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Kansas City Blues 2008 News and Events

01.26.2008 - Blues 2008 Banquet A Great Success

The Blues celebrated the completion of their 42nd season in style on Saturday, January 26th 2008, at their Annual Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction in the basement of the Plaza Three.

The banquet room in the basement of the Plaza Three again served as the host location, as 24 current players joined countless former players and supporters to celebrate the Blues organization, award members for outstanding play and service, and witness the induction of the Blues HOF Class of 2008.

The event included a cocktail hour, plated dinner, awards ceremony and HOF induction, and dancing.

The Blues Executive Board conducted an annual review, and 2008 preview for those attendance, acknowledging the support of 2007 major sponsors United Beverage, Trabon Printing, McCoy's Public House, Brooksider Bar & Grill, Plaza Three, and major alumni donors Jerry Rutherford, Steve terrill, and Chuck Patterson.

During the awards ceremony, Blues players and Club members were recognized for outstanding performance and committment in 2007. 22 year-old prop Chad Vick was awarded the Club's Reserve Side Player of the Year Award. 22 year-old hooker Matthew Hoover, the 2007 Gateway Ruggerfest MVP, was named the Club's Most Improved Player. 23 year-old fullback Steve Sharkey, who in 29 15s matches ran in 6 tries, on-top of 7 scores in four 7s tournaments, was named the Club's 7s Player of the Year.

31 year-old center Jay Allen, entering just his 4th season playing rugby, was named the Club's Backline Player of the Year. A former NAIA All-Amercian tailback, Jay solidified his presence in the Blues mid-field in 2007, running in 7 tries in 26 matches for the Club. 27 year-old lock Ashley Pouche was named Forward of the Year, following a season in which he appeared in 27 matches, serving as Club Vice Captain in 13 of those this past fall.

Given annually to the current player who makes outstanding contributions to the Club off the field, the Patrick O'Neal Award was given to Pete Kowalski. Similarily, the Jim Lyons Award is given annually to the non-player who makes outstanding contributions to the Blues, and the 2008 recipient was Tim Kluempers.

The Hall of Fame induction followed the awards ceremony, with 3 Blues legends taking their place in the honored group of former players, a distinction that was created in 1996.

Steve Terrill, a lock and long-time reserve-side Captain, was the first member inducted on Saturday evening. Introduced by Hall of Fame member Tom Doyle, Terrill is still an enourmouse presence within the Club, contributed countless hours and dollars to any and all Blue endeavors.

Steve Terrill gives his acceptance speech

Following Terrill into the HOF was former prop Ray Ritchey. Known simply as 'Large' in his heyday, Ritchey was one of the great Blues front-rowers of all-time, carrying a reputation for an on-field toughness that was the complete opposite of his off-field friendly demeanor.

Ray Ritchey gives his acceptance speech

Former lock and 9-time West RFU selection Tom Bolin completed the induction of the class of 2008. Introduced by close firend and former teamate Kevin Lynch as "Number 4 in your programs, but Number 1 in your hearts", 'Big' Tom was a player of immense impact, who is now a mainstay at virtually every Blues match and event.

Tom Bolin gives his acceptance speech

The night was capped off with the traditional 'Bronc & Teddy Awards', as Tom Bolin made it a double, taking home the Bronc Honors on his night of induction... Carmen Briscoe was voted the 2008 Teddy, and can be seen in her honorary 'Blues Bowa' at the Blues 2008 home matches.

2008 Teddy, Carmen Briscoe poses with her new bowa

The Kansas City Blues would like to thank Jim Schneweis for organizing the 2008 Banquet, as it could not have gone off without him. Additionally, the Blues would like to thank the Plaza Three, Dave Penner, Scott Kram, and Jerry Rutherford for their contributions to the evening's events.

02.24.2008 - Blues 0-3 in Dallas

(photos available at Click Here for Weekend Photos)

The Kansas City Blues took a touring party of 33 players down to Dallas, TX this past weekend for a series of high-level matches with the Super League’s Old Blue New York, and the Dallas Harlequins. Despite going 0-3 on the weekend, the Blues were able to play 200 minutes of tough rugby in 70-degree sunshine, and come away with a number of positives from a very beneficial weekend of action.

On Saturday morning, the Blues First XV opened up against Old Blues NY’s Division 1 side. Old Blue maintained the majority of possession, running out to a 12-0 lead in the first twenty minutes behind a big forward pack and a very shifty mid-field. The Blues settled in a little bit, doing better to control the set-pieces and holding the New York attack for the remainder of the half.

The Blues were able to answer back quickly in the 2nd half however, as hooker Panama Hoover crossed over the try line in the 47th minute (missed conv). With solid control in the scrums and line-outs, the Blues were able to attack with a little more consistency, and captain and lock Joey Shirley touched down another Blues score in the 63rd minute. Wing Greg Gallagher slotted the conversion, tying the match at 12-12.

Old Blue maximized efficiency with a strong combination of ball pressure around the rucks, and a dangerous mid-field attack, and moments later took advantage of a Blues penalty at the 25m mark, slotting the kick for three points and a 15-12 lead. The Blues pushed back, threatening within Old Blue’s side for the ensuing 5 minutes, but couldn’t come away with any points as Old Blue was able to force an errant pass and push the action back into KC’s territory, stealing momentum in their favor. A Blues infraction was quickly leveraged by Old Blue, as they punched in a quick tap to the right of the posts for a 5-pointer, with just 3 minutes remaining. Old Blue slotted the conversion, taking the 22-12 lead with time winding down.

The Blues battled back frantically in the closing moments, but a final scrum to NY was taken and they cleared the ball to seal the hard-fought Old Blue victory.

In Saturday’s 2nd match between the Clubs featured a mix of Old Blue’s D1 players and reserves, and a largely reserve KC Blues side. Playing almost completely as a U23 side (with the exception of 4 of the starters), the Blues Reserves were bolstered by 8 visiting collegiate recruits who all performed above standards on the day. Old Blue was able to combine their size advantage with good speed out wide to exploit the young Blues sometimes disjointed approach, and powered to a 17-0 lead at halftime.

Excellent open-field tackling by the young Blues side kept the Old Blue attack more in check in the 2nd half, and in the 38th minute KC was able to get on the board with a nicely executed attacking lineout and resulting maul, when newcomer Brian Neilson touched down to complete the drive. Hooker Dan Knapp missed the conversion, but nonetheless Kansas City was on the board and back in the game at 17-5. The boys from New York kept the pace up however, holding Kansas City scoreless for the remainder of the match as things grew more heated amongst the sides, and eventually touching down one last converted try of their own in the 47th minute to extend the lead to 24-5, where it held.

The young Blues side fought hard in the closing moments, and impressed all in attendance with their refusal to back down to a tough Old Blue side. Of the collegiate players, the 6'4 Frank Reardon (MU) did well in the line-outs and scrums, and was notable in defense. Number 8 Jon Feldbruegge (SLU) was active in the rucks and in taking the ball forward in loose play, and Ian Danielson (Univ. Nebraska-Omaha) gave Old Blue trouble in contact, poaching ball from both wing and scrum-half. Centers Tyler Hodges (KState), and Matt Reisinger (SLU) charged hard all day, with Reisinger breaking-off a 60 meter run before being hauled down near the try zone, and SLU wings Kelly Mercer and Travis Dingle were able to make some things happen out on the fringes. Dan Knapp, KState’s young hooker, was extremely impressive with his work-rate and fitness for the entire 60-minute match.

On Sunday, the Blues First XV squared off against the Dallas Harlequins, featuring the majority of their Super League roster for the 11:00am matchup. Having played a tough series of matches against Old Blue’s Super League side, as well as HARC on the previous day, the Quins were likely just as banged up as the Blues were for the Sunday game. However, they didn’t show it.

