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Blow-by-Blow Denver Upsets NYAC

Sunday May 17, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby Rugby Super League

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May 16, 2009, Travers Island, Pelham, NY - A spectacular last-minute try by flyhalf Maximo De Achaval gave the Denver Barbarians a 23-19 win over the defending SL champion New York Athletic Club in their Super League quarterfinal. In a tightly contested game during which the lead was either tied or changed hands ten times, DeAchaval led all scorers with 18 points on a try, two conversions and three penalty kicks.

The host New York AC opened the scoring in the 15th minute of a defense-dominated opening half when fullback Dan Power hit the first of his four penalty kicks, 3-0. The AC’s James Hayter was yellow-carded in the 19th minute and DeAchaval’s penalty tied the score, 3-3.


Denver went ahead with DeAchaval’s penalty in the 36th minute but two minutes later Power’s penalty goal leveled the halftime scores after Denver wing Ben Haapapuro was yellow-carded, 6-.6.

DeAchaval and Power traded penalties two and six minutes after the restart, leveling the scores at 9-9. Power’s fourth penalty gave the NYAC a 12-9 lead in the 16th minute after Denver prop David Maddocks was yellow carded.

The game’s first try came 18 minutes into the half when Denver wing Jody Kramer scored and DeAchaval converted, 16-12. The NYAC responded four minutes later when prop James Hayter crashed over from loose play at the five and Power converted, 19-16.

It looked like the host’s lead might stand up but in the 40th minute DeAchaval chipped a kick over the heads of defenders at about the AC twenty, gathered the bouncing ball, ran in and then converted the winning try, 23-19.

Commenting on his team’s performance, Denver Coach Dave Hodges said “It was a gritty game, not pretty for either side. It came down to the last minute, as it looked like it would all game. We didn’t play a smart game, went away from our game plan in key areas, and paid the price. But we were able to hang in there for our chance and were rewarded at the end.”

“We had Denver on the rack with about two minutes to go,” lamented New York AC coach Bruce McLane. We had them down on their own five-meter-line under pressure and it didn’t seem they had a way out. But Denver never gave up. They kept working and the next thing you knew they were able to clear it, get into our territory and score points. Max DeAchaval made an incredible play to chip ahead, recover and score under the sticks.

“There were great team efforts on both side and unfortunately someone had to lose. In the past we were able to get the bounce of the ball but today we didn’t.”


“We’ve been through a lot of these types of games where we didn’t come out on the winning end,” added Hodges. “Those weren’t fun experiences, but we learned from them, and I think the players came out of them realizing they have the ability to win those close games.”

Denver 23:

Tries: De Achaval, Kramer
Convs: De Achaval 2
Pens: De Achaval 3


New York AC:
Tries: Hayter
Convs: Power
Pens Power 4

Denver Barbarians:  1.  David Maddocks, 2 Tim Russo, 3 Chris Moreno, 4 Adam Drury (Vander Giessen @ 23 minutes, replaced by Meidinger at 71 minutes), 5 Mike Mangan, 6 Nic Johnson, 7 Justin Stencel, 8 Pat Quinn (Mark Trumble during Maddocks’ yellow card), 9 Sam Gilliam, 10 Maximo De Achaval, 11 Jody Kramer, 12 David Laidlaw, 13 Jake Humphrey, 14 Ben Haapapuro, 14 David Yavala, 16 Mark Trumble, 17 Andrew Post, 18 Travis Meidinger, 19 John Vander Giessen, 20 Justen Brignac, 21 Pete Barclay, 22 Dan Murphy.


New York Athletic Club:  1 Andrew King, 2 James Hayter, 3 Troy Bartley, 4 Frank Sharpe, 5 Louis Stanfill, 6 Andrew Lindsey, 7 James Denise, 8 Alexander Willen, 9 Mike Petri, 10 Angelo Malifa, 11 Justin Hundley, 12 Jeremy Atkin, 13 Tim Ryland, 14 Mitchell Dow, 15 Dan Power, 16 Matt Wyatt, 17 Tony Nash, 18 Lou Ferrari, 19 Matt Williams, 20 Adrien Myers, 21 Christian Mayo, 22 Jackson Wagener.


- Ed Hagerty © www.erugbynews.com


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