Milwaukee opens Division 1 spring rugby season with barn-burner in Cincinnati.

The Milwaukee Barbarians upset the Cincinnati Wolfhounds today with a nail-biting victory on the road. 

Coming off a winless Fall campaign (0-10-0) and a lackluster pre-season performance, the Barbarians — sponsored today by Spectrum Wealth Advisors — headed to Cincinnati to play the Wolfhounds in a USA Rugby Division 1 league match.

With a .500 record in the Fall and a fresh win on the road versus the Kansas City Blues last weekend, the Wolfhounds were clear favorites at the outset. That confidence showed through very early in the match as the hosts recovered their own opening kick and proceeded to score at the two-minute mark.

A second try almost immediately afterward left the Barbarians trailing 12-0 just five minutes into the match. 

The match then settled into a more typical affair with both teams unable to take a commanding advantage.

Half-back Vigder slotted the first points for the Barbarians following a twelfth-minute penalty and narrowed the deficit slightly: 12-3 Wolfhounds. 

The determined teams then traded tries at the twenty-first and twenty-fifth minute with Vigder scoring and converting the try for Milwaukee and maintaining the 9-point deficit.

Neither team would score before heading to the sheds at the halftime whistle: 19-10 Wolfhounds.

High-scoring second half

Immediately after the break, Cincinnati looked to take control with a try just two-minutes after the kickoff that extended their lead to 24-10. 

But the Barbarians we’re just getting started and kept the contest close with a try of their own five minutes into the second half. The score by winger Ash was converted by Vigder and narrowed the deficit to just seven points (24-17).

Cincinnati would score once more, but three tries by Leahy, Bartlett, and Grams in the final 23 minutes gave the underdogs their first lead of the match: 32-31 Milwaukee with seven minutes remaining.  

In the closing minutes, Cincinnati fought hard but could not ground the ball over the whitewash.

Defending hard to the final whistle, the Barbarians held onto the slimmest of margins and pushed back two challenges at the try line including a five-meter scrum.

With four second-half tries to Cincinnati’s two, the final whistle blew and the visitors had captured their much-needed first win of the season: final score 32-31.

Coach pleased with team’s effort

“It was all about effort and attitude today,” said Head Coach Joe Gardener. “I couldn’t be more proud of the way that we fought until the end. Every Barbarian deserves to enjoy this victory, as it’s been a huge team effort from everyone at the club.”

Roster

  • #1 King, Damon
  • #2 Grams, Joseph
  • #3 Holstine, Benjamin
  • #4 Bastian, Benjamin
  • #5 Ruys, Adam
  • #6 Schwalbe, Ray
  • #7 Cebe, Jeffrey
  • #8 Fossell, Thomas
  • #9 Vigder, Nick
  • #10 Gardener, Joseph
  • #11 Ash, Timothy
  • #12 Leahy, Keenan
  • #13 Albert, Michael
  • #14 Albert, Zachary
  • #15 Bartlett, Robert
  • #16 Castillo, Paul
  • #17 Smolensky, Eric
  • #18 Smith, Benjamin
  • #19 Van Wey, John
  • #20 Cwiklis, Kyle
  • #21 Gray, David
  • #22 Boehnen, Maxwell
  • #23 Chini, Todd

Match Stream

MINEVENTSIDESCOREDETAILS
1′TR scoreCIN5 – 0#13 – Roche, Kyle
5′TR scoreCIN10 – 0#15 – Grote, Ryan
6′CV scoreCIN12 – 0#10 – Stapleton, John
12′PK scoreMIL12 – 3#10 – Gardener, Joseph
21′TR scoreCIN17 – 3#10 – Stapleton, John
22′CV scoreCIN19 – 3#10 – Stapleton, John
25′TR scoreMIL19 – 8#9 – Vigder, Nick
26′CV scoreMIL19 – 10#9 – Vigder, Nick
40′TC subMIL19 – 10Off: #5 – #5 – Ruys, Adam
On: #18 – #18 – Smith, Benjamin
42′TR scoreCIN24 – 10#15 – Grote, Ryan
47′TR scoreMIL24 – 15#11 – Ash, Timothy
48′CV scoreMIL24 – 17#9 – Vigder, Nick
53′TR scoreCIN29 – 17#15 – Grote, Ryan
54′CV scoreCIN31 – 17#10 – Stapleton, John
57′TR scoreMIL31 – 22#12 – Leahy, Keenan
60′IJ subCIN31 – 22Off: #14 – #14 – finley, rashad
On: #19 – #19 – Frentzel, Ryan
60′TC subMIL31 – 22Off: #10 – #10 – Gardener, Joseph
On: #22 – #22 – Boehnen, Maxwell
62′TR scoreMIL31 – 27#15 – Bartlett, Robert
62′TC subMIL31 – 27Off: #6 – #6 – Schwalbe, Ray
On: #20 – #20 – Cwiklis, Kyle
66′TC subMIL31 – 27Off: #7 – #7 – Cebe, Jeffrey
On: #19 – #19 – Van Wey, John
66′TC subMIL31 – 27Off: #4 – #4 – Bastian, Benjamin
On: #21 – #21 – Gray, David
67′TC subCIN31 – 27Off: #6 – #6 – Calhoun, John
On: #17 – #17 – BETOMAKITA, LEMEKI
68′IJ subCIN31 – 27Off: #12 – #12 – Mcaninch, Sam
On: #20 – #20 – slicker, chris
70′TC subMIL31 – 27Off: #3 – #3 – Holstine, Benjamin
On: #17 – #17 – Smolensky, Eric
73′TR scoreMIL31 – 32#2 – Grams, Joseph
76′IJ subCIN31 – 32Off: #20 – #20 – slicker, chris
On: #14 – #14 – finley, rashad

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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