Dallas ran through attempted arm tacklers early and often, and were rewarded for their intensity and pace with a comfortable 40-0 lead at halftime. However, the Blues settled in a bit in the 2nd half, continuing on their marked improvements in the scrum, and were able to pressure Dallas for some threatening periods of time throughout the half. However, the Quins skill and experience proved too much for a developing Kansas City Blues side, and Dallas was able to score 4 more tries in the half before the Blues finally got on the board in the 57th minute with a well-earned try on a n attacking movement by Number 8 Jon Feldbruegge (SLU). Blues newcomer Elshon Ibrahimov coolly slotted the conversion. Dallas answered with one final score as time wound down, and emerged with a fairly one-sided 69-7 victory over the Blues.

Special thanks to the collegiate kids for joining the Blues on our trip. Thanks also to Hall of Famer Jerry Rutherford, who sponsored the team dinner on Saturday night at Bucca di Beppo, to Hall of Famer Frank Mirikitani for making the bus trip with the Club, and to Hall of Famer’s Tom Doyle and Gary Massey for joining us in Dallas and supporting us for the weekend.

KC Blues 12 Old Blue NY (D1) 22
Tries – Hoover, Shirley
Conv – Carrera 0/1, Gallagher 1/1
Pen – Reintjes 0/1

1. Eric Munninghoff (Chad Vick @ 65)
2. Panama Hoover (Jim Stickford @ 60)
3. Matt McDougall (Brian Walter @ 40)
4. Ashley Pouche
5. Joey Shirley ©
6. Brian English (Bubba George @ 40)
7. Matt Tali
8. Glenn McIntosh
9. Greg Gallagher
10. Robert Reintjes (Keith Engle @ 60)
11. Pete Kowalski
12. Jay Allen
13. Caleb George
14. Pablo Carrera (Kelly Mercer @ 60)
15. Steve Sharkey

KC Blues Reserves 5 Old Blue Reserves 24
Tries – Neilson
Conv – Knapp 0/1

1. Chad Vick (Steve Jackman @ 30)
2. Dan Knapp
3. Brian Walter
4. Brian Neilson
5. Frank Reardon
6. Chuck Henson
7. Bubba George
8. Jon Feldbruegge (Matt McDougall @ 30)
9. Pete Kowalski © (Travis Dingle @ 40)
10. Elshon Ibrahimov (Pablo Carrera @ 30)
11. Marty Cummings (JP Dorie @ 40)
12. Tyler Hodges
13. Matt Reisinger
14. Ian Danielson
15. Kelly Mercer

KC Blues 7 Dallas Harlequins (Super League) 69
Tries – Feldbruegge
Conv – Ibrahimov 1/1

1. Walter (Jackman @ 30)
2. Hoover (Stickford @ 30)
3. McDougall
4. Pouche
5. Shirley © (Henson @ 52)
6. B. George (Reardon @ 50)
7. Tali (Feldbruegge @ 45)
8. McIntosh (Neilson @ 45)
9. Kowalski (Danielson @ 45)
10. C. George (Ibrahimov @ 50)
11. Mercer (Knapp @ 48)
12. Allen (Reisinger @ 20)
13. Gallagher (Hodges @ 30)
14. Carrera (Dingle @ 50)
15. Sharkey

03.01.2008 - Blues Upset By KC RFC

Number 8 Glenn McIntosh

The Blues hosted KC RFC in a non-league match on the field-turf at the Bourke Athletic Field on Rockhurst University's campus.

Down two tries at 0 - 10 within the first 20 minutes of the match, the Blues battled back as center Greg Gallagher finished off an attacking backline play under the posts for a score in the 31st minute. Gallagher was good on his own conversion to bring the Blues to 7 - 10. 8 minutes later, flyhalf Caleb George fed his brother, Bubba, to complete a breakaway and put the Blues ahead 14 - 10 after Gallagher hit the conversion. City answered back as the half wound down though, scoring a converted try at the whistle to regain a 17-14 lead.

In the 2nd half, the Blues got on the board again with a momentum pushing try by flanker Clint Olearnick. Clint broke through the line at the 50m mark, and sprinted the rest of the distance for a touch down under the posts. Gallagher hit the conversion, and the Blues were ahead 21-17 with 28 minutes to play. the Blues lost captain Joe Shirley to a red card in the 24th minute, and City did well to exploit their advantage in running in a converted score with just 13 minutes left on the clock. Trailing 21 - 24, the Blues were unable to get beyond the City 22m mark, battling to the whistle before City broke off a final score in the 80th minute to seal a hard-earned victory 29-21.

The Blues reserves then took the field against KC RFC, and the Blues were proud to boast an entirely fresh group of 22 players for the 2nd game, a small victory in itself for the rebuilding Club. A seasaw battle ended with the Blues on top 12-10. Brett Tali lead the Blues 2nds from center, winger Eric Tajkowski lead the scoring with two tries, and Siva Tali made his return to competitive play after a 2 year injury layoff, logging 40 minutes at Number 8.

KC Blues 21 KC RFC 29
Tries: Gallagher, B. George, Olearnick
Conv: Gallagher 3/3

1. Eric Munninghoff
2. Panama Hoover (Jim Stickford @ 70)
3. Matt McDougall
4. Ashley Pouche
5. Joey Shirley (c)
6. Clint Olearnick
7. Bubba George (Matt Tali @ 71)
8. Glenn McIntosh
9. Pete Kowalski (Brian English @ 60)
10. Caleb George
11. Matt Gunter
12. Jay Allen (Aaron Haehn @ 70)
13. Greg Gallagher
14. Marty Cummings
15. Steve Sharkey

KC Blues Reserves 12 KC RFC 'B' 10
Tries: Tajkowski 2
Conv: Carrera 1/2

1. Brian Walter
2. Jim Stickford (c) (Brian Blanner @ 40)
3. Steve Jackman
4. Tony Vaka (Chad Metcalf @ 40)
5. Brian Neilson (Matt Tali @ 25)
6. Chuck Henson (Anthony Brown @ 40)
7. Matt Tali
8. Siva Tali
9. Aaron Haehn
10. Elshon Ibrahimov (Keith Engle @ 45)
11. Eric Tajkowski (Derek Metcalf)
12. Brett Tali
13. Pablo Carrera
14. Kevin Swartz
15. Frank (Zimbabwe)

03.08.2008 - Blues Drop Another To The Bombers

Brett Taliadvances the ball earlier this season (Shari Grady photo)

The Blues took 31 players via bus to St. Louis on Saturday March 8th, and came away with two losses but some further lessons learned.

Playing on field turf at Clayton HS, an excellent facility was otherwise spoiled by large patches of un-melted snow scattered throughout most of the pitch, making things slippery for both sides. The Bombers opened up the scoring with a couple of long-range tries in the first 20 minutes, despite good pressure from the Blues and a tighter defense then previously seen this spring. Trailing 0-19 with time running down in the first half, the Blues made an injury substitution for center Matt Gunter that immediately paid off, as Brett Tali used his fresh legs to break through multiple defenders before eventually feeding prop Eric Munninghoff who went over for the score. Scrumhalf Greg Gallagher was good on the conversion, and the Blues were still in the game at 7-19.

In the second half, the Bombers came out hard again but handling issues and some good open-field tackling by the Blues kept their attack at bay before St. Louis's Eagle lock Hayden Mexted rumbled through would-be tacklers en route to the try zone, putting his side up by 19. The Blues were able to answer back though, as Brett Tali again made his presence known in the 55th minute by ripping through the line before off-loading the lock Ashley Pouche for a score of his own. Gallagher missed the conversion, however the Blues again narrowed the Bomber lead and set the score at 12-27.

By the 60th minute, the constant Bomber attack finally started paying major dividends for the home side, as they were able to open up the scoring, running in a few more tries and extending their sizable lead to where it ultimately held, 43-12. Siva Tali played well in his first A-side start since 2006, and Arnold Odera was impressive on debut for the Blues, who were playing without stand-outs Joe Shirley, Clint Olearnick, and Rob Reintjes.

