A first half battle of two superior Division I clubs delighted a more than 1000 strong crowd at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado. Glendale RFC and Palmer College went play for play in the first half; however it was a strong surge by Glendale RFC in the second half that gave them a 34-10 win in the end.
Palmer were guilty of making the first mistake by being offside which resulted in Glendale center Tyler Siegel slotting a penalty. Seven minutes later, fullback James Paterson chased down a chip kick to score a try making Glendale’s lead 8-0.
For the next 25 minutes the defenses for both clubs were put on display as the teams battled for possession. It was Glendale who made the first mistake by playing the ball on the ground in the ruck. Palmer flyhalf Chad London added his team’s first points of the game. 8-3 Glendale.
At the start of the second half, it seemed that Glendale realized that they needed to shift gears in order to overcome the pressure Palmer was applying. It took nine minutes of phase play and a lineout to get the ball rumbled up to Palmer’s try line and with a concerted forward momentum, prop Pieter Botha was driven towards the goal posts by his teammates to score Glendale’s first try of the half. Siegel’s conversion was successful.
This try was the turning point for Glendale. From there it didn’t take long before scrumhalf Daryl Furlong sidestepped, stutter-stepped, and spun past Palmer’s defense to cross the tryline. Siegel slotted the conversion and the scoreboard read 22-3.
Winger Max Statler, using his speed, was next to score for Glendale and once again Siegel’s boot was accurate. Paterson’s try off of a sneaky chip kick by flyhalf Nese Malifa, delighted the crowd while exhibiting the skills that have made them both international players.
Palmer’s try and conversion by London in the 77th minute did little to make any difference to the outcome of the game. The scoreboard read 34-10 as the final whistle blew and Glendale were headed for the National Championship final once again.
“We tried to get too fancy in the first half,” said an emotional captain Nese Malifa.
“Our backs didn’t get much ball at the start but in the second half, our forwards moved the ball out quicker to our backs who were able to get things going and put points on the board.”
“I am very proud of the boys and despite a tough game today, I know they will be up for the challenge against Belmont Shore tomorrow.”
Glendale RFC will face off against Belmont Shore Rugby Club from Long Beach, Calif. Sunday at 4 pm MT at Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado.
Half time score – GRFC 8
Palmer College 3
Full time score
Tries: Botha, Paterson (2), Furlong, Statler
Convs: Siegel (3)
Palmer College 10