September 17: Blues at St. Louis Bombers Results

By September 17, 2022Uncategorized

Kansas City Blues D1 vs St. Louis Bombers D1

Kansas City Blues D3 vs St. Louis Bombers D3

The I-70 Rugby Football Series

Few things come more natural to Kansas Citians than hating St. Louis.  Our cross-state neighbor doesn’t even feel like another Midwest city.  There is a divide there somewhere along Columbia that -slices a slight culture change into the land.  St. Louis has more of an old world feel where we have the heart of the Frontier.  The Archway may be in St. Louis but Kansas City is the true beginning of the West.  These same feelings bleed over into sports.  Most Royals fans despise the Cardinals even more than they do the Tigers or the White Sox. The I-70 Rugby Football Series is no different.  Off the field, the two clubs stand shoulder to shoulder representing Missouri well.  Personally, I know this write up recap author rooted for the Bombers during their 7s Nationals run last year.  It’s also the team with the most acquaintanceships and friendships between players on either team of all the clubs we play.  But on the field, there is no love lost.  One of those games where every year there are some extracurricular activities alongside scrums and rucks.  Always a little bit of extra grit and grind going into the hits.  They say you never want to beat anyone as bad as someone you know well.  As such it was again on another bright sunny Saturday in the Show Me State, for the first leg of the 2022 I-70 Rugby Football Series.

The Bombers came out fast and hard.  Travel games are tough, and the nearly 5-hour drive through East STL and into Illinois was still clearly stuck in the legs of our Blues as the game began.  The Bombers took the opening kickoff down with steady phase play, tightened up for a phase once inside the Blues 22, then swung it wide for an opening try.  The Blues marched into Bombers territory minutes later but a lost ball in the ruck gave possession back to STL. A few kicks off the foot of ex-Blue and South African expat scrumhalf Richard Felton moved the ball. The Bombers again had the ball deep in Blues territory less than 10 minutes in.  A penalty and a quick tap with a little tips ball to a forward put the ball again into the try zone.  Another score mid first half made the score a daunting 19-0.  Our Boys in Blue may have come out of the bus a little groggy, but they didn’t come out quitters. The team dug their heels in and pushed back.  A strong possession got the ball into Bombers territory and Greg Fry ran a hard line off Cael Hodgson, broke a few tackles and slammed the ball down.  A few Bombers with accents yelled that it was a knock on when it clearly wasn’t.  19-5.  Halftime.

The first twenty minutes out of the half were the best of the game for the Blues.  Both sides came out punching with the Bombers scoring first.  But then the Blues went on a run and gained substantial momentum.  The outside was opening up to the Blues attack and Ryen Ellison ended such an outside attack for a try in the corner. 24-10.  Continued Blues progress forced the Bombers onto the back foot defensively and a very crisp line run by newly arrived Jacob Klingelsmith from midfield put him into the second layer, then with a nice move to break a tackle and run through the Fullback he was behind their whole team and cruised into the try zone for a center try.  Kick was good and we all of a sudden had a one score game.  24-17.  After the next kickoff the Blues again went wide and made gains into space.  An impressive soft chip over by Ryen Ellison immediately put the pressure back on the Bombers after Ellison gathered his own chip and dished to a trailing flanker for a nice gain into Bombers territory.  The Blues phased with forward down to the Bombers 15-meter line.  A score near the posts could tie the game, the forwards drew into the Red Zone offense… and we knocked it on.  Bombers pounced on the opportunity and booted the ball clear to the other end of the field.  It found its way into our own try zone where we dotted it down and they received a 5-meter scrum, got the ball out wide and scored.   The game wasn’t over at that point, but the momentum was done.   The Bombers took control from there, eventually whittling us down and scoring twice more in the late moments.  The classic game that is tight until its not.  A couple garbage time scores by the House of Black and White and the final score laid at 37-17.  A team is rightly judged by its record, and they say there are no moral victories in sports. That may be so but that doesn’t mean there aren’t signs of good times to come stuck within losses.  Saturday was such a day.  The boys fought and had a very good Bombers squad on its heels and nervous for a good chunk of time.  Now, 3 more road trips stand in the way between our rematch.  This time, on our side of I-70.

The D3 side did not come out groggy like their D1 brethren.  Backs coach Casey Cummings is quoted as saying “The Boys were Buzzin’”.  Youth combined with the will to put your hand up for the coaching staff to see can be a powerful combo.  Strong efforts by Mona Faitau, South African Ashley Twain, Ayden Augspurg, Konnor Thompson and scrum half and D3 team leader JT Bergner led the way.  Mona and and JT were the try scorers in the first half and young Cameron Kirkland hit a bomb of a drop kick for points right before half to make the score 17-13 Blues at half.  The game remained tight until the final whistle with Konnor Thompson scoring in the second half with Cam the Leg making kicks left and right led the way to a victory score of 29-27.  The Blues refused to drive back along the infamous 70 highway without at least one win on the day.

Next weekend the D3 currently have a bye week with the D1 side traveling to Davenport, IA to take of the leagues resident bunch of Witch Doctors, the Palmer Chiropractic Dragons.  Derek Pearson and Co look to even their record back at 2-2 before going into the Bye Week.  A good week of training and a bus ride away.  LBO3

The 1-1 Blues face a big challenge next weekend as they travel to St. Louis to play the first place Bombers.  The Bombers have had a very good side the last few years as they slowly morph into the St. Louis BomberLions.  And good on them, what a great place to source from.  Many faces and players that have contributed to the good guy program in the past such as Richie Felton, Reece Botha, Jabari Leopold, Ani Metro, Matt Brotemarkle and the most shocking name on the list, Ryan Scheidt, have added to the success of the bombers this year.  We look forward to the trip and the challenge.  And as the cream rises to the top of the Eastern Division of the Midwest Premiership, the question will be asked; will the Blues rise with it?  House Blues takes on House Bombers, next weekend. Snip Snap!

KC Blues D1 vs St. Louis Bombers D1 Roster:

1. Isikeli Fukofuka
2. Stephen Lomas
3. Mamadee Tullah
4. Ryli Mizner
5. Matt Wirken
6. Danny Apgar
7. Everett Horton
8. Jimmy Lillis
9. Jordan Rice
10. Cael Hodgson
11. Kyle Renner
12. Greg Fry
13. Ryan Ellison
14. Dairyess Collier
15. Aren Martin
16. Javarious Burris
17. Alan Bortolotti
18. Omar Tapia
19. Brodie orth
20. Luke Christensen
21. Elijah Brizendine
22. Blakeston Bryant
23. Jacob klingelsmith

KC Blues D3 vs St. Louis Bombers D3 Roster:

1 Jon Khalil
2 Michael Lillis
3 Caleb Boyce
4 Ashley Twain
5 Jaxtin Steffeny
6 Onosai Pule
7 Tom Murphy
8 Konnor Thompson
9 JT Bergner
10 Cameron Kirkland
11 Val Basham
12 Jessi Mizner
13 Mona Faitau
14 Saomana Tualatamalelagi
15 Tristan Searcy
16 Charlie Ballard
17 Sean Vickery
18 Jonathan Motufanga
19 Lucas N. Gardner
20 Ayden Augspurg
21 Zach Cohen
22 Charles Donnici
23 Chris Rizo

Derek Pearson - Head Coach
Jamie Dever - Pack Coach
Casey Cummings - Backs Coach
Darlwin Nelson - D3 Coach
Kyle Izard - Manager