The Blues reserves faced the Bombers D2 side in what can only be called an extremely sloppy match with limited structure. The Bombers were able to better adapt to the nature of the contest however, pounding in 5 first half tries before the Blues finally got on the board mid-way through the 2nd half. The young Blues did not give in however, and a number of upcoming players were able to test themselves in an adverse situation and impress the staff. Tony Vaka led from Number 8 and was very active the entire match.

Tony Vaka on the attack earlier this season (Shari Grady photo)

KC Blues 12 StL Bombers 43
Tries: Munninghoff, Pouche
Conv: Gallagher 1/2
Pen: Gallagher 0/1

1. Brian Walter (Matt McDougall @ 65)
2. Panama Hoover
3. Eric Munninghoff
4. Chris Lawler (c) (Derek Mannell @ 40)
5. Ashley Pouche (Tony Vaka @ 65)
6. Siva Tali (Bubba George @ 65)
7. Matt Tali
8. Glenn McIntosh
9. Greg Gallagher
10. Caleb George
11. Marty Cummings
12. Jay Allen
13. Matt Gunter (Brett Tali @ 20)
14. Arnold Odera
15. Steve Sharkey (Pete Kowalski @ 40, Cummings to #15)

KC Blues Reserves 5 StL Bomber Whites 36
Tries: Tali
Conv: Ibrahimov 0/1

1. Steve Jackman
2. Panama Hoover (Engle @ 30, Ibrahimov to #2)
3. Matt McDougall
4. Kevin Swartz
5. Anthony Brown
6. Charles Henson (Arnold Odera @ 30)
7. John Pfortmiller
8. Tony Vaka
9. Pete Kowalski (c)
10. Elson Ibrahimov
11. Eric Tajkowski
12. Adam Windsor
13. Jay Allen
14. Bubba George (Brett Tali @ 30, Allen to #14)
15. Steve Sharkey

03.15.2008 - Blues Split Weekend 1-1, Look Ahead To League Season Resuming March 29th

The Blues went 1-1 this weekend, with an under-manned Reserve side pulling out an impressive victory over Topeka RFC in Topeka, and the First XV getting out-gunned in Muscatine, IA by a very talented Pearl City RFC side on March 15, 2008.

Fielding only 14 players, the Blues Reserves nonetheless got the job done against the Topeka RFC. With some experienced veterans (Jim King, Scott Kram, Scott Adamson) suiting up alongside some of the younger Blues players, and Number 8 Siva Tali leading the charge, the Blues were able to secure a 34-12 victory.

Up in Muscatine, Iowa (approx. 5 hours from KC), the First XV ran into a buzz-saw against Pearl City RFC, falling 3-64 to the D1 power. Despite fielding a strong side, the Blues were only able to contain the Pearl City attack in small doses, defending frantically and admirably for short periods of time before the constant and fast-paced pressure would eventually see the Midwest League leaders break through for multiple scores. Loaded with overseas talent and some very good domestic players, Pearl City was simply too much to handle.

Unable to get any momentum of their own going, the Blues struggled in the set pieces and couldn't match the pace or power of Pearl City, conceding 6 converted tries in the first half. The Blues did get on the board near the 15th minute, when fullback Marty Cummings slotted a penalty from 22m out. That was the only score of the day for the visitors however.

In the 2nd half, the Blues buckled-down and were able to slow the scoring pace of the home side, improving their defense and first-up tackling. However, Pearl City's pace and quickly recycled ball at the break-down was very impressive as they put 4 more scores in, never allowing the Blues to maintain much possession or get an attack going, eventually losing 64-3.

A few bright spots for the Blues: Arnold Odera played well despite rough conditions in his first game at #6 for the Blues, his regular position, and center Clint Olearnick led strongly in his debut as Captain.

The 'pre-season' is essentially over now for the Blues, having learned some valuable lessons and improved on certain aspects of their game through-out a pre-season build-up that included matches against a play-off bound D1 side (Old Blue NY), 2 Super League clubs (Harlequins and Bombers), an on-form bitter rival (KC RFC), and an emerging D1 powerhouse (Pearl City).

As they gear-up for their remaining two West Northern League matches, against Aspen (3/29/08) and at Glendale (4/5/08), the Blues are staring down the barrell at two must-win games that will have a major impact on the playoff picture for the top 5 Northern League teams... only the top three will qualify for the West Playoffs in Texas on April 26th, with Aspen, Boulder, Denver, Glendale, and the Blues all still in the hunt for a bid.

The Blues will welcome back a key handful of injured and banned players as they host Aspen in Kansas City at Blue River Soccer Park on March 29th, while at the same venue the Blues Reserves will take on a couple of the better West collegiate sides to not make it into the playoffs, D1 challenger Kansas State University RFC, and D2 side Saint Louis University RFC, in a three-team round-robin and recruiting event.

KC Blues 3 Pearl City RFC 64
Pens: Marty Cummings 1/1

1. Matt McDougall (Chad Vick @ 60)
2. Panama Hoover
3. Brian Walter (Tony Vaka @ 60)
4. Ashley Pouche
5. Chris Lawler (Bubba George @ 60)
6. Arnold Odera
7. Matt Tali
8. Glenn McIntosh
9. Pete Kowalski
10. Caleb George
11. Steve Sharkey
12. Jay Allen (Brett Tali @ 45)
13. Clint Olearnick (c)
14. Matt Gunter
15. Marty Cummings

03.29.08 - Blues Eliminated From Western Playoff Hunt

The Blues hosted an enormous Club weekend on March 29th, both competitively and organizationally. The First XV hosted Aspen in a match with all-or-nothing playoff implications for the home side, the Reserves played K-State RFC and SLU RFC in continuation of the renewed recruiting relationship amongst the Clubs (as well as hosted a match between the two schools), and the Blues closed the day out at the Annual Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday night at Thomas More Hall, highlighted by the innaugural Sun Valley Getaway raffle drawing that evening.

Click here for a map to Blue River

Event Schedule
11:00am Kansas State Univ RFC v KC Blues Reserves
12:30pm Kansas State Univ RFC v Saint Louis University RFC
2:00pm KC Blues v Aspen Gentlemen (Northern League match)
3:30pm KC Blues Reserves v Saint Louis University RFC
6:00pm Blues Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser at Thomas Moore Hall

In the opening match of the day, K-State came out hard against the Blues, using backline breaks to put in three tries and run out to a three try lead before the Blues answered back with a score of their own. Controlling most of the posession and territory, the Blues set pieces were also string but K-State was much more dangerous when they spun the ball wide. Senior Conner Smith, a former Jr Blue and captain of the Blues 7s team in '07 who will join the the men's Club full-time this summer, paced KSU with two tries and a number of other line-breaks from outside center.

The Blues and KSU traded one try apiece in the second half, and the visitors held on to a tough victory over the Blues Reserves, 22-10.

In the day's second match, KSU turned right around to play Saint Louis University, an emerging D2 side with 5 recent alumni playing for the Blues. Game yet fatigued, KSU put in a grate effort against the fresher SLU side, falling eventually to a final 28-0 scoreline. KSU was able to get a number of reserves some quality playing time against SLU, who for thier part looked very dangerous both around the rucks and in moving the ball through the hands to their speed out wide. Both sides put on an excellent display as two of the premier D1 and D2 collegiate sides in the region, and the Blues were happy to host them as part of the day's events.

In the premier match at 2:00pm, the Blues dropped a hard-fought battle to the visiting Gentlemen of Aspen, coming out on the losing end of 30-8 battle that saw Aspen exploit their numerous opportunities with precision, and the Blues miss out on a few of their own despite an intense effort for the full 80 minutes.

