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Loss Tough to Take for Denver

Tuesday May 26, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby Rugby Super League

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May 26, 2009 – A week after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, the Denver Barbarians took a big ol’ swig of the same medicine bottle, losing in the dying moments to San Francisco Golden Gate19-16.

It was tough to take.

“We didn't close out the game very well in the last three minutes,” said Denver coach Dave Hodges. “We had a lineout in their 22, we over-threw and knocked on. Part of that was trying to go to the back when we should have one the front/middle ball and then played keep away.”

From that scrum SFGG attacked near the outside. Good scrambling defense from the Barbarians forced a knock-on. Denver tried to clear but heavy pressure from the Golden Gate forwards meant Max de Achaval’s kick didn’t cover much distance. SFGG won the throw-in and then hammered their way downfield. To win.

“It was very disappointed at how it ended as we were in a good position with a lineout in their 22,” said Hodges. “But the guys battled in the second half to put us in that position. Nobody gave us a chance to win and we came very close which makes it all the more difficult.”

It was a big difference from losing the opener 45-10 to being seconds away from making the final.

“I think we have improved right through the season,” said Hodges. “Having lost a couple of close ones in the season to Santa Monica and Belmont Shore helped us play better in tight games, but it was also those losses that kept us from hosting our quarterfinal. I couldn't be more proud of the ways the guys responded [in the semi]. SFGG was deserving of the win and we have to tip our hats to them. They made us work for everything. This was the best game I have seen in the Super League.”

- Alex Goff © www.erugbynews.com

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