03.25.17 - Results - Kansas City Blues 1st VX's at Chicago Griffins. D2 at St. Louis Bombers.
Kansas City Blues D1 at Chicago Griffins
After a disappointing season opening loss at home to the Cincinnati Wolfhounds, the Blues bounced back in dramatic fashion with a 41-22 bonus point victory on the road against a formidable Chicago Griffins team.
Led from the front by standout performances from Kevin Schwartze & Matt Behnami, the Blues jumped to a quick lead after a great run by Cody Weber on his return from a lengthy injury spell. Captain Kelly Mercer slotted his first of 4 conversions on the day to take the lead to 7-0.
Johann Swanepoel added another try off the Blues dangerous counter attack to take a 15-0 lead, before the Griffins registered their only try of the opening period to take the score at Half time to 22-8. MOTM Kevin Schwartze would add another try this side of Half time to put the Blues up 29-8 and secure a much needed bonus point in the Midwest playoff race.
The Griffins showed there was still work to be done as they clawed back another try and conversion to close the gap to 29-15 before a pair of Seán Murray tries sealed the victory for the Blues, the former off a beautifully weighted cross field kick from substitute Flyhalf, David McDonough. The Griffins showed great fight to secure a consolation try to leave the Final score at 41-22.
The Blues hope to bring their momentum back home to "The Cage" as they take on a resurgent Milwaukee side fresh off their Road victory over the Cincinnati Wolfhounds.
Kansas City Blues D2 at St. Louis Bombers
The D2 side traveled to St. Louis for their first road test of the season against the St. Louis Bombers. Behind a bunch of new college talent including graduates from UMKC, KU, K-State, etc. the D2 side was coming off of 3 wins to start the Spring season and had won their first league match the week before over the Omaha G.O.A.T.S. The Bombers were undefeated in league play and sitting in first place so it was going to be a big test for this young team.
The match started off poorly with the Blues flyhalf, Connor Burke, immediately getting sent off with a yellow card for a high tackle. After falling behind 21-5 by halftime the young team re-grouped and fought hard in the second half. In wet and sloppy conditions the Blues struggled to play the wide and fast style they prefer but fullback Kyle Smith still managed to have a standout match setting up fresh face UMKC graduate, Evan Ernstman for 2 of his 3 tries. Evan earned man of the match with all three of his hat trick scores coming from 30+ meters out. Evan is a very exciting player with only about a year of rugby experience so far so we are very exciting to see him continue to progress moving forward. In the pack, another UMKC grad (and former Junior Blue), Caleb Concannon played a standout game as well with great forward as a ball carrier, stellar throws in the lineouts and some hard nosed defense.
In the end though, the perennial D2 National Playoff team proved too much for the young Blues side with a final score of 36-17. The boys will look to rebound against cross town rivals, KCRFC ("City") this saturday at Swope Park at 4pm following the 2pm D1 match against Milwaukee.