For the Blues, Clint Olearnick lead from the front as Captain, wearing the Number 8 jersey and keeping the go-forward momentum at every opportunity. Former collegiate All-American Sean Foley played a strong game at flyhalf, his first live action in over 1 year since graduating from Truman State University. The Blues welcomed lock Joey Shirley and winger Billy Racule back from red card suspensions, and prop Eric Munninghoff and fullback Rob Reintjes back from injury, however the lineup bolster from the group wasn't quite enough to overcome Aspen's quick ball and hard charging attack.

Blues flanker Arnold Odera turned in the team's highlight of the match, taking a ball wide left on attack and combing his world-class pace with a couple of nice steps - as well as some power - as he beat two men on a 50m run before dragging the third into the try zone with him for his first score as a Blue. Odera, a veteran of Kenya's 15s and 7s National Teams, has been a proven defender all year but was finally able to show what he can do in space with the ball in hand.

KC Blues 8 Aspen Gentlemen 30
Tries: Arnold Odera
Conv: Sean Foley 0/1
Pens: Sean Foley 1/3

1. Eric Munninghoff
2. Panama Hoover
3. Brian Walter
4. Ashley Pouche
5. Joey Shirley
6. Arnold Odera
7. Glenn McIntosh
8. Clint Olearnick (c)
9. Greg Gallagher
10. Sean Foley (Steve Sharkey @ 75, George to #10)
11. Marty Cummings
12. Jay Allen
13. Matt Gunter (Caleb George @ 65)
14. Billy Racule
15. Robert Reintjes
16. Steve Sharkey
17. Caleb George
18. Pete Kowalski
19. Chris Lawler
20. Derek Mannell
21. Matt McDougall
22. Chad Vick

In the final match of the day, the Blues Reserves took on the polished SLU side that was still riding high from their victory against KState. SLU picked up seemingly where KSU had left off against the Blues, exploiting backline gaps as former Jr Blue Pat Laughlin did his own damage from inside center, working well with flyhalf Matt Reisnger in starting and finishing a few breaks.

SLU pounded their way to 19-5 lead at the half, before both sides actually reversed strategies in utilizing substitutions. While SLU emptied their sideline to ensure that all of their reserves and underclassmen got a run, the Blues alleviated some exhausted Reserve side players with a handful of First XV players from the Aspen match, and the tide of the match began to predictably turn in the Blues favor. Clint Olearnick, Jay Allen, and Ashley Pouche all made their presence known, helping the enduring Blues youngsters find the way forward.

The Blues were able to run in a series of unanswered tries to close out the match, and end up on thw inning side of a 30-19 scoreline. SLU was well-disciplined and composed however, as the first-half score proves, and on any other day would likely have run away with the victory.

Concluding the day's events was the Spaghetti Dinner, which ran from 6:00pm -10:00pm, at St. Thomas More Parish Hall at 11800 Holmes Rd in KCMO

03.29.08 - Spaghetti Dinner A Great Success!

Special thanks to Scott Tripp for organizing the Spaghetti Dinner on March 29th! While it was more lightly attended than in previous years, it was still an excellent time and it couldn’t have been as good as it was without Scott and his ‘crew’ doing all of the dirty work… Carl Sr. and Margaret Tripp, Rebecca Tripp, Carl Jr., Debbie Tripp, Mike Schlatter, Billy Lonergan, Mike Brown, Tom Bolin, Jim Schneweis, John Franklin, and all the players on clean up especially Glenn, Panama, and Jackman. Thanks to all of you guys for your support on Saturday!

04.01.2008 - Casey Cummings Makes U18 National Team

Junior Blues halfback Casey Cummings, son of Junior Blues coach and Blues HOF member Eddie Cummings, and younger brother of Blues winger Marty Cummings, has been selected to play for the U18 National Team in Lincolnshire and Doncaster, England on this month's International Tour. Casey is a veteran of the U17 National Team.

Courtesy of AmericanRugbyNews.com:

The USA Rugby U18 national team is set to embark on a three-match tour to England from March 27-April 6.

Twenty-eight players, many of whom represented the USA U18s at the Freedom Cup event in February, have been selected for the tour.

The U18s will spend most of their time at a Royal Air Force (RAF) base in Lincolnshire, team building and enhancing core skills in preparation for matches against top quality opposition from three English academies.

The squad kicks off its tour against the Bedford Blues Academy on March 29, meets the Northampton Junior Saints Academy (JSA) - who recently defeated an England U18 side - on April 1, and wraps up the tour at Doncaster on April 5.

The team heads into the tour with a number of short and long-term objectives. In the short-term, the coaching goal is to heighten the athletes’ rugby skills and test their progress with exposure to teams from a leading rugby nation. The longer term objective is to continue the U18’s all around rugby development - highlighted by the experience of playing at major stadiums such as Franklin’s Gardens, home of the Northampton Saints.

“Gaining exposure in environments where rugby is strong is a major step for many of these young Eagles. It will give them some of the many skills they need to one day wear the Senior Eagles jersey,” USA U18 head coach Stuart Low said. “The U18 squad is a strong unit and is excited about the trip - the UK clubs are primed and need to prepare for the Eagles’ landing!”

04.05.2008 - Sun Valley Raffle: Results Are In!

The Kansas City Blues held the Sun Valley Getaway raffle on Saturday, culminating a two and a half month fundraising campaign that generated over $4K in donations for the Club.

The grand prize, consisting of an 8-night stay for up to 8 people in a luxurious condo at the foot of the mountain in Sun Valley, ID in January 2009 at the height of ski season, as well as two free round-trip airline tickets and a $100 rental car voucher, was won by Wayne Henson of St. Louis, MO. Wayne is the father of curent Blues player Chuck Henson, and who was in attendance to accept the prize for his dad.

The second prize, consisting of an 8-night stay for up to 8 people in a luxurious condo at the foot of the mountain in Sun Valley, ID in June 2009 at the height of the outdoors sun season, as well as a $100 rental car voucher, was won by Jim Schneweis of Kansas City, KS. Jim and his family are elated to have won the trip and the opportunity to explore Sun Valley during 'sun season'.

Special thanks to Dr. Larry and Cynthia Hoover for donating two week-long stays at their condo in Sun Valley Idaho. Valued at over $2,800 each, both travel packages were incredible prizes for the Hoover’s to donate to the Blues organization. Thanks as well to Matt 'Panama' Hoover for getting the whole deal setup!

Congrats to Wayne and Jim, and thanks to all who purchased the $10 raffle tickets, making generous donations to the Club that will get us through the remainder of the spring and summer 7s seasons with a healthy balance in the bank.

04.05.2008 - Blues Complete WRFU Northern League Season 2-4, Look Ahead To Remaining 'Friendlies' On Schedule

Prop Eric Munninghoff runs with lock Bubba George in support, earlier this year

The Blues completed their WRFU Northern League season on Saturday 4/5/08 with a 41-8 loss to the Raptors in Glendale, CO. The Club completed the 2007-08 competitive League season in 5th place with 13 points and a 2-4 record, having lost their final 4 League games carrying over from October '07 to April '08.

In Glendale this past weekend, the Blues were treated to a professional setup that is second to none in the United States, as they played a tough contest at Infinity Park against the Glendale Raptors in a match that was recorded and broadcast by cable's Fox Sports Rocky Mountain. The Raptors, for their part, were undefeated in League play coming into the match and playing for the Northern League's #1 seed at Westerns in late April.

Upon arriving at Infinity, the Blues were escorted to their private changing area for game prep. After a match lead-up that included individual introductions complete with a run-out onto the pitch and the line-up for the National Anthem, the Blues began the match fired-up and played good recovery rugby against an attacking Glendale side for the opening 10 minutes.

A Blues handling error resulted in a loose ball that was recovered and scored by the Raptors, who punched in another try moments later off of an attacking lineout. 15 minutes into the match, the Blues settled in and got to work moving the ball into the Raptor end, as the battle evened out and both sides exchanged blows, doing their best to exploit opportunities wherever present.

