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Barbarians survive second-half push by Black & Blue in season opener

The Milwaukee Barbarians kicked off their 2016-2017 campaign on Saturday with a spirited match against local rivals the Milwaukee Black & Blue.

The Division 3 match started in windy and wet conditions which kept both teams playing cautious, high-percentage ball until prop Jake Elsner rumbled over for the first try of the match at the 12-minute mark. 

The next 25 minutes saw both teams open up as the surface dried and improved under ever-sunnier conditions. But the defenses were also up to the challenge as no tries were allowed during long phases of attack and defense, and just a single penalty kick was scored.

Finally, at the 38th minute center Wes Seay broke the stalemate with a well-earned try. After a successful conversion by flanker Zach Price, the match broke for half-time with the Barbarians ahead 15-0.

Offenses come alive

In the second half, the offense on both sides starting firing.

For the Barbarians David Gray, Daryl Bagley, and Jack Carter scored their first try of the season and Seay dotted down for his second. 

For Black & Blue, substitute Michael Johnson made a big impact with a pair of hard-won tries at the 60th- and 70th-minute marks.

At the  whistle, the Barbarians won the day with a final score of 39-12.

"We have a group of extremely talented young rugby players and a terrific coaching staff that is just starting to gel together," said Asst. Head Coach Joe Birdsall. "It's a very fun and exciting time for everyone!"

On deck

The Barbarians will play the return fixture against the Black & Blue on Oct. 15 at Minooka Park. Their next match is this Saturday, Sept. 17 versus the Wolfpac: kickoff is 2:00PM in Fond du Lac.

Roster

Match Stream

MINEVENTSIDESCOREDETAILS
12'TR score MIL35 - 0 #3 - Elsner, Jacob
12'IJ sub MIL35 - 0Off: #5 - #5 - Carter, Paul
On: #18 - #18 - Ruys, Adam
13'PK score MIL38 - 0 #6 - Price, Zach
23'TC sub MILBB8 - 0Off: #6 - #6 - Backhaus, Steven
On: #17 - #17 - Wall, Nicholas
27'TC sub MIL38 - 0Off: #9 - #9 - Kloiber, Thomas
On: #20 - #20 - Drobot, Steve
38'TR score MIL313 - 0 #12 - Seay, Wesley
39'CV score MIL315 - 0 #6 - Price, Zach
42'TR score MIL320 - 0 #7 - Gray, David
43'CV score MIL322 - 0 #6 - Price, Zach
48'TC sub MIL322 - 0Off: #14 - #14 - Chini, Todd
On: #22 - #22 - Hickey, John
55'TC sub MILBB22 - 0Off: #17 - #17 - Wall, Nicholas
On: #20 - #20 - Johnson, Michael
57'IJ sub MIL322 - 0Off: #3 - #3 - Elsner, Jacob
On: #16 - #16 - Nirschl, Benjamin
57'TC sub MIL322 - 0Off: #4 - #4 - Brown, Jordan
On: #17 - #17 - Rudy, Michael
60'TR score MILBB22 - 5 #20 - Johnson, Michael
60'CV score MILBB22 - 7 #10 - Weyenberg, Lucas
65'TC sub MILBB22 - 7Off: #11 - #11 - Mueller, Ben
On: #18 - #18 - Haynes, Alan
67'TC sub MILBB22 - 7Off: #3 - #3 - Ziegler, Ryan
On: #16 - #16 - Francksen, Philip
68'TR score MIL327 - 7 #12 - Seay, Wesley
68'TC sub MIL327 - 7Off: #7 - #7 - Gray, David
On: #19 - #19 - Melnick, Brendan
69'CV score MIL329 - 7 #6 - Price, Zach
70'TR score MILBB29 - 12 #20 - Johnson, Michael
74'TR score MIL334 - 12 #1 - Bagley, Daryl
74'TC sub MIL334 - 12Off: #11 - #11 - Talbot, Jason
On: #21 - #21 - Carter, Jack
79'TR score MIL339 - 12 #21 - Carter, Jack

The complete and official match report can be found on the USA Rugby website.