Blues Halfback Casey Cummings To Attend National Team Camp
Blues halfback Casey Cummings, who toured England with the USA U-18 squad in April 2008, has been invited to an assembly with the USA U-20 program in preparation for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2009, which takes place in Nairobi, Kenya from April 21 to May 3.
The 19 year-old Cummings appeared in four D1 games for the Blues this fall, with two starts. Casey also Captained the Blues D2 side in two matches.
The squad of over 50 invitees will arrive in Glendale, AZ the day after Christmas for five days of training at the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
From there head coach Salty Thompson will select a group of 30 to compete in Nairobi with the seven other teams: Kenya, Namibia, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Cayman Islands and Romania.
The tournament winner will earn promotion to the Junior World Championships in 2010.
The international tournament, featuring teams at Under 20 level from eight Unions, will comprise two pools of four teams with matches played across two venues in the city.
The USA, relegated from this year’s IRB Junior World Championship in Wales, top Pool A and are joined by hosts Kenya and regional qualifiers Namibia (CAR) and the Cayman Islands (NAWIRA). It is the first time that the Cayman Islands, winners of the NAWIRA regional qualification tournament in Barbados, have qualified for an IRB 15-a-side tournament.
Chile, who were runners-up at the inaugural IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy on home soil in April 2008, top Pool B where they are joined by Romania (FIRA-AER), Korea (ARFU) and Papua New Guinea (FORU).
“The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2009 in Kenya looks set to be a wonderful tournament. In addition to delivering a blend of superb playing and training facilities, the Kenya Rugby Football Union are committed to the activation of a dedicated legacy programme that will not only be of benefit to the Rugby Community in Kenya, but across the whole of Africa,” explained IRB Tournaments Manager Philippe Bourdarias.
“The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy is now firmly established as a key player and coach development tool. The IRB looks forward to welcoming the teams and travelling fans to Nairobi in April for what promises to be an exciting tournament.”
Blues Finalize Spring Match Schedule
The Blues have released the spring 2009 match schedule, which includes D1 & D2 matches each weekend in addition to a handful of Reserve Side games as part of the local fixtures. Without the luxury of a solidified home venue, the Blues will migrate between Swope Park, Wyandotte County Park, and Minor Park for home matches this season. Stay tuned to the online schedule for all match details throughout the season, including venue and kick-off times. Click HERE to view an updated spring schedule.
02.13.2009 - Jay Allen In Team America Trial Match
Eric Masterson, Brad Hughes, Jay Allen, Tim Russo, Tim Kluempers, and Doug Brown
Blues inside center Jay Allen assembled with the Classic Eagles in San Diego February 13th to take part in a series of trial matches with Team America. Allen, playing only his 3rd full year of men's rugby, was looked at as a center and wing by the Master's National Team (Over 35). The Classic Eagles matches over the weekend were part of the San Diego Invitational, an international event that surrounds the IRB's San Diego 7s on February 14th & 15th. The Blues 2007 Back of the Year, Jay was joined by former Blues standouts and current Team America veterans Eric Masterson & Brad Hughes, with Blues President Tim Kluempers joining the asembly as Team Manager. Former Blues hooker Tim Russo was also selected for the trial, while former Blue and TA member Doug Brown joined the group. Tim and Jay are the latest in a long line of Blues greats who have had the honor to pull on the Classic Eagles jersey - congrats boys!
Blues Shuffle Roster, Responsibilities in 2009 to Maintain Momentum
The Kansas City Blues announce the start of their 2009 spring season with the appointment of a new Captain, and an expanded roster bolstered by a number of key additions to the Club. Having overcome a number of growing pains resulting from the August merger with the D2 County Sundogs, the Blues active roster now tops 65 players and expectations are high for both the Club’s D1 and D2 sides going into the spring season.
A 12-year veteran of the Club, Siva Tali replaces lock Ashley Pouche as Blues Captain. Pouche remains a constant in the Blues pack after 2 seasons as Captain, however Tali has made a huge impact at Number 8 in his return to the side this past fall after an 18-month injury layoff. The 2008 Blues D1 Forward of the Year, Siva also served as Captain during the Super League season in 2006. His father Liu is a Blues Hall of Fame member, and his brothers Junior, Matt, and Brett are all members of the Club.
The Blues will count on Siva’s leadership as they absorb the loss of two D1 starters from the fall season and welcome a few key additions. Flanker Levi Johnson, a former Jr. Blue, has returned to Hamilton, NZ to play with Fraser Tech in the Waikato Premier League. Fullback Rob Reintjes, the Blues 2008 Back of the Year, suffered a broken wrist in the final match of the fall and will miss the spring campaign.
Softening the blow of those losses will be the return of some key players, including fullback Marty Cummings and flanker Arnold Odera, as well as the addition of prop Danny Capps. Cummings, a West Mustangs Collegiate All-Star in 2008, has fully recovered from a 7’s wrist injury that kept him out all fall and his attacking skills and defensive effort will be welcome in the deep three. Odera, a standout for the Blues 7s program this summer and a former International for Kenya in 7s and 15s, returns to Kansas City after taking 6 months off to spend time with family. Capps played prop for the West Development side at the 2007 NASC’s, and joins the Blues from the cross-town rival Kansas City RFC.
In addition to these featured additions, the Blues are benefitting from the return of a number of former Blues and County players who want to be part of the growing organization and have re-entered the fold to compete for D1, D2, and Reserve side spots.
Mathematically eliminated from the West playoffs, the D2 side will use the match time this spring to develop players for D1 and to continue to build the depth of the Club. The D1 side on the other hand, has its sights set on a West Northern League Championship, and a berth at Nationals after ending the fall with a mid-season league record of 3-1. Competition is stiff within the Club at literally every position, something the players and staff welcome.
Under head coach Scott Adamson and assistants Brian English, Bubby King, and Scott Kram, the Blues will open up the 2009 season in a D2 League match against Kansas City RFC and the Reserves hosting Iowa State University on February 28th, with the D1 side getting started the following week in a pre-season tilt with the St. Louis Bombers Super League side.
02.21.2009 - Jr. Blues and Aquinas Impress in Tulsa
Although this weekend’s match for the Kansas City Blues was cancelled, the weekend was not without signs of promise for the club. Not only did the club have a great turnout for their annual Spaghetti Dinner they also saw some promising signs for the future of the club with two of their “feeder” highschool programs finishing in the top 3 of a 16 team regional field at the 2009 Green County Rugby Tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma. St. Thomas Aquinas, under former KC Blue Tim Kluempers as well as current KC Blue Chris George and Kevin Hunn, finished as “Plate” Champions with a 38-5 victory in the third place game on Sunday over Douglas County (Colorado) while the Jr. Blues, coached by former KC Blues Eddie Cummings and Brian O’Laughlin and current Blues player Chris Lawler, took home the tournament Cup with a narrow 10-7 victory over a formidable Bixby (Tulsa, OK) opponent in the tournament’s championship game.