Trailing 3-15, the Blues found themselves in Glendale's end and took a penalty-tap through a series of phases before flyhalf Sean Foley dotted down in the far corner for a score. Although Foley missed the conversion, the Blues were in the game at 8-15, one that was within their reach based on the momentum that had swung the visitors way. However, Glendale pressured back into the Blues end, and their #12 hit an incredible wrong-footed drop-goal to add three more points to the home sides lead. With the half ending at 18-8 in favor of Glendale, it was still a game to be won for either side.

In the 2nd half, the Blues came out flat as Glendale began regaining their own head of steam. Despite good tactical kicking from Foley, hard running by inside center Jay Allen in attack, and excellent defense by outside center Caleb George and flanker Arnold Odera, Glendale was able to chip away at the Blues and score points in bunches throughout the later part of the half, pulling away at the end with a flurry of tries and penalty kicks in the closing 10 minutes to win it 41-8.

Glendale presented Foley with Man of the Match honors, which he earned with his direction, defense, tactical kicking, and attacking style. Odera had a huge impact on the game, winger Marty Cummings, and Number 8 Joey Shirley also turned in their best performances of the spring. In the set pieces, Eric Munninghoff was a rock in the scrums, and Bubba George was excellent as 2nd jumper. Hooker Panama Hoover gave the Raptors in and around the tackles, and Captain Ashley Pouche lead with intensity and by example for the entire 80 minutes, refusing to back down or buckle an dplaying admirably despite moving from lock to loosehead prop in the 20th minute to replace the injured Brian Walter.

Halfback Pete Kowalski played his best game of the season, and flanker Glenn McIntosh played a typically busy match - covering more ground than anyone and turning in a very high work-rate - while fullback Rob Reintjes played a flawless game from the deep three, and rookie Kevin Schwartz was impressive on the wing under pressure.

Reserves Brian Neilson, Keith Engle, Frank Matande, and Chuck Henson all were able to insert fresh legs into the lineup, and satelite Blue Michael Staab even came on late in the game to spell Engle and help his old Club out once again.

Click HERE to watch the Fox Sports Rocky Mountain broadcast of the Blues - Raptors match, courtesy of MediaZone, or visit www.glendalerugby.com and enter the 'FanZone' for this, and a library of other recorded matches.

The Blues now look ahead to finishing off their spring season with a series of four 'friendlies' against regional competition.

The Blues will head down to Tulsa to face the D2 power on 4/12, play at Hodge Park in North KCMO against the Jayhawks RFC on 4/19, will head to Omaha to play the GOATS on 4/26, and end the season in Olathe against the Sundogs RFC.

KC Blues 8 Glendale Raptors 41
Tries: Sean Foley
Conv: Sean Foley 0/1
Pens: Sean Foley 1/3

1. Brian Walter (Brian Neilson @ 20, Pouche to #1)
2. Panama Hoover
3. Eric Muninghoff
4. Ashley Pouche (c)
5. Bubba George (Chuck Henson @ 67)
6. Arnold Odera
7. Glenn McIntosh
8. Joey Shirley
9. Pete Kowalski (Frank Matande @ 65)
10. Sean Foley
11. Marty Cummings (Keith Engle @ 60, Kowalski to #11; Michael Staab @ 72)
12. Jay Allen
13. Caleb George
14. Kevin Schwartz
15. Rob Reintjes
16. Frank Matande
17. Keith Engle
18. Brian Neilson
19. Scott Adamson
20. Chuck Henson
21. Michael Staab

04.19.2008 - lues Halt Skid, Defeat Jayhawks RFC 46-18

Shari Vaka photo

The Blues halted their unusually long losing skid to defeat the visiting Jayhawks RFC 46-18 on April 19th. The Blues Reserves kept the momentum rolling with a 36-5 victory over the KU Collegiate side, and the Jr. Blues closed out the day with a win over the K-State Reserves in a tune-up for U19 Westerns.

Led by 2 tries from reserve prop Mike Vick, elusive running from fullback Marty Cummings, a dominant lineout, and good organization in attack, the Blues were able to control the match despite struggling in the line-outs and constant Jayhawks pressure at the breakdown. The victory was much-needed for the Blues, however they suffered an unfortunate loss when hooker Panama Hoover, one of the most consistent performers for the Club over the previous two seasons and a former West Developmental selection and StL Ruggerfest MVP, went down with a torn ACL. It is the 22 year-old forward's 3rd knee injury in the past 6 years.

Mike Vick en route to one of his two tries on the day (Shari Vaka photo)

KC Blues 46 Jayhawks RFC 18
Tries: Mike Vick (2), Chad Vick, Ashley Pouche, Marty Cummings, Joey Shirley, Clint Olearnick, Jay Allen
Con: Pablo Carrera 3/8

1. Brian Walter (Mike Vick @ 40)
2. Jimmy Stickford
3. Chad Vick (Tony Vaka @ 32)
4. Anthony Brown (Ashley Pouche @ 32)
5. Bubba George (Eric Munninghoff @ 55, Vaka to #5)
6. Glenn McIntosh
7. Joey Shirley (Panama Hoover @ 60, Stickford to #6, McIntosh to #8)
8. Chris Lawler (Arnold Odera @ 40, Shirley to #8)
9. Pete Kowalski
10. Caleb George
11. Matt Gunter (Steve Sharkey @ 40)
12. Jay Allen
13. Clint Olearnick (c)
14. Pablo Carrera
15. Marty Cummings

04.26.2008 - Blues Defeat GOATS, Building Momentum To Close Season

Arnold Odera on attack earlier this year (Shari Vaka photo)

The Blues traveled to Omaha with 18 players on April 26th for a friendly with the hometown GOATS, and came away with a onesided 55-8 victory that begins to justify the long, often difficult spring season the Club has endured.

Flanker Arnold Odera, a Kenyan international 15s and 7s player, was awarded the Blues first 'Man of the Match' award of 2008 in recognition of his tireless work-rate, and 3 tries on the day. Odera was joined in the box score by try-scorers Caleb George, Matt Gunter, Billy Racule, Siva Tali, and Jay Allen. Flanker Glenn McIntosh, in his second-to-last game as a Blue as he prepares to head home to New Zealand, finally notched his first try of the season as well. Pablo Carrera was good on 5 of 9 kicks.

The victory was truly a team effort by the somewhat shorthanded Blues, as everyone was able to put what has become a long season behind them, and finally assemble a full 80-minutes of good, collective rugby. The match was highlighted by a 17-minute defensive stand against the GOATS within the 22M line, where the Blues thwarted countless attacks on the line for what seemed like eternity, before the hometown side finally breached the defense to punch in their lone try.

KC Blues 55 GOATS 8
Tries: Arnold Odera (3), Caleb George, Matt Gunter, Glenn McIntosh, Billy Racule, Siva Tali, Jay Allen
Conv: Pablo Carrera 5/9

1. Brian Walter (Tony Vaka @ 40)
2. Jim Stickford
3. Chad Vick (Mike Vick @ 40)
4. Bubba George
5. Joey Shirley (c)
6. Arnold Odera
7. Glenn McIntosh
8. Chris Lawler
9. Pete Kowalski
10. Caleb George
11. Siva Tali
12. Jay Allen (Paul Grindinger @ 60)
13. Matt Gunter
14. Siva Tali (Scott Adamson @ 74)

04.27.2008 - Future Blues On Display This Weekend And Next!

The Blues First XV will play the County Sundogs RFC in the season finale this Saturday, 5/3/08, at Minor Park in south KCMO.

The Blues/County match headlines a full day of rugby, assembled through a partnership between County and the Blues, to include 2 high school matches in addition to a women's match.

Minor Park field is located off Red Bridge Rd in south KCMO, just east of the Minor Park Golf Course. From I-435, take Holmes Rd south to Red Bridge Rd, and go east. Pass the golf course, fire department, and railroad tracks. Come across the red stone bridge, and take your first RIGHT into Paviliion Area 1. The pitch is approximately 200 meters up on the right.

