Barbarians Host Gentlemen of Aspen and Washington RFC

April 9, 2008

by Ken Matthews

Denver Barbarians’ Rugby Super League (RSL) and Division II (DII) sides continue their seasons this Saturday, April 12, 2008, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, at Field 11.  Denver welcomes Washington (DC) Rugby Club for a RSL encounter at 3 pm.  The Barbarians’ Western RFU-bound DII side hosts old rival Gentlemen of Aspen, a Division I opponent.  The matches will be the inaugural rugby matches on grass at Dick’s.  The Barbarians are also co-hosting 2 high school matches in conjunction with Denver East High School RFC.  The schedule of matches is as follows:

10 am         Denver East B’s vs. Douglas County Rugby Club A’s
11:30 am    Barbarians DII v. Gentlemen of Aspen A’s
1:00 pm     Denver East A’s vs. Highlands Ranch Rugby Club A’s
3 pm        Barbarians RSL v. Washington Rugby Club RSL

The Barbarians’ DII side is fresh from a 34-12 victory over St. Louis Bombers last weekend in Denver.  That victory propelled the Barbarians, Eastern Rockies Football Union Division II Championship, into the Final Four of the Western Rugby Football Union Championships in Fort Worth, TX on April 26/27, 2008.   Aspen, a former RSL side, now competes in the Western RFC North Division 1 competition, and ventures down from the mountains to play the Barbarians, with whom they share a 30-plus year rivalry.  Per the Western RFC website ( The Gentlemen currently lead its league with an undefeated record.   Coach Andy de Villiers has announced the following squad for Saturday:

DENVER BARBARIANS DII SQUAD:  1 Sean Toal, 2 Mike Nelson, 3 Josh Masek, 4 Chris Leiser, 5 Derrick Borgmann, 6 Tom Hewitt, 7 Rob O’Connor, 8 Rob Moreno (captain), 9 Matt Lancaster, 10 Dan Bludeau, 11 Adam Fisher, 12 Michael Hughes, 13 Jake McCormick, 14 Darrin Butler, 15 Ross Kantor, 16 Gary Smy, 17 Greg Raubsen, 18 Andrew Redfern, 19 Jerry Cook, 20 Joe Wittenberg

The Barbarians’ RSL side is seeking to rebound from its first loss of the season in Boston last weekend, 20-13.  The Barbarians fell from 1st place to 3rd place in the RSL Red Conference, behind Santa Monica Rugby Club (next week’s opponent) and Belmont Shore, who have clawed back to near the top of conference following its opening day defeat to the Barbarians in Long Beach.  Washington, who is rebuilding with a young side, is 0-3 on the season.  Head Coach David Hodges will go with the following squad:

DENVER BARBARIANS RSL SQUAD:  1 Chris Moreno, 2 Kyle Fenton, 3 Mike Landau, 4 John Van der Giessen, 5 Mike Mangan, 6 Adam Drury, 7 Nic Johnson, 8 Patrick Quinn, 9 Tyson Meek, 10 Link Wilfley, 11 Ben Haapapuro, 12 Pet Barclay, 13 David Yavala, 14 Jody Kramer, 15 David Williams, 16 Tim Russo, 17 Mike Kelley, 18 Andrew Post, 19 Garrett Peterson, 20 Jake Humphrey, 21 Hayden Smith, 22 Dan Bludeau.

Denver East High School Rugby has been a perennial power in the Colorado Youth Rugby (CYR), a sub-division of the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union, and currently leads the Eastern Division of CYR with a 4-1 record.  Douglas County is 0-4 and Highlands Ranch is 1-2, both in the South Division of CYR. 

Admission is free for all matches.  Come out and support rugby in Colorado.