The Jr. Blues, a perennial regional and national force in highschool rugby, took down roughly 35 players and fielded 2 teams for the weekend. Their “A” side team started off strong with a 24-00 victory over Allen RFC (Texas) followed by a dominating 29-00 victory over Douglas County. The trademark in these games and throughout the tournament for the Jr. Blues was a physical mentality and tough and aggressive line of defense that would only surrender one try the entire weekend. This defense was anchored by solid play from flyhalf and lock by the Swanepoel brothers, Johann and JP. The brothers, born in South Africa, offer the experience and toughness that will be sure to solidify an already talented Jr. Blues squad.
In the championship match, the Jr. Blues went into halftime trailing 7-0. Led by strong senior leadership, the Jr. Blues battled back and tied the game about 5 minutes into the second half when captain and 8 man David McDonough broke through for a try followed by a Johann Swanepoel conversion. The Jr. Blues ultimately captured the lead when Johann later followed with a penalty conversion with about 10 minutes left in the game. From there the trademark defense held the line for the victory. MVP of the championship game was awarded to senior scrumhalf, Jared Dull.
St. Thomas Aquinas, in just their third year as a program took down over 40 players and fielded 2 full sides in the tournament. Their “A” side started off strong as well with victories over Broken Arrow “B” (55-00) and Brethren (33-5), both out of Tulsa. After losing in a hardly contested semi-final match to Bixby (Tulsa) by a score of 20-12, St. Thomas Aquinas squared off against Douglas County (CO) in the third place “Plate” match. The club came out firing and put up a barrage of tries in the first half and finished with an impressive 38-5 victory. The weekend saw some very promising play from many first year players including fullback Neil Talley as well as props Max Kryger and Eric Schupp. A former Aquinas soccer standout, Talley shined in the backline, scoring 6 tries on the weekend and converting over 80% of his conversions. Both starting D-linemen on this year’s St. Thomas Aquinas state runner-up football team, Kryger and Schupp helped solidify the pack while each providing some offensive spark as athletic props. The Saints also saw solid play from many of their returning players including Eric Figura and Conner Feehan in the backrow and Michael Mauer and Mike Newman at 12/13.
The showings this weekend by 2 KC teams proved Kansas City’s highschool rugby is improving rapidly in both skill and depth. In addition to these two teams, the Blues family also has coaches in charge of both the Olathe and the innagural Blue Valley programs. Thanks to all the former and current Blues who have helped with local highschool rugby in the past as well as those who are currently guiding these highschool programs. The future certainly looks bright for these clubs, and in turn for the Kansas City Blues.
03.07.2009 - Blues Get Back On Winning Track With D2 League Win
The Blues got back on the winning track after dropping two games in a pre-season hit with the StL Bombers on March 6th, taking two wins at Swope Park on March 14th. The D2 side started their 2009 spring campaign with a well-played 47-10 victory over the Springfield RFC in a West D2 League Match, while the D1 side followed with a final tune-up for the remaining D1 League schedule and playoff push with a very convincing win over Iowa Falls RFC.
03.20.2009 - Winless Weekend For The Blues
The Detroit Tradesmen came to town on Friday night March 20th and put on an impressive display with hard running in a multi-phase attack, turning in a near-flawless performance to defeat the Blues 27-0 at Wyandotte County Park's Bonner Field at Sandstone. Charging to a 24-0 halftime lead behind an organized attack and a strong kicking game, the visitors were held to just 3 points in the 2nd half but it was enough to drop the Blues D1 side to a 3-2 league record with just 2 matches remaining for playoff seeding.
On Saturday March 21st, the Blues D2 side travelled to St. Louis to face the Bombers in a D2 league match. Led by a strong performance by Caleb George at #10 and Bubba George filling in at #12, the Blues turned in a strong opening half despite trailing 17-5 at the break. The Bombers were able to exploit some Blues weaknesses in the 2nd half, extending their lead to the eventual 44-5 differential by the final whistle.
Meanwhile, in Kansas City on Saturday the Tradesmen extended their 'tour' with a match against the Blues Brothers Old Boys side. In a tough match, the Old Boys were able to leverage open substitutions to their advantage along with some excellent rugby as the Tradesmen played their 3rd game in 18 hours, before succumbing to the visitors 17-7.
Thanks to the Tradesmen for making the trip down, and to Jim Schneweis for orchestrating the WyCO event along with countless Blues Old Boys who made the Saturday matches happen.
CLICK HERE for photos of the event
D1 game 3/20/09 @ 7pm
Blues 0 Tradesmen 27
2: Munninghoff, Eric
3: Orr, Adam (Brian Walter @ 40)
4: Lawler, Chris
5: Shirley, Joe
6: Sao, Rocky (Dustin Malone @ 60)
7: Tali, Matt
8: Tali, Siva (c)
9: Cummings, Casey
10: Sharkey, Steve
11: Cummings, Marty (James Poli @70)
12: Allen, Jay
13: Samples, Dave
14: Taula, Afele (Wes Lillig @ 55)
15: Odera, Arnold
D2 game 3/21/09 @ 1pm
Blues 5 Bombers 44
Tries: Bubba George
Conv: Pablo Carrera 0/1
1. Josh Budimlija
2. Roberto Cruz
3. Tyler Michels
4. Joe Hannoun (Rusty Coons @ 60)
5. Matt Wirken (Shawn Gentry @ 65)
6. Seth Budimlija
7. Stewart Reed
8. Tony Vaka
9. Andrew Sproge
10. Caleb George
11. Andrew Charlton (Adam Windsor @ 70)
12. Bubba George
13. Pete Kowalski (c)
14. Kyle Mayfield (Travis Bowring @ 60)
15. Pablo Carrera
04.05.2009 - Junior Blues Win Gateway Ruggerfest
The Kansas City Junior Blues emerged from a field of 20 high school teams to take the Championship at the 2009 Gateway Ruggerfest on April 5th, at Creve Couer Park just west of St. Louis, MO.
Going undefeated in pool play on Saturday, the Junior Blues faced the Marquette University High School Hilltoppers RFC in Sunday's final. An exciting game from the opening whistle, the Junior Blues put in an impressive performance to win 14-7 and take home the well-earned hardware.
Junior Blues Johann Swanepoel Shows Well For USA U18s
ATLANTA - The USA Under-18s played the Independent School's Barbarians, an English all-star side, on Saturday, as the curtain raiser to the Life University Rugby Super League match against Charlotte.
In much better conditions than its first match against this side on Wednesday, the U.S. would see a more open rugby, several lead changes and a lot better ball movement.
The match would also prove very exciting, and by halftime, the match would be in a dead-heat, with the teams tied at 12. Although the U.S. would take two short-lived leads early in the second half, the young Eagles would find themselves trailing by 11 points with just 15 minutes left in the game.
The U.S. made a worthy comeback, but, in the end, the English experience proved too much to overcome and the Barbarians would walk away with the win, 33-29.
“All in all, it was a very successful week,” Program director Matt Sherman said. “The boys improved as a team and as individuals, and put in a lot of hard work.
“From the first game, we targeted improvement in the set piece, defensive organization and urgency, as well as purpose and precision at the breakdown,” Sherman added. “While I think we improved in these specific areas, we were still beat in them overall.