In the high school matches, the Blues U19 side, the Junior Blues, look for one final tune-up before heading to the U19 Western Championships in St. Louis next weekend. The Junior Blues placed 4th in the nation in 2007, and are coached by former Blues players Eddie Cummings, Craig Smith, Dave Penner, Vince Pastorino, Brian O'Laughlin, as well as Troy Poli.

The Junior Blues opponent, the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints RFC, is no stranger to success themselves, and they boast a similarly tight connection with the Blues senior side as well. Coached by former Blues player Tim Kluempers, as well as current Blues player Bubba George, the Saints RFC has quickly become the dominant high school rugby Club in the area, and look forward to the challenge that lies ahead in the Junior Blues, as they too are preparing for next weekend's Western Championships. The Saints will play in the high school (single school) division in St. Louis, and are looking to advance to Nationals in just the second year of the Club's existence.

To close out the action on the field, the KC Jazz will play the St. Louis Sabres.

The Sundogs will then host the Blues, Jazz, and Sabres at Llewellyn's Pub on 151st and Old Metcalf after the conclusion of the matches.

That evening, all Blues players and supporters are encouraged to attend the KC T-Bones U12 Little League Texas Hold 'Em Tournament, and support Matt Tanner's son's little league team in thier annual fundraising event. For questions or details on the tournament, contact Matt directly at Alecet@aol.com

Saturday’s schedule of events is as follows:
10:30am – Aquinas Saints RFC v KC Jr Blues RFC
11:45am – Saints ‘B’ v Jr Blues ‘B’
1:00pm – Blues First XV v County Sundogs RFC
3:00pm – KC Jazz v St. Louis Sabres
4:30pm – County hosts the Blues at Llewellyn’s Pub on 151st St & Old Metcalf in south JoCo
6:30pm – Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament at VFW Post 846 (8804 Grant, in OP KS, just south of the JoCo Library on 87th)

05.03.2008 - Blues Complete Season With 55-0 Win

The Blues only managed 19 first-half points against a tough County Sundogs side on Saturday, however they were able to open it up in the second half and run away with a 55-0 victory in the final match of the season.

Siva Tali was a dominant force on the wing, getting the Bues on the board with a try in the 4th minute, and putting in a number of other long, powerful attacking runs in addition to some devastating defense. Flanker Arnold Odera continued with his standout play of the last few weeks in running in two tries, and center Clint Olearnick ran in two tries of his own en route to Man of the Match honors.

Wing Pablo Carrera dotted one down, Number 8 Chris Lawler scored on a long break-away, and lock Ashley Pouche powered over the line for a score as well. Rookie Anthony Brown notched his first career score with the Blues in the final minute of the match to close things out.

KC Blues 55 County Sundogs 0
Tries: Arnold Odera (2), Clint Olearnick (2), Anthony Brown, Ashley Pouche, Chris Lawler, Siva Tali
Conv: Pablo Carrera 4/7, Pete Kowalski 0/1, Joey Shirley 1/1

Eric Munninghoff (Brian Walter @ 50, Munninghoff to #2)
Jim Stickford
Chad Vick (Mike Vick @ 50)
Ashley Pouche
Joey Shirley (c)
Arnold Odera
Glenn McIntosh (Anthony Brown @ 60)
Chris Lawler (Tony Vaka @ 55, Shirley to #8)
Pete Kowalski
Caleb George (Keith Engle @ 40, Vince Pastorino @ 55)
Pablo Carrera (Derek Metcalf @ 65)
Jay Allen (Paul Grindinger @ 60)
Clint Olearnick
Siva Tali (Chad Metcalf @ 40)
Marty Cummings (Steve Sharkey @ 60)

06.14.2008 - Blues Win River City 7s To Open 2008 7s Season

Blues celebrate 1st place, front row (l-r): Kowalski, Brown, Mercer, D'Agostino, Hodges, Smith, Racule, Gunter, Scott; standing (l-r): Matande, Tali, Jackman, Ananth, Schwartze, Von Holt, Shirley, Odera, Crawford, Deitch, Schreiber, Pastorino (coach). Brian Walter photo

The Kansas City Blues traveled with 2 sides to the River City 7s in Wichita, KS on June 14th and came away with the Club’s first 7s tournament Championship since 2005. Fielding a Premier side and a Development side, the 20 Blues players were able to get much-needed tournament experience prior to the West 7s Qualifying season that begins in Dallas on June 28th.

The Blues Premier side went 4-0 on the day, defeating Tulsa RFC 26-21 in an exciting final on a last-second try from hooker and captain Conner Smith. The Blues Development side went 1-1 in their pool, earning the 4th seed in the semi-finals where they were defeated by the Blues Premier side. The Development side then lost a very close match in the 3rd place play-back, dropping the 5-10 decision to the eventual 3rd place finishers Springfield RFC.

In Round 1 of pool play, the Blues Premier side defeated Springfield RFC 21-0, while the Development side was out-gunned by Tulsa RFC 33-0. In Round 2, the Development side turned things around quickly, defeating Oklahoma City RFC 21-0. The Premier side dispatched tournament hosts Wichita Barbarians 31-5, setting up an intra squad semi-final that the Premier side won.

In the finals, the Blues and Tulsa exchanged scores in a match that was very tight as the Blues held a 19-14 lead going into the 13th minute. Tulsa took the lead on a well-executed chip through and recovery that was converted to pull them ahead 21-14. The Blues were able to apply immediate pressure and work deep into Tulsa’s end, where Smith secured a loose ball that squirted from a ruck 10 meters out, and sprinted in for the game-winner.

The first place finish represents a small milestone for the Blues, who are in their second year of rebuilding a once elite 7s program under the direction of first-year 7s coach Vince Pastorino. With over twenty-five 7s players training weekly in preparation for the West Qualifying season, competition is stiff amongst the group of candidates as the Club continues to work towards a return to the form they have not seen since the Blues sent 2 sides to 7s Nationals in 2000.

Blues Premier Side (4-0, 1st Place): Arnold Odera, Joey Shirley, Kevin Schwartze, Conner Smith (c), Kelly Mercer, Pete Kowalski, Joe D'Agostino, Matt Gunter, Billy Racule, Kenny Scott

Blues Developmental Side (1-3): Anthony Brown, Patrick Von Holt, Matt Crawford, Siva Tali, Tyler Hodges, Tom Deitch (c), Ashwin Ananth, Scott Kram, Frank Matande, Brett Schreiber

Round 1:
Premier 21 v Springfield 0
Tries: D'Agostino, Racule, Scott

Developmental 0 v Tulsa 33

Round 2:
Premier 31 v Wichita 5
Tries: Gunter 2, Scott 2, Smith

Developmental 21 v Oklahoma City RFC 0
Tries: Kram, Matande, Von Holt

Round 3 (Semifinals):
Premier 5 v Developmental 0

Consolation Round (3rd Place playback):
Developmental 5 v Springfield 10
Tries: Schreiber

Championship Match:
Premier 26 v Tulsa 21
Tries: D'Agostino, Mercer, Racule, Smith

08.17.2008 - Pouche To Lead Blues

28 year-old Ashley Pouche will Captain the Blues in the 2008-2009 D1 season, a distinction the lock has intermittently held in previous seasons and now takes full possession of for the upcoming campaign.

Pouche began his rugby career in 1998 as a prop with the Junior Blues program as a high school senior, and continued his playing career at Rockhurst University from 1998-2000, playing Number 8. After taking a few years off from rugby to pursue a degree and take over the family business, Pouche made his debut for the Blues senior side during the 2005 Super League season as a flanker and lock.

