Highlanders Whallop Barbarians in Denver
Saturday Sep 26, 2009 in Amateur Competitions Division I Clubs
A perfect fall afternoon saw the Denver Highlanders welcome long-time cross-town rivals the Denver Barbarians to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for a West Division 1 encounter. The Barbos, who had already registered wins over Glendale and Aspen, were looking for a third straight victory but ran into a determined and motivated Highlander side who triumphed 56-8.
Early action saw the Highlanders open the scoring with Eric Baliruno breaking to send in wing Landauer for a 7-0 lead. The next twenty minutes saw an even battle with the Barbarians Moreno keeping it close by converting a penalty for 7-3. However, two late line breaks from Highlander flyhalf and MVP Taylor Howden led to two more tries, one for center Balurino and a second for livewire winger Landauer for a 19-3 half-time lead.
The second half saw the Highlander forwards start to take control and further tries were added from veteran prop John Rohner, Jeremy Wineland, Clinton Camp, and Ryan Diehl, Leif Gibson adding three conversions and a penalty for a 48-3 lead before the Barbos hit back with a close range score for 48-8. Taylor Howden, who had a superb all-round game game, finished the scoring with a long-range drop-goal and a spirited individual try to finish the scoring at 56-8.
For the Highlanders, Howden has added an extra dimension in the backs and a solid Highlander scrum was keyed by a dominant performance by Anthony Rodgers in the line-out and the energetic Wineland brothers in the back-row. Next up for the Highlanders is Glendale at Infinity Park, with Highlander coach Steve Lewis expecting yet another close-fought contest, the sides having played three league games thus far, ending in one win apiece and a tie, separated by a mere three points, 19-19, 8-7 and 16-12.