“While I’m very proud of how our guys played and the improvements made in these areas throughout the week, I hope they are able to take away the lessons learned regarding these crucial parts of the game.”
5 min: Eng Try: 0-5
15: USA Try (Morris and Jackson Conversion): 7-5
29: Eng Try and Conversion 7-12
32: USA Try (De Nysschen) 12-12
36: USA Try (Dirksen and Jackson Conversion) 19-12
43: Eng Try and Conversion: 19-19
49: USA Penalty (Jackson) 22-19
53: Eng Try and Conversion: 22-26
54: Eng Try and Conversion: 22-33
64: USA Try and Conversion: (Veit and Cowley) 29-33
English Independent Schools 33, USA U-18s 29
USA Tries: Morris, De Nysschen, Dirksen, Veit
USA Conversions: Cowley, Jackson 2
USA Penalties: Jackson
1: Patrick Latu, 2: TJ Staladi, 3: Ryan Anderson, 4: Alex Bercovici, 5: Paul Piukala, 6: Gerhard Veit, 7: Jake Wrobel, 8: Tiaan De Nysschen, 9: Andy Jackson, 10: Mike Oliver, 11: Jonathan Marshall, 12: James Jones, 13: Johann Swanepoel, 14: Lopaka Morris, 15: Joe Cowley, 16: Sage Winn, 17: Collin Rahrig, 18: Asher Thomas, 19: Alex Brussard, 20 Will Farrell, 21: Hanno Dirksen 22: Max Noeldner 23: Mitchell Early
The Boy’s U-18 side that has been assembled includes:
Anderson, Ryan (Penn Rugby)
Bercovici, Alex (LA Cougars)
Brussard, Alex (Boston College High School)
Cowley, Joey (Charlotte Catholic High School)
De Nysschen, Tiaan (Birmingham Rugby Club)
Dirksen, Hanno (St. Ives)
Earley, Mitchell (Woodlands Youth Rugby)
Farrell, Will (Alpharetta Phoenix RFC)
Jackson, Andrew (LA Cougers)
Jones, James (Christian Brothers)
Latu, Patrick (San Mateo)
Marshall, Jonathan (Highlanders RFC)
Morris, Lopaka (Kahuku Raiders)
Noeldner, Max (Pulaski Roos)
Oliver, Michael (Old Alleynians)
Pelkey, Ronald (Western Loudoun RFC)
Piukala, Paul (Hayward Griffins)
Rahrig, Colin (Marian HS RFC)
Staladi, T.J. (Liberty Rugby Club)
Swanepoel, Johann (Rockhurst)
Thomas, Asher (Chapel Hill Highlanders)
Veit, Gerhard (Northeast Nomads)
Winn, Sage (Frederick Rugby Club)
Wrobel, Jacob (Rio Linda)
Program Director Matt Sherman
Backs Coach Jason Payne
Forwards Coach Chris Osentowski
Asst Coach/Manager Mike Dimantopoulos
Athletic Trainer Jennifer Edmunds
The Independent Schools Barbarians was initiated with the main aim of exposing the talents and expanding the opportunities of players from independent rugby playing schools from England. The idea was to give above average performers the opportunity to play a higher standard of rugby and develop as players while maintaining the educational ethos of the schools they attend. It was hoped that a representative game would give players an incentive to achieve something higher than a 1st XV honor, while providing an additional opportunity for club and representative side coaches to watch them play at a truly competitive level.
Blues High School Teams Poised To Host Breast Cancer Awareness Match
The Kansas City Blues would like to invite everyone to come out this Saturday at 11am, to watch two of Kansas City's top highschool rugby programs do battle at St. Thomas Aquinas highschool (11411 Pflumm Rd. Overland Park, KS 66215). This Saturday, the Junior Blues will take on the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints in a special match that will also serve as a Breast Cancer Awareness Event.
The Junior Blues, coached by former Blues Eddie Cummings, Craig Smith, and Brian O'Laughlin, as well as current Blues Chris Lawler and Vinnie Pastorino, have a long history of success and have long been regarded as the top high school program in the city and perennially as one of the best clubs in the region. The Junior Blues storied history includes numerous Western Regional Championships and National Championship appearances as well as many former and current players being selected for the U-18 USA National Teams.
The St. Thomas Aquinas Saints, coached by former Blues player and current Blues President, Tim Kluempers and assisted by current Blues player Chris George as well as KC RFC's Kevin Hunn, are in their third year as a program and are looking to improve on a 14-3 record and a third place finish in Westerns in just their second season in 2008.
Last season, the two clubs battled in a closely contested match to a 19-10 finish with the Jr. Blues coming out on top. This year the two teams will again showcase their talents on a big stage as they play in the St. Thomas Aquinas footbal stadium for the first time. The game will also serve as a Breast Cancer Awareness Event, with the field lines being painted in pink, pink Saints Rugby gear being sold and donations accepted at the door, with all proceees going directly to a local Breast Cancer Awareness chapter. Finally, the game will serve as "Senior Night" for all the seniors on St. Thomas Aquinas, many of whom started playing rugby three years ago and have helped serve as the foundation for this growing program.
Please come check out what is sure to be a thrilling match between some talented young rugby players and see just how bright the future looks for the Kansas City Blues. Then, if you are still jonesing for some more rugby, head out from there to Mid America in Shawnee, KS to see the Blues take on KCRFC in a D2 League Match at 2pm.
04.05.2009 - Blues Reach Ruggerfest Championship
The Kansas City Blues rattled off 4 consecutive wins en route to the Gateway Ruggerfest Championship match on April 5th, before the Metropolis RFC got the best of them in the tournament final, 22-0. With 38 players making the trip after the D1 League game in Aspen was called off, the Club was able to take advantage of the time together and everyone got plenty of run over the weekend.
At 9:00am Saturday the Blues D2 side started the campaign, squaring off against the St. Louis Hornets in an opening round match that doubled as a D2 League game. Captain and flyhalf Caleb George directed the attack, turning in a strong performance to lead the Blues to victory against an improved Hornets team, 17-10.
In the second round at 2:00pm, the Blues ran out their D1 lineup to face the Des Moines RFC. A pressure defense and some good loose play saw the Blues get out to an early lead that they wouldn't surrender, eventually tallying a 38-12 victory behind two tries and 4 of 6 kicking from halfback Greg Gallagher. Jay Allen, Steve Sharkey, Joey Shirley, and Afele Taula rounded out the scoring for the Blues.
At 5:00pm, the Blues assembled a Developmental side to face the Omaha GOATS. Despite being undermanned, the Blues fought through a 29-0 defeat but came away with some much needed experience for a number of new players. Travis Bowring, Shawn Ireland, and Kyle Mayfield were all able to log some minutes in the backline, while Joe Caldwell and Shawn Gentry mixed it up with the forwards.