Since then, Ashley has emerged as a leader on and off the pitch. As a somewhat undersized lock who continuosly "boxes above his weight", he's become the cornerstone of a young Blues pack through his consistent play and go-forward attitude. Voted the Club's 'Forward of the Year' in 2007, he has previously held more temporary stints as Club Captain in 2006 and 2007.

Additionally, 32 year-old Jay Allen has been named Lead Selector for the Club's 2008-2009 season. The center, a former NAIA All-American tailback at Mid-America Nazarene University, is playing only his 3rd year of rugby but has quickly developed into a devastating force in the Blues midfield. Voted the Blues 'Back of the Year' in 2007, Jay's high performance background, commitment tothe Club's success, and his passion for the game make him an ideal fit for the Lead Selector role.

08.23.2008 - Blues Impressive In Preseason Scrimmage

Lock Joey Shirley lead an excellent defensive front on Saturday, helping to shut out the St. Louis Ramblers in all three periods of the 90-minute preseason warm-up. The Blues ran in 10 tries, with Kevin Schwartze and Moses Manu accounting for 3 apiece.

09.09.2008 - Blues Announce Merger With County Sundogs

September 9, 2008 Kansas City, MO— The Kansas City Blues Rugby Club and the Johnson County Sundogs Rugby Club are proud to announce the merger of the two Clubs, effective September 6, 2008. The combined organization retains the identities of both of these well established Clubs, and the expanded entity has registered within USA Rugby under the existing name of the Kansas City Blues Rugby Club, Inc.

Founded in 1966, the KC Blues have long been regarded as one of the Nation’s top men’s Clubs, remaining strong throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. In the early 90’s, the Blues reached the D1 Final Four twice before becoming a founder and 10-year member of the Super League. Founded in 1975, the Johnson County Sundogs have been a staple in the West D2 playoffs since the late 90’s, most recently placing 3rd in the West D2 Championships in 2004. Combined, the two Clubs bring over 70 years of tradition and success to the organization.

The expanded Club will compete in the 2008-2009 West RFU competition in multiple divisions, the Division 1 side as the “KC Blues” and the Division 2 side as the “Sundogs.” The purpose of this merger is to develop a sense of community in Kansas City area rugby, to effectively pool the resources and talents of two of the region’s most successful men’s Clubs, and to improve the competitive level of the Club’s D1 and the D2 sides.

The end result of the merger is two stronger sides competing in D1 and D2. Affording all players affiliated with both legacy organizations a chance to compete for meaningful roster places every weekend at both levels, as well as consistent reserve-grade match time for developing players, the Club’s goal is to eventually qualify both the Blues and Sundogs for the D1 and D2 National Championships. The Blues last competed in the Super League playoffs in 2002 after advancing to the League semifinals in 2001, while the Sundogs most recently advanced to the D2 National Championships in 2004.

The Blues and Sundogs, who have a close affiliation with three successful age-grade programs in the KC area - The Jr. Blues and The Gentlemen of Olathe U19 sides, St. Thomas Aquinas Saints RFC High School side - are extremely excited about the potential this merger holds not only for the expanded organization, but for the improving rugby landscape in Kansas City and in the Heart of America.

The Sundogs square-off against the Northland RFC this Saturday, and will open their 2008-2009 West D2 season on September 20th at Tulsa. The KC Blues host the Omaha GOATS this Saturday, and will kick-off the 2008-2009 West D1 Northern League season at home on October 4th against the St. Louis Bombers.

09.13.2008 - Blues Open Season With 61-13 Victory Over Omaha

KC Blues 61 Omaha GOATS 13 (25-13 @ half)
Tries: Reintjes, Lillig 2, Schwartze 3, Gallagher, Sao, Smith, Manu
Conv: Schwartze 3/7, Cummings 0/3
Pen: Schwartze 1/1

KC Blues Roster
1. Brian Walter
2. Eric Munninghoff
3. Ross Sua (Stickford @ 30, Cruz @ 55)
4. Joey Shirley (B. George @ 61)
5. Ashley Pouche (c)
6. Matt Tali (Manu @ 40)
7. Rocky Sao
8. Siva Tali (Tuala @ 65)
9. Greg Gallagher (Cummings @ 61)
10. Steve Sharkey
11. Wes Lillig
12. Jay Allen (Gunter @ 40, Tali @ 65)
13. Conner Smith
14. Kevin Schwartze (C. George @ 71)
15. Rob Reintjes (Dunston @ 40)

16. Jesse Dunston
17. Matt Gunter
18. Brett Tali
19. Casey Cummings
20. Kia Tuala
21. Moses Manu
22. Bubba George
23. Jimmy Stickford
24. Roberto Cruz
25. Chris George

09.21.2008 - Club Side and Over 35s Disappointed in Aspen, Over 45s Win Championship

The Blues opened up their 2008 Aspen Ruggerfest campaign with a dominant 54-0 victory over Boulder RFC, however a narrow 13-19 loss to the Denver Highlanders kept the Blues from their second straight semifinal berth on Saturday. The 5th place match on Sunday was another tight contest, but the Blues came up just short 17-20 against a very strong Albuquerque Aardvarks team that had previously dispatched National finalists Glendale in pool play.

In the Over 35 division, the defending champion Blues Brothers were 1-1 in their pool and kept out of the semifinal by finalist Colorado Misfits.

The Missouri Black & Blue did manage some hardware for the Club however, winning an exciting final over the Virginia Cardinals in the Over 45 division by a score of 10-9. Blues Hall of Famer Chuck McKeon slotted a conversion at the final whistle to seal the Championship.

10.04.2008 - Blues Defeat Bombers

Lead by two tries from flanker Levi Johnson, the KC Blues raced to a 17-0 first half lead and held on to defeat the St. Louis Bombers 38-8 to open the West Northern League D1 season at Kansas City Kansas Community College on Saturday. While the Bombers are not members of the West D1 setup, the match counts towards the standings for the Blues as part of the re-aligned Northern League’s 7 game schedule. The win gives the Blues a 1-0 start to league play, and places them at the top of the standings with a bonus point in the 5 try performance.

Halfback Greg Gallagher, taking over kicking duties for the injured Kevin Schwartze, was 5/5 on conversions and slotted a penalty goal for the Blues. Along with Johnson, wing Wes Lillig, fullback Rob Reintjes, and flanker Rocky Sao all scored tries in the victory.

The Blues D2 side followed things up with a win of their own against the Bombers reserves in a non-league match 24-22. Lead by Casey Cummings at halfback, who scored a try in a stand-out performance, the Blues mounted an exciting come-from-behind effort in the closing minutes to steal the win from the Bombers.

Completing a very strong weekend for the Club, the Blues Brothers were crowned champions at the inaugural American Royal Indoor 7s, an 8-team competition with a $1K purse held inside Kemper Arena as part of the nationally renowned World Series of Barbecue at the American Royal in Kansas City.

Blues Brothers Roster: Fotu Tauveli, Chris Lawler, Brad Hughes, Derek Mannell, Tim Kluempers, Keith Engle, Maika Sika, Mike Skahan, Ty Gray, Scott Kram, Ryan Campbell, Billy Racule

This coming Saturday the Blues D1 & D2 sides will both be at home, hosting the GOATS in a West D2 league match at 1:00pm, and Glendale in a West D1 league match at the KC Wizards Swope Park Training Center under the lights at 7:00pm.

