Kansas City outlast Milwaukee rugby team en route to National Championship.

In a rematch of the final regular season match last weekend, the Barbarians met the Kansas City Blues yesterday in Chicago.

But unlike the prior meeting in Milwaukee that had no affect the standings or playoff brackets, today’s Midwest semi-final was one of two deciders for the Men’s Division 1 Midwest Championships.

Both teams had bolstered their rosters from the previous week and it was clear from the outset that the match would be closely-contested throughout much of the day.

First half

The early minutes showed caution and also nerves by both sides as the players settled in and took a good measure of their opponents.

Early handling errors and a few penalties saw the Barbarians get on the scoreboard first with a penalty kick after 10 minutes.  

The next 10 minutes was a battle for territory and scrabble defense for the Barbarians as the Blues made some good gains through the midfield.

Good ball handling and a few questionable tackles led a 2-to-1 exchange of tries in favor of the Blues. After 20 minutes and 3 lead changes, the Blues were ahead just 10-8.

The rest of the first half was a mostly well-disciplined defensive battle. The Blues managed the a try at the 30-minute mark and then penalties were exchanged at 34 and 36 minutes.

Heading into half-time, the score was still tight at just 20-11 for the Blues.

Second half

The second half picked up right where the first left off: lots of great defense.

But the Barbarians were undone by handling errors, and as the clock wore on a crucial scoring opportunity on the Blues 5 meter line went begging.

Meanwhile, the Blues continued to relieve pressure when needed, clear their lines, and threaten in the midfield.

Finally at the 58th minute, the continued pressure paid off and Kansas City broke the defensive deadlock. The converted try brought the score to 27-11, and seemed to steal the wind from Barbarian sails.

The Blues punched in three more tries in the final quarter to finish the day 48-11 and advance to the Midwest finals vs. Metropolis.

Vic Drover
Vic Drover

Vic has a long history in and around the sport of rugby both in Canada and the US. He has played for and started numerous clubs (Vandal's RFC, Strathcona Druids, Suffolk Bull Moose, West Side Harlequins, Milwaukee Barbarians, Hamilton Girls Rugby), and served many roles over the years at all administrative levels. Vic joined the Harlequins in 2007 and remained an active club member through the transition to the Barbarians. These days, he spends his rugby time playing tag rugby and touring with the Old Boys, keeping the club website updated, helping organize the Lakefront 7s, and fundraising.

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