The 6:00pm quarterfinal match pitted the Blues against a physical Southside Irish team from Chicago, members of the Midwest D1 League. 10-man rugby was the name of the game for most of the match, before the Blues broke things open late and ran away with the 22-12 victory. Flanker Matt Tali scored twice, making his own breaks and running superb support lines along with a stand-out defensive performance, while fellow flanker Dustin Malone and Number 8 Siva Tali each dotted down a try themselves. Also impressive was 19 year-old center James Poli, whose side-stepping runs proved very effective in keeping the irish on the back-foot when the ball got out to the Blues mid-field.
Sunday's semifinals featured a solid bracket: Metropolis RFC vs. St. Louis Bombers, and the Blues vs. Milwaukee RFC.
The Blues struck quickly after the 11:15am kick-off against Milwaukee, as fullback Arnold Odera scored within the first minute to put his side in the lead. Milwaukee threatened throughout the half, but the Blues defense held firm before Gallagher slotted a penalty to close out the first period and hold the lead at 8-0. The second half saw continued threats from the Milwaukee attack, however the Blues were able to impose a free-flowing offense of their own and put together a number of impressive phases and off-loading movements to keep their opponent off balance before center David Samples rambled to a 50 meter try. Holding strong as time wore on, the Blues snuck in a last minute score by Gallagher to close the match out with a 20 - 5 victory over the Midwest D2 League leaders.
In the final, the Blues faced a Metropolis RFC side that had dispatched of a strong Indy Impalas team on Saturday and handled the StL Bombers in the semifinals. Behind a strong leg from their flyhalf and a relentless physicality, Metropolis methodically worked towards a 14-0 lead at the half. The Blues matched the intensity and fight of their opponents, however despite some strong line breaks and hard running by center Jay Allen and Arnold Odera, the Blues were unable to overcome the Metropolis defense and their own fatigue, eventually dropping the final 22 - 0.
The Blues played well on the weekend, and were able to emerge with a D2 League win on top of key performances against some of the Midwest's strongest clubs. With 38 players making the trip, the Club benefitted from the time together off the field and in getting a number of players plenty of rugby throughout the weekend.
Thanks to Tai & Rhina Poli, and Ashley Pouche for making the trip to support the Club, as well as to both of our Budimlija families for making a weekend out of it and joining us on the road. Nicole Arnold resumed her duties as invaluable water runner, and Blues Old Boys Danny McFarland, Craig Smith, Vince Pastorino, Eddie Cummings, and Brian O'Laughlin were there in support as well.
Special thanks to Jerry Rutherford for coming with us to St. Louis this past weekend, and for sponsoring the team dinner at the hotel on Saturday night.
The following players made it on the pitch for the Blues this past weekend:
Props: Adam Orr, Danny Capps, Brian Walter, Josh Budimlija, Steve Jackman, Shawn Gentry, Tyler Michaels
Locks: Joey Shirley, Chris Lawler, Bubba George, Dan Arnold, Brian Neilson
Back rows: Siva Tali, Jim Farnsworth, Dustin Malone, Seth Budimlija, Joe Caldwell, Matt Tali, Nate Crooks
Halfbacks: Greg Gallagher, Casey Cummings, Caleb George, Steve Sharkey
Centers: Jay Allen, Dave Samples, James Poli
Wings and fullbacks: Pablo Carrera, Arnold Odera, Afele Taula, Pete Kowalski, Kyle Mayfield, Shawn Ireland, Travis Bowring
04.18.2009 - Blues Win Two At Homecoming
The Blues won both matches on April 18th as they celebrated 2008's Homecoming a few months late, as venue restrictions in the fall triggered the delay of the annual Homecoming festivities from their regular autumn tradition. The Blues D2 side defeated Topeka RFC, with the Blues D1 side winning over a tough K-State University team featuring a number of talented Blues prospects. 18 year-old center James Poli scored 6 tries for the Blues, while Blues 7s player Kenny Scott ran in KSU's two tries.
Blues Head To Shreveport for West Playoff
The Blues will travel as the D1 Northern League's #4 seed to face the Texas #1 seed and league Champion, Shreveport RFC, on May 2nd. The winner will take one of the West RFU's 4 seeds in the National Playoffs "Round of Sixteen". The Blues will have a final tune-up this coming weekend as they travel to Des Moines to face Metropolis RFC in a friendly, while the D2 side closes out it's season against the Des Moines RFC.
04.27.2009 - Blues Show Well In Final Tune-Up
The Blues D1 side played a final tune-up April 25th ahead of next week's Western Playoff, losing an intense friendly with Metropolis RFC, in Des Moines, IA. In a physical game that suited both sides, Metro held a 12-10 lead at the half before dotting down in the 67th minute to go up 17-10. The Blues answered with a Joey Shirley try in the 71st minute and a Greg Gallagher conversion tied things up, but Metro was able to score in the corner in the 76th minute and then hold on for the 22-17 win over the Blues.
The Blues D2 side then battled Des Moines RFC in another entertaining match at the Des Moines RFC. Trailing 14-0 at the half, the Blues battled back behind strong performances from flyhalf Caleb George, inside center Tommy Stewart, lock Bubba George, and prop Tyler Michels. After a Joey Shirley try 10 minutes into the 2nd half, the Blues continued to chip away at Des Moines before halfback Andrew Sproge scored a try with no time left, and Caleb George cooly slotted the conversion to tie the match at the final whistle 14-14.
05.02.2009 - Blues Drop Heart Breaker At Nationals
The KC Blues were nipped 32-31 by Texas League Champions Shreveport RFC, today in Shreveport in the opening round of the D1 National Playoffs. In extremely hot and humid conditions, the Blues and Shreveport played a very tight game that saw 7 lead changes. Holding a 31-29 lead with only minutes on the clock, the Blues were penalized in their own end and Shreveport’s kicker slotted the penalty to put the home side up 32-31, where it ended.
Locks Joey Shirley and Chris Lawler, center James Poli, and wings Dave Samples and Dustin Malone all scored tries for the Blues.
The heart breaking loss ends the Club’s 2008-2009 season. The D2 side finished in 7th place in their league with a 3-5 record, going 3-1 this spring. The D1 side finished in 4th place in the league, good enough for the Club’s first National playoff bid (Round of 32) since reaching the Super League post season in 2002.
Jr. Blues Qualify for Nationals, Saints Narrowly Miss Out
Jr. Blues went into the Western Championships as the No. 2 seed for U19 Club Championships that took place this past weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma and needed to win the Tournament to advance to Nationals.
The Jr. Blues had a first round bye because a couple of teams had to withdraw at the last minute. They played Edmund, OK in the semifinals and dispatched of the Edmund team rather easily racing out to a 24-0 lead in the first half and the game ended 32-0 with David McDonough, Brad Love, Nathan Foster, Alex Ackland and Eric Orschlen all scoring tries. It rained most of the weekend and the field conditions were treacherous as the fields were extremely muddy from all the rain.
