.
“We were aiming to end the fall season on a high note,” said Bradley, “and be in the top spot leading into the spring season. But it wasn’t meant to be.”
Bradley went on to express how the team’s performance on Saturday was not a good reflection of how well they have played throughout the season. Having gone 4-1 prior to the Harlequins game on Saturday, it appeared that the DII team would have been set to achieve their start of season goal. But things started to fall apart in the second half for the Glendale team when the emotional onslaught of the Harlequins wore down the Raptors defense and marked their backs to the point that they could not gain any momentum.
Glendale tries came from forward Joe Haasch — who was also awarded Man of the Match — backs Braden Shoop and Rashad Harbor, and forward Isaac Valdez. A welcome sight on the pitch Saturday was former USA Eagle and Raptors DI stalwart Andre Bachelet, who proved to be reliable with his boot by converting a try and had some strong plays.
Lock Colin Douthit once again put on a solid performance on the pitch and was handy in the lineouts too while his partner lock Drew Smith made some impressive tackles and was solid in defense.
Full back Mike Kenyon was superlative in this unusual position for him and proved just how versatile he is on a rugby pitch. Forwards Pat Doyle and captain Mike Doran were effective in keeping the scrum stable against a rather mobile and physical Harlequins scrum.
“I believe the players learned from the experience on Saturday,” said Bradley, “and realized how damaging unstructured and frantic rugby can be.
“The Harlequins played with a lot of intensity in the second half and we were just not prepared for what they threw at us. We started to play frantic and undisciplined rugby which let them back in the game,” added Bradley.
The Raptors DII team has finished off the fall season in second position on the ERRFU DII league standings and will have to come out firing in the spring season if they want to make it through to the DII playoffs in May 2013. It may be a case of catch-up for the Glendale team but with a 4-2 track record, it does not seem unrealistic for this talented team to set their sights on the top spot before the end of the spring season.
The spring season will commence for the DII team in early March 2013 and preseason training will get underway in early February.
Halftime: Glendale 17, Harlequins 8
Full time: Glendale 22, Harlequins 30
Glendale tries: Haasch, Shoop, Harbor, Valdez