KC Blues 38 StL Bombers 8
Tries: Johnson 2, Lillig, Reintjes, Sao
Con: Gallagher 5/5
Pen: Gallagher 1/1

1. Ross Sua (Walter @ 40)
2. Eric Munninghoff
3. Adam Orr
4. Joe Shirley (George @ 65)
5. Ashley Pouche (c)
6. Levi Johnson
7. Rocky Sao (M. Tali @ 65)
8. Siva Tali (Tuala @ 70)
9. Greg Gallagher
10. Steve Sharkey
11. Kevin Schwartze (Kowalski @ 40)
12. Jay Allen (B. Tali @ 65)
13. Conner Smith
14. Wes Lillig
15. Rob Reintjes
16. Brian Walter
17. Bubba George
18. Kia Tuala
19. Matt Tali
20. Brett Tali
21. Pete Kowalski
22. Pat Laughlin


@ 18 minutes - Levi Johnson Try / Greg Gallagher Conversion
@ 27 minutes - Levi Johnson Try / Gallagher Conversion
@ 37 minutes - Gallagher Penalty Kick
@ 45 minutes - Rocky Sao Try / Gallagher Conversion
@ 70 minutes - Bomber Penalty Kick
@ 74 minutes - Wes Lillig Try / Gallagher Conversion
@ 79 minutes - Bomber Try / Conversion Failed
injury time - Robert Reitjes Try / Gallagher Conversion

10.05.2008 - Blues Host Glendale At Wizards Swope Park Facility

This Saturday night the Kansas City Blues return to Swope Park, the hallowed grounds of the Blues during their reign as one of the top sides in the United States during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, as rugby makes it’s debut at the newly renovated KC Wizards Swope Park Training Complex.

Join us as we break-in the Wizards first-class facility under the lights, and start a new tradition of Blues Rugby out at Swope.

The Blues kick-off at 7:00pm against National D1 runner-up Glendale Raptors, with a reserve match to follow at 8:30pm.

Admission to the match is free.

You can also support the Club earlier on Saturday, as the Blues Division 2 side hosts the Omaha GOATS in a league match-up with early play-off implications, at Minor Park in south KCMO.

Kick-off for the D2 game is at 1:00pm.

10.11.2008 - Blues Topple Glendale 17-15

Playing under the lights at the KC Wizards Swope Park Training Complex, a newly renovated multi-pitch facility owned by the MLS club and on the same grounds that the Blues called home in the 70s, 80s, and 90s during the Club's runs at National Final 4's, the modern-day Blues recaptured some of their past glory with an exciting 17-15 victory over the Glendale Raptors, runners-up at last year's D1 National Club Championships.

The Blues opened up the scoring just 1 minute into the match when Captain Ashley Pouche (lock) punched in a try. Halfback Greg Gallagher converted the score to put the home side up 7-0. Glendale answered just 10 minutes later, scoring an unconverted try, and then a defensive battle ensued for the remainder of the half before Glendale struck again with a penalty kick in the 40th minute, giving them an 8-7 lead going into the break.

The physicality of the match escalated in the 2nd half, with both sides working to exploit defensive gaps before the Blues regained the lead with another try to Pouche, which Gallagher converted to put his side up 14-8 in the 59th minute. Glendale turned up the pressure though, spending much of the next 15 minutes deep in the Blues end, where the home side was forced to defend multiple attacks on the try zone. During that span Glendale put in a converted try to take the lead at 15-14, before the Blues were able to briefly drive the Raptors back into their own end. In the 70th minute, the Blues had a rare opportunity and Gallagher slotted a penalty kick to put the Blues back on top 17-15.

Glendale continued the pressure, however the Blues defense held and in the 79th minute the home side was able to push things back into Glendale's end, where a series of set pieces limited Glendale's remaining opportunities and the Blues cleared a penalty out of bounds to end the contest with a 17-15 victory.

It was a massive win for the Blues, whose D2 side had lost a similarly close contest to the GOATS earlier in the day 17-19, after leading 7-0 at the half.

The D1 side sits atop the league at 2-0, while the D2 side has struggled to an 0-3 league record.

KC Blues 17 Glendale Raptors 15
Tries: Pouche 2
Conv: Gallagher 2/2
Pen: Gallagher 1/1

1. Orr, Adam
2. Munninghoff, Eric
3. Sua, Ross (Walter @ 40)
4. Shirley, Joe
5. Pouche, Ashley (c)
6. Johnson, Levi
7. Sao, Rocky
8. Tali, Siva
9. Gallagher, Greg
10. Sharkey, Steve
11. Schwartze, Kevin (Gunter @ 28)
12. Allen, Jay
13. Smith, Conner
14. Lillig, Wes
15. Reintjes, Robert

16. Walter, Brian
17. Gunter, Matt
18. Tali, Matt
19. Tali, Brett
20. George, Bubba
21. Tuala, Muagututia
22. Cummings, Casey

10.25.2008 - Blues Defeat Boulder, Move To 3-1

Brett Tali, pictured earlier this year, scored 2 tries in the final 11 minutes to put Boulder away

The Blues held off an underrated Boulder RFC side on Saturday night at Swope Park in Kansas City, winning 40-26 and securing sole possession of 1st place in the West D1 Northern League going into the winter break with a 3-1 record. The 6 try effort puts the Blues at 15 standings points after 4 games, good enough to keep them in front of the Denver Highlanders who sit at 11 points (2-1) and Aspen at 10 points (2-0). All three of the top teams in the league are on hiatus until league play resumes in March 2009 to finish the 7 match competition.

Against Boulder, it was clear the Blues were in for a battle when they lost Captain Ashley Pouche to a shoulder injury in the opening minutes. Tight-play and strong running support saw the home side overcome early and push in a try to prop Ross Sua in the 15th minute (Gallagher conv). Boulder answered with a consolidated attack, unafraid to keep things in the pack and went after the Blues forwards with effect. Boulder scored a converted try in the 28th minute to tie the score, before Blues #10 Steve Sharkey cut his way through the midfield to put the Blues ahead 12-7 just minutes later (conv missed).

With the half winding down, Boulder wasn't done and punched in two quick scores to take the 19-12 lead going into the break, stunning the Blues and closing out the opening 40 minutes.

The Blues regrouped and struck back, driving deep into Boulder's end immediately off the restart before halfback Greg Gallagher touched down for a score off the base of a ruck to tie things up in the 41st minute (Gallagher conv). Things settled in then for the ensuing 20 minutes, as both sides traded break-aways but with equally strong cover defense held eachother out of the try zones. In the 69th minute, impact sub Brett Tali, playing out of position at flanker, scored under the posts on a thundering run through the middle. Gallagher converted to put the Blues up by 7 points, but just 2 minutes later Boulder answered with another converted score to tie things up in the 71st minute.

Brett Tali stepped up again to lead the charge for the Blues, taking a short ball off the base and punishing two would-be tacklers before getting over the try line again in the 76th minute to put his side ahead 33-26 after Gallagher's conversion. After pressuring into Boulder's end on the restart, Sharkey slipped the defense again in injury time to score his second try, with Gallagher converting before full-time was called and the final score at 40-26.

KC Blues 40 Boulder 26
Tries: Sharkey 2, B. Tali 2, Sua, Gallagher
Con: Gallagher 5/6

1. Ross Sua (Walter @ 40)
2. Eric Munninghoff
3. Adam Orr
4. Joe Shirley
5. Ashley Pouche (c) (Lawler @ 4)
6. Levi Johnson
7. Dustin Malone (B. Tali @ 50)
8. Siva Tali
9. Greg Gallagher
10. Steve Sharkey
11. Wes Lillig
12. Jay Allen
13. Conner Smith (Gunter @ 40, Kram @ 70)
14. Pete Kowalski
15. Rob Reintjes
16. Brian Walter
17. Chris Lawler
18. Brett Tali
19. Matt Gunter
20. Scott Kram

Scoring Summary:
15 min Sua Try / Gallagher conversion 7-0
28 min Boulder Try / conversion 7-7
32 min Sharkey Try 12-7
35 min Boulder Try / conversion 12-14
37 min Boulder Try 12-19
41 min Gallagher Try / Gallagher conversion 19-19
69 min Brett Tali Try / Gallagher conversion 26-19
71 min Boulder Try / conversion 26-26
76 min Brett Tali Try / Gallagher conversion 33-26
injury time Sharkey Try / Gallagher conversion 40-26

Kansas City Blues Rugby Club