The Jr. Blues then played the No. 1 seed, The Woodlands (Houston, TX) in the finals on Sunday afternoon. Again, the fields were very muddy from the weekend rain. The Jr. Blues started the game playing very strong physical defense from the get go and set the tone off the opening kickoff with a big hit on the Woodlands outside center who knocked on. He was shaken up and left the game minutes later. The Jr. Blues had much of the territorial possession in the first half playing much of the first half in the Woodlands end of the field. About midway through the first half, the Jr. Blues took the lead on a penalty from flyhalf Johann Swanepoel making it 3-0. The Jr. Blues enjoyed most of the ball possession of the first half and Woodlands only threats were off of counterattacks off of the Jr. Blues kicking it deep. The Woodlands was very quick and shifty, but the Jr. Blues contained him well with good cover defense. Woodlands only threat of the half came on a break by the flyhalf who spun it wide to the wing who was racing for the Jr. Blues line, but that attack was thwarted by a thunderous hit by Jr. Blues fullback Kyle Smith and sent the Woodlands winger into touch. The half ended with Jr. Blues camped out near the Woodlands goal line, but they unable to muster a score before the end of the first half. The halftime score was 3-0 Jr. Blues.
The second half started with Jr. Blues going into the bad end of the field which was complete mud by this time of the game and the wet and muddy conditions made it difficult for the Jr. Blues to spin the ball wide and play expansive rugby. They did have some good breaks from flyhalf Johann Swanepoel and centers Kenny Cochran and David McDonough. About 10 minutes into the second half, it appeared that Jr. Blues center Kenny Cochran had touched down for a score, but the referee could not see the ball grounded and called the ball held up in goal. The score stayed that way until about 15 minutes to go in the second half when Woodlands were again penalized for diving over at the ruck. Jr. Blues flyhalf Johann Swanepoel slotted the penalty from about 20 meters out for a 6-0 lead. As the game continued, Jr. Blues continued to kick deep into the Woodlands end of the field which lead to a number of counterattacks by the Woodlands fullback and flyhalf, but each counterattack was thwarted by the good cover defense of the Jr. Blues backs. Johann Swanepoel and David McDonough made a number of great tackles on the Woodlands flyhalf who was definitely their most dangerous player. At about 65th minute, it appeared that Jr. Blues had sealed the game with a try by Jr. Blues Captain David McDonough after Jr. Blues lock Brad Love made a long run and off-loaded to McDonough who darted through the hole and scored under the posts. The ref signaled try, but the try was called back when the touch judge said the pass from Love to McDonough was forward. The Jr. Blues spent the rest of the game pressuring the Woodlands line for a try, but the game ended 6-0.
The Jr. Blues have advanced to the National Championships on May 15th and 16th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they will go into the tournament as the No. 4 seed. They are very excited to returning to Nationals this after narrowly missing out last year.
Jr. Blues coaching staff and players would also like to congratulate Tim Kluempers and his Aquinas team on their great season where they narrowly missed out on making it to Nationals as well. They lost to the West Champions St. Thomas from Dallas in the semifinals of the single school competition in the match of the tournament. Earlier this year St. Thomas had been touted as the No. 4 in the country in the single school competition and Tim’s team took them to the brink of elimination when their semifinal match went into 4 overtimes and 5 rounds of penalty kicks.
05.16.2009 - Jr Blues Power To 3rd Place Finish At Nationals!
The Kansas City Jr. Blues powered their way to a 3rd place finish at the U19 National Tournament on May 16th, the program's highest finish in their 17 year history. Coming into the National Tournament played in Pittsburgh, PA as the West Region's #1 seed, the Jr. Blues defeated the LA Cougars 17-5 before advancing to a semi-final showdown with last year's National Champion, Highland of Utah. The Jr. Blues fell 42-3 to the perennial power, but rebounded with a well-played 15-7 victory over West Shore United (PA) in the 3rd place match. Highland went on to win the championship over United.
Special thanks to all of the 'Big Blues', players and alumni from the men's side, who were able to raise $2K in less than a week through personal contributions to help the Jr Blues get to Pittsburgh, and congrats to the Jr Blues on an awesome season and a great finish!
06.05.2009 - Blues 7s Season Gets Underway June 13th
The KC Blues Summer 7s Program will kick-off it's competitive season on June 13th at the Wichita River City 7s. The Blues plan to take 2 sides to the tournament, in an effort to match last year's Championship performance there when they also placed the 2nd side in the semi-finals.
Anyone interested in joining the Blues Summer 7s Program should contact 7s coach Vince Pastorino. No experience is necessary, and 7s is an excellent way to stay in shape and have some fun playing rugby this summer.
Former Blue Impressing As Professional League Player
Former K-State and Blues player Moses Manu has been impressive as a rookie for the Newton Jets in Sydney AUS, one of the marquee teams in the NSW Rugby League’s flagship competition, the 2008 VB NSW Cup. They are one of the best supported and most widely known teams in this competition and a Newtown home game at Henson Park on a wintry Saturday afternoon is a definitive Sydney cultural experience.
The Club remains a Rugby League proving ground - a fact well demonstrated by the number of players who have played for Newtown and gone on to success with NRL clubs. Moses, a back-row player for the Blues in 2008 who is now a prop in League, has done well in the 2009 competition.
The Jets are in their fourth year of a five-year partnership with the powerful Sydney Roosters club, whereby the Jets act as a feeder club to their NRL ally. The Blues wish Moses the best of luck in his pursuit of an eventual Roosters call-up, and have no doubt he'll get one soon enough!
To follow Moses and Jets, go to: www.newtownjets.com
06.13.2009 - Blues Repeat Champions at Wichita River City 7s
The KC Blues repeated as champions at the Wichita River City 7s on June 13th, with the Blues 2nd side taking 3rd place. The 1st side went 4-0 on the day, dominating the first two rounds of play before meeting the Blues 2nd side in the semi-final. The tightest game of their day saw the 1st side come away with a 19-12 win, but the physical contest prepared both teams for the final round with the 2nd side defeating Emporia State for 3rd place, and the 1st side handing the KC Rogues a 40-12 defeat for the Championship.
Next up for the Blues: Taz 7s in Iowa Falls, IA - June 20th
06.20.2009 - Blues Emerge - Champions at Taz 7s
The KC Blues made it two 7s tournament championships in a row, taking the Taz 7s title on June 20th in Iowa Falls, IA. With only 9 players available, the Blues were nevertheless able to maintain control in both pool victories and their fitness was key in tight wins over Scioto Valley and Cedar Rapids. In the semi's, the Blues faced the Iowa Select Side "C-Men" and despite a slow start overcame a 0-7 deficit to win it 28-12. The final matched the young Blues with the even younger YoungBloodz of Minnesota, an invitational side comprised of some very good U20 players who are near the top of the Midwest 7s standings. The Blues struck early and kept after the Minnesota side, tallying 4 tries to 2 in their 21-12 championship performance.
