This last weekend was a historic one for the Milwaukee Barbarians. Besides having its first games with the new and improved jerseys, the Barbarians had two Home games – against different teams. The Chicago Blaze D1 side came to town and the WRC rugby club, out of Madison, brought their D3 second team over to the Milwaukee Sports Complex.
What followed was a Saturday filled with excellent and exciting finishes.
The first match, Between the Barbarian A side and the Blaze started off with ferocious defense on both sides. The Barbarians retained their in your face defense, first showcased in last week’s match verses Metro, and the Blaze were fought for their Division 1 lives.
The first half consisted of excellent play by the Barbarian forward pack, explosive play by the back line, and dominant performance in the Scrums. Due to strong cohesive play the Barbarians jumped out to an early lead that was only ever hampered by Barbarian miscues and dropped passes.
In the second half, the game continued much the same way; with the Barbarians dominating in the forward pack and scrums. As the 80th minute expired, the Barbarians earned their first victory of the season, winning 52-20. This victory was important for several reasons, not only did it provide the Barbarians with their first “W” of the season, it also showcased a small part of the potential everyone involved in the merger between the Milwaukee Harlequins and the Milwaukee RFC knew was possible.
The second match, between the Barbarian D3 side and the Wisconsin Rugby Club (WRC) began with continued Barbarian dominance. Due to excellent controlled play, the Barbarians jumped out to an early lead.
This strong lead carried into half time through excellent defense by the Barbarians and solid leadership by the team’s veterans. Following half time, sloppy plays by the Barbarians provided the WRC with several scoring opportunities – which they capitalized on. Catching fire around the 60th minute, WRC poured on several trys and reduced the Barbarian lead to a slim margin of 2 points.
The final minutes of the game were played almost exclusively in Barbarian territory, as Madison battered against the stout defensive Barbarian wall, trying to find those last few points. Despite playing those last frames with their backs up against a wall, the Barbarians finished out the game and held onto a 19-17 lead. This exciting ending was an excellent cap to an undefeated Barbarian weekend.