In freezing weather conditions the Denver Barbarians and Olympic Club slugged out for 80 minutes with the Barbarians prevailing 34-29 on a last second try. The Barbarians have now moved to 2-2 on the season as they enter a long stretch at home. Olympic Club competed hard once again and scored plenty of points but came up short to move to 0-4.
As the sloppy conditions dictated play at times the match turned into a duel between Barbarians fullback Max De Achaval and Olympic Club fly-half Keegan Engelbrecht. De Achaval was the first two strike as he slotted a penalty for and a half minutes into the match. Engelbrecht had the opportunity to match that a few minutes later but made up for it when he was able to score as Olympic Club executed a five meter line out. With the conversion Olympic Club led 7-3 with roughly 15 minutes gone.
De Achaval inched the Barbarians closer to retaking the lead with a penalty and then Mark Stines capitalized on show and go from Ata Malifa to give the Barbarians a 13-7 advantage at the break.
After the break the Barbarians started where they left off as they came out firing and were soon rewarded when Malifa put in a great pass to De Achaval for the try. Just a few minutes later after the Barbarians had collected the restart it was Justin Pauga’s turn to score.
With only 50 minutes gone and a 27-7 lead it looked like the Barbarians would run away with the match. However, full credit to Olympic Club for not giving up and rallying. The momentum began to shift as Olympic Club’s John Gallo scored the first of his two tries. Ten minutes later he scored his second when he blocked a clearance kick, collected it, and crossed over for the score. With Engelbrecht hitting both conversions Olympic Club was within six.
The Bay Area side then nearly retook the lead as center Michael Haley scored in the 67th minute. Engelbrecht’s conversion would miss but a penalty ten minutes later would finally put Olympic Club ahead 29-27.
Unfortunately for Olympic Club the lead wouldn’t hold. With only minutes left in the game and both teams buzzing around the pitch the Barbarians earned a scrum. Scrumhalf Alex Knowles took the ball around the end of the scrum and put in a strong pass to Paul who beat the defense for the try and the win.
Tries: Stines, De Achaval, Pauga (2)
Conversions: De Achaval (4)
Penalties: De Achaval (2)
Tries: Engelbrecht, Gallo (2), Haley
Conversions: Engelbrecht (3)