Next Up: Dallas 7s (Qualifier) and Springfield 7s (Social) on June 27th
06.27.2009 - Blues Advance To Semi's at Dallas, Finish 4th
The Blues went 3-1 in their pool at the Dallas Quins 7s, the first of three West RFU 7s National Qulaifiers this summer, en route to a 4th place finish. Paced by a 24-14 victory over the higher seeded Dallas Harlequins in the 3rd round the Blues advanced from pool-play to the tournament semi-finals - the first appearance in a Qualifier semi's for the Club since rebuilding the 7s program 3 years ago. Drawing 2008 7s National Champions and top-seeded Aspen, the Blues were without 2 starters but still gave Aspen a good game. 2 knocked-on tries for the Blues and some great breaks by Aspen saw an unlucky KC lose 5 - 24. Drained by a long day in the Texas heat (103 degrees was the high) and hit by injury, the Blues were left short-handed in their 6th game of the day against Texas Elite and the invitational side cruised to a comfortable 27-0 win over the Blues for 3rd place.
The 4th place finish garners the Blues 1 qualification point for Nationals - the 3 teams with the most points in the West at the end of the three Qualifier season will advance to Nationals.
Roster: Marshall Lurtz, Kevin Schwartze, Dustin Marks, Ernie Moore, Tia Ralovo, Conner Smith (c), Pete Kowalski, Kelly Mercer, Joe D'Agostino, Billy Racule, Keith Engle, Kenny Scott
Next Up: Denver Sneath 7s Qualifier, and Des Moines Toys for Tots Social 7s, both on July 11th 2009
07.11.2009 - Blues Disappointed with 6th Place in Denver
The Blues let one get away on July 11th in Denver, playing to a draw with the Dallas Harlequins in the 3rd round of pool play - a result that eventually sent Dallas through to the semi's and left the Blues to play for pride. With a 2-0 record to start the day the Blues had remaining pool matches against Dallas and the Denver Barbarians, only needing to win one of them to get through to the semi-finals and lock-up critical Nationals qualifying points. After Dallas got out to an early 14-0 lead, the Blues fought back to go up 19-14 with just seconds remaining before Dallas was able to assemble a multi-phase scramble that saw them touch down in the corner to tie the match at full time. The Blues went on to lose to Denver 42-7, and Dallas advanced on points differential. The Blues faced the Chicago Lions in the 5th place match, dropping the 19-14 decision.
Meanwhile, the Blues second side travelled to Des Moines for the 16-team Toys For Tots Tournament and went an impressive 2-2, appearing in the Bowl Final.
Next Up: KC Blues Heartland 7s in Kansas City, July 25th 2009
07.25.2009 - Blues Qualify for USA 7s Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Miss Out On Nationals
Blues 'A': (front, l-r) Joe D'Agostino, Kelly Mercer, Marty Cummings, Conner Smith (c), Pete Kowalski, Kenny Scott. (back, l-r) Scott Kram (Head Coach), Alesana Alesana, Billy Racule, Tia Ralovo, Kevin Schwartze, Ernie Moore, not pictured: Joey Shirley
The Kansas City Blues fell one try short of qualifying for the USA Rugby National 7s Tournament, losing their semifinal match at the Heartland 7s Tournament in Kansas City to the Glendale Raptors on Saturday 21-14. After placing 4th, and 5th at the West region's previous 2 qualifying tournaments in Dallas and Denver, the Blues needed to advance to the championship match of the Heartland 7s held at 122nd and Blue River Rd Soccer Park, to gain their first Nationals qualification bid since 2001. Over 900 fans attended the weekend event in south KCMO. With the win, Glendale will join defending National Champions and Heartland 7s winners Aspen Gentlemen, and the Denver Barbarians - who defeated the Blues for 3rd place - as the region's 3 representatives at the 16-team National Championships in San Francisco on August 15th.
Blues 'B': Steve Sharkey, Dan Knapp, Tom Deitch, Greg Gallagher, Pablo Carrera, Stewart Reed, Eric Munninghoff, Tyler Hodges (c), Seth Budimlija, not pictured: Bubba George, Patrick Von Holt, Casey Cummings
There was a silver lining in the Blues 4th place finish however, as it garnered the Kansas City club an invitation to the USA 7s Championship Cup tournament in Las Vegas, February 14th-15th, 2010. The USA 7s Championship Cup is the culmination of a series of 5 tournaments throughout the country sponsored by the USA 7s LLC, with over $20K in total prize money awarded to the individual tournament series champions, and the grand champion of the Vegas event. The Heartland 7s served as the 4th stop in the 5 tournament Cup series. In Las Vegas, the Blues and Glendale will join Sneath 7s (Denver, CO) finalists Aspen and the Denver Barbarians, Cape Fear 7s (Wilmington, NC) finalists NOVA of Washington DC and Atlanta's Life RFC, and Midnight 7s (Las Vegas, NV) finalists OMBAC of San Diego and Belmont Shore out of Long Beach, CA. The New York 7s is the final Series event to determine the remaining 4 teams for the Vegas finals.
Aspen defeated Glendale in the final, and both will join the Denver Barbarians at Nationals. The KC Islanders defeated the Kansas Jayhawks in the 8-team Men's Open division final, and the KC Jazz overcame the West Selects in the 4-team Women's division.
Blues Open 2009-2010 Season at New Home - Mid America Sports Complex
The Blues are proud to announce a new home for the start of the 2009-2010 season, putting down roots at Mid America Sports Complex, in Shawnee KS. Part of the Johnson County Parks & Rec District, Mid America is home to a variety of athletic leagues including softball, volleyball, and basketball for all ages, boasting some of the finest recreational facilities in the metro area. The Blues will host all D1 & D2 matches this fall at the professionally maintained multi-use sports field on the west end of the complex, which has recently been appointed with rugby posts.
Mid America Sports Complex is located at 20000 Johnson Drive in Shawnee, KS. Click HERE for a map and detailed driving directions.
The Blues will open the fall 2009 campaign at Mid America on August 29, 2009 with a scrimmage against the Wichita Barbarians, who advanced to the 2009 D3 National Playoffs. Kick-off is set for 1:00pm.
09.29.2009 - Blues Shake Off Some Rust In Scrimmage With Wichita
The Blues hosted Wichita RFC in a pre-season scrimmage on August 29th at Mid-America Sports Complex. Playing a series of 5 thirty-minute halves, both the Blues and Barbarians were able to get all of their players plenty of run, and begin evaluations for the upcoming season. The Blues had a chance to look at various combinations of players, including a number of rookies who performed very well in their initial appearance with the Club.
Next up for the Blues: On September 12th, two teams will travel across Missouri to KC as the D2 side will host the visiting Rowdies RFC from Belleville, IL and the D1 side hosts long-time rival St. Louis Bombers. D2 kick-off is at 12:00pm, followed by a hosted match-up between the Rowdies and Topeka RFC, with the D1 side facing the Bombers at 2:30pm. All matches will be played at Mid America Sports Complex.
Blues Name Greg Gallagher To Captain Club
The Blues have named halfback Greg Gallagher as Captain for the 2009-2010 season. Gallagher is a 1998 graduate of Park Hill High School where he played U-19 rugby, and a 2002 graduate of Truman State University where he was a four-year starter for one of the region's elite programs. A member of the Blues since 2002, Gallagher played in the Super League from '03-'07 and has been a staple in the Blues D1 backline since then.
09.12.2009 - Blues D2 Side Downs Visiting Rowdies 27-13
Caleb George captained the Blues D2 to victory on 9/12/09
The Kansas City Blues D2 side defeated the visiting Rowdies RFC on September 12th, winning 27-13 at Mid America Sports Complex. The Rowdies, based out of Belleville IL and the 2008-2009 Missouri RFU D3 Champions, came to Kansas City for the early season friendly brimming with confidence. The young Blues side was up to the challenge however, enjoying the majority of possession and field position throughout the match en route to their first victory of the season. The Blues had 6 players on debut in the match, all of whom played very well in their initial hit out for the proud Club.
D2 Blues 27 vs. Rowdies 13 (7-7 @ Half)
Tries: Caleb George, Pete Kowalski, Tia Ralovo, Keith Engle
Conv: Pablo Carrera 2/4
Pen: Pablo Carrera 1/1
1. Josh Budimlija (Brian Walter @ 25)
2. Jim Stickford
3. Shawn Gentry (Steve Jackman @ 25)
4. Nick Brophy (Dan Arnold @ 25)
5. Matt Wirken
6. Panama Hoover (Tyler Michels @ 25)
7. Travis Bowring (Frank Santos @ 40)
8. Chris Lawler (Derek Mannell @ 25)
9. Tom Deitch
10. Caleb George (c)
11. Pete Kowalski
12. Tia Ralovo
13. Drew Dierking
14. Josh Cleek (Keith Engle @ 25)
15. Pablo Carrera
09.12.2009 - Blues D1 Side Drops Bombers, 34 - 15
The Blues D1 side opened their season with a 34 - 15 victory over the St. Louis Bombers in a friendly at Mid America Sports Complex on September 12, 2009. The young Bomber team kept the game very close in the opening half, with the Blues scrapping to a 10-5 lead in the opening 40 minutes. The second half saw the Blues extend their lead to 29-5 by the 68th minute behind a building attack, before the Bombers clawed back to score a nice drop goal and a converted try late. Blues flanker Afele Taula (pictured) fought his way to a try in the 80th minute to end the game on a high note for the Blues.
D1 Blues 34 vs. Bombers 15 (10-5 @ half)
Tries: Jay Allen, Siva Tali, Kevin Schwartze, Adam Orr, Afele Taula
Conv: Greg Gallagher 3/5
Pen: Gallagher 1/1
1. Danny Capps
2. Eric Munninghoff
3. Adam Orr
4. Josh Budimlija (Joe Shirley @ 40)
5. JP Swanepoel
6. Bubba George
7. Afele Taula
8. Siva Tali (Derek Mannell @ 60)
9. Casey Cummings
10. Greg Gallagher (c)
11. Conner Smith
12. Jay Allen
13. Steve Sharkey
14. Kevin Schwartze
15. Marty Cummings
09.19.2009 - Blues Brothers Champions Again - Win 6th Over 35 Title at Ruggerfest
The Blues Brothers won their 6th Aspen Ruggerfest Over 35 Championship this decade on September 20th, defeating the Misfits Selects 8-3 on a last-minute try by Eric Masterson. The title came in the team's 7th championship appearance since 2000. The Blues Brothers were 2-1 in pool play with a win over Aspen, before defeating the powerful Virginia Cardinals in the semifinal game on September 18th. The Blues Club Side went 1-3 in the Men's Open Division, falling short of their higher expectations for the weekend.
09.26.2009 - Blues Open D2 League Season with 26-19 Victory Over Jayhawks RFC
Halfback Tom Deitch has helped the Blues young 2nd Side to a 2-0 record this fall
The Kansas City Blues 2nd Division team won it's League season opener over the visiting Jayhwaks RFC on September 26th, running in 4 tries en route to a 26-19 win at Mid America Sports Complex. After a converted Drew Dierking try put the home side up 7-5 to end the first half, the Blues scored another 22 unanswered points by the 65th minute to go out to a commanding 26-5 lead, before the Jayhawks fought back with 2 converted tries of their own to narrow the score. The Blues held on however, registering their first West D2 Central League win of the season to put them at 1-0, with a 2-0 overall record for the Blues 2nd XV. Billy Racule, David Samples, and Travis Bowring all scored for the Blues, while Captain Caleb George was 3/4 on conversions.
D2 KC Blues 26 v. Jayhawks RFC 19
Tries: Bowring, Dierking, Racule, Samples
Conv: Caleb George 3/4
1: Budimlija, Josh
2: Hoover, Matt
3: Brophy, Nick (Michaels @ 30)
4: Gentry, Sean (Budimlija @ 40)
5: Wirken, Matt (Capps @ 60)
6: Bowring, Travis
7: Cleek, Josh (Reed @ 65)
8: Pouche, Ashley (Swanepoel @ 30)
9: Deitch, Thomas
10: George, Caleb (c)
11: Racule, Billy
12: Ralovo, Tia
13: Samples, Dave
14: Dierking, Drew (Carrera @ 60)
15: Smith, Conner
16: Michaels, Tyler
17: Swanepoel, JP
18: Budimlija, Seth
19: Carrera, Pablo
20: Capps, Danny
21: Reed, Stewart
10.03.2009 - Blues Drop D1 League Opener To Defending Champions Aspen, 21 - 29
The Kansas City Blues found themselves in a 15-0 hole after the opening 40 minutes of their match against the defending National Champions on October 3rd, despite enjoying the majority of the possession and good field position for most of the half. Fighting back in the 2nd half, the Blues were able to chip away at the Aspen lead behind converted tries from Eric Munninghoff, Steve Sharkey (pictured), and Greg Gallagher. It wasn't enough however, as Aspen held on for the 29-21 victory to open the Blues D1 League Season.
D1 Blues 21 v. Aspen 29
Tries: Munninghoff, Gallagher, Sharkey
Conv: Gallagher 3/3
1. Danny Capps
2. Eric Munninghoff
3. Brian Walter (Joe Shirley @ 45, Derek Mannell @ 60)
4. Adam Orr
5. Afa Still
6. Afele Taula
7. JP Swanepoel (Clint Olearnick @ 40)
8. Siva Tali
9. Casey Cummings
10. Greg Gallagher (c)
11. Billy Racule
12. Jay Allen
13. Steve Sharkey
14. Kevin Schwartze
15. Conner Smith
10.03.2009 - Rivalry Lives On: Blues Tie KC RFC 24 - 24 in D2 League Play
The Blues 2nd Division side battled to a 24-24 tie with cross-town rival and D2 League counterpart KC RFC on October 3rd - a frustrating but fitting result to the fierce, evenly played contest. Leading 19-17 with just under 7 minutes to play, Blues winger Drew Dierking scored in the corner to give the home side a seven point lead. However, City answered back with a score of their own on a Mike Haase try under the posts 3 minutes later, and the conversion locked the score at 24-24. Neither side was able to muster another threatening attack in the closing moments, as the final whistle finalized the tie game. Eric Masterson, Pablo Carrera, and Tyler Michaels rounded out the try scoring for the Blues, who get a bonus point for 4 tries and move to 1-0-1 in D2 league play.
D2 Blues 24 v. KC RFC 24
Tries: Masterson, Carrera, Dierking, Michaels
Conv: Carrera 2/3, Kowalski 0/1
Pens: Carrera 0/1
1: Budimlija, Josh
2: Hoover, Matt (Micheals, Tyler @ 30)
3: Jackman, Steve
4: Wirken, Matt
5: Gentry, Sean
6: Bowring, Travis
7: Cleek, Josh
8: Fulton, Wells
9: Deitch, Thomas
10: Masterson, Eric
11: Dierking, Drew
12: Ralovo, Tia
13: Ananth, Ashwin
14: Kowalski, Pete
15: Carrera, Pablo (Adamson, Timothy @ 65)
10.10.2009 - Blues Get First League Win At Home, Beat Barbo's 25-10
The Kansas City Blues got their first West D1 league win of the season on October 10th, defeating the visiting Denver Barbarians 25-10 at Mid America Sports Complex. The Blues pressured early, but the Barbarians struck first to take a 5-0 lead, before Blues winger Kevin Schwartze completed a chip-and-chase to touch down for the home side's first score to tie things up midway through the half. Flyhalf Greg Gallagher exposed an overload to run in a score minutes later, and the Blues ended the half with a 10-5 lead. In the 2nd, Jay Allen timed a Barbo's pass perfectly to grab snag a 60 meter intercept try 5 minutes in, and lock Adam Orr finished off the Blues scoring with a try in the 62nd minute to give the Blues their 4th try and a much-needed bonus point. The Barbo's didn't roll over however, answering with their 2nd try in the 70th minute and pressuring to the final whistle, before Gallagher slotted a penalty kick towards the end as the Blues held out for the 25-10 win.
Meanwhile, the Blues D2 side was overmatched in their final fall league match in St. Louis, with pack inexperience too much to overcome in losing 63-12 to the Ramblers.
Next up for the Blues: The D1 side travels to Boulder for a league match with the Boulder RFC on October 17th. The D2 side's fall season has ended, with many of the D2 regulars having played their way into contention for roster spots in the D1 side's 3 remaining matches.
10.17.2009 - Blues Get Valuable Win On The Road, Topple Boulder 49-15
Blues flanker Clint Olearnick returned to form in Boulder
The Blues secured a bonus point victory in Boulder on October 17th, running in 7 tries en route to a 49-15 win. Controlling the set pieces and executing a patterned attack, the Blues did struggle at times with Boulder's loose play and saw a 14-0 lead cut to 14-10 at the end of the first half. The Blues pulled away midway through the 2nd though. Captain and flyhalf Greg Gallagher was perfect on all 7 conversions and added a try himself, while lock Adam Orr touched down twice in the 2nd half. Wings Kevin Schwartze and Pete Kowalski, center Steve Sharkey, and halfback Casey Cummings were the other try scorers for the Blues, who gave up three unconverted tries to Boulder.
Blues 49 v Boulder 15
Tries: Orr (2), Schwartze, Sharkey, Kowalski, Gallagher, Cummings
Conv: Gallagher 7/7
Pens: Gallagher 0/1
1. Danny Capps
2. Eric Munninghoff
3. Brian Walter
4. Chris Lawler (Matt Wirken @ 60)
5. Adam Orr
6. Chris George
7. Clint Olearnick
8. JP Swanepoel
9. Casey Cummings (Tom Deitch @ 70)
10. Greg Gallagher (c)
11. Pete Kowalski
12. Jay Allen (Dave Samples @ 55)
13. Steve Sharkey
14. Kevin Schwartze
15. Conner Smiith
10.24.2009 - Blues Beat Highlanders, Move to 3-1
The KC Blues held off a strong 2nd half push from the visiting Denver Highlanders on October 24th, relying on a David Samples try in the 79th minute to regain the lead and secure a League victory 15-11 in front of a vocal crowd at Mid America Sports Complex. Celebrating Alumni Day, the home side battled to a 10-3 halftime lead before Denver fought back in the 2nd to take an 11-10 advantage with just 5 minutes remaining. In the waning moments the Blues made a final push for the try zone on a multi-phase attack that saw excellent off-loads and maintained possession result in center Samples getting some space out wide, where he broke 2 tackles on a 30m scamper into the try zone to seal the win for the Blues. Casey Cummings scored the Club's other try, while Caleb George and Kevin Schwartze contributed with a conversion and PK. The Blues were able to overcome the absence of 3 missing starters and a strongly contested set pieces by the Highlanders to move to 3-1 in the West D1 Northern League, behind an excellent team effort.
Next up for the Blues: The Blues travel to Denver, CO to face the Glendale Raptors at Infinity Park on October 31st. Kick-off is set for 2:00pm MT.
Blues 15 v Highlanders 11
Tries: Cummings, Samples
Conv: Caleb George 1/1, Schwartze 0/1
Pens: Schwartze 1/2
1: Capps, Danny
2: Munninghoff, Eric
3: Walter, Brian (Still @ 43)
4: Orr, Adam
5: Wirken, Matt (Taula @ 40)
6: Olearnick, Clint
7: George, Chris (Lawler @ 65)
8: Swanepoel, JP
9: Cummings, Casey
10: George, Caleb
11: Sharkey, Steve
12: Allen, Jay
13: Samples, Dave
14: Kowalski, Peter (Ralovo @ 65)
15: Schwartze, Kevin
16: Taula, Afele
17: Still, Afa
18: Lawler, Chris
19: Ralovo, Tia
20: Stickford, Jimmy
21: Deitch, Tom
10.31.2009 - Blues Hammered by Raptors
The Blues found a rough welcome back to Infinity Park on October 31st, as the Glendale Raptors wished them a Happy Halloween to the tune of a 64-10 defeat in Denver. Things were close early, as the game score was tied in the first few minutes behind a penalty kick for each team. The Raptors blew things open however, punishing seemingly every Blues infraction with a 3 or 7 point score, charging out to a 42-3 lead at the half. The Blues battled back early in the second half, pressuring the home side as Clint Olearnick scored for the visitors (Caleb George converted). That was it for the Blues though, as Glendale added 22 more points to their tally before the final whistle.
With the defeat, the Blues enter the winter break with a 3-2 record in D1 league play - good enough for 3rd place in the 6 team league with 5 remaining matches in the Spring.
Blues 10 v Glendale Raptors 64
Tries: Clint Olearnick
Conv: Caleb George 1/1
Pens: Caleb George 1/1
1. Danny Capps
2. Eric Munninghoff (Jim Stickford @ 70)
3. Brian Walter (Afa Still @ 25)
4. Matt Wirken (Chris Lawler @ 40)
5. Adam Orr
6. Afele Taula
7. Clint Olearnick
8. JP Swanepoel (Bubba George @ 60)
9. Casey Cummings (Tom Dietch @ 70)
10. Caleb George (c)
11. Pete Kowalski
12. Jay Allen
13. Tia Ralovo
14. Dave Samples
15. Kevin Schwartze (Drew Dierking @ 65)