The Frontier Region kicked off their men's qualifiers and after a series of close pool games the gates were blown off in the playoffs.
Denver, CO.- The first Frontier 7s qualifier for the men is in the books, and it was Frontier newcomers, Bulldog Rugby, that took the spoils, over long established 7s power, the Denver Barbarians.
There were eight teams split into two pools, but early on it became clear that it was going to be a three-horse race for the silverware. In Pool A Denver Barbarians Premier and Bulldog seemed to be the favorites to take the trophy home; while in Pool B, the Kansas City Blues established themselves as contenders after rampaging through their pool.
In Pool A both the Barbarians and Bulldog got off to winning starts, the Barbarians blanking Kansas City Blues 2 36-0; while, Bulldog put up 49 points on the Kansas City Hooligans. Their winning ways continued through the second wave of fixtures where again the Barbarians were able to keep their opposition off the scoreboard going up, 47-0, over the Hooligans. Meanwhile, Bulldog kept their foot down and blew past the Blues second side, 31-0. This set up a Pool A "Championship Match" with the winner claiming the top seed in the semifinals. In a tight affair, fourteen minutes proved to be inadequate, and the two sides had to settle for a tie. The Barbarians claimed first spot due to their point differential.
In Pool B it was one way traffic from start to finish, with the Kansas City Blues first side running through their round robin play undefeated. The Blues managed an impressive feat of scoring at least thirty points in each game, but as good as their attack was, their defense did show cracks letting in 38 points during three games. The second team to advance through Pool B was Peaks Utah, who advanced thanks to point differential.
In the semis Pool A showed off their strength and dominated their Pool B opponents to set up a rematch in the championship game. In the first semifinal, it was an offensive explosion from the Bulldogs who pushed their way past the Kansas City Blues, 36-7. They would face the winner of the Barbarians, Peaks game. In a game that was closer than some may have predicted, the Barbarians prevailed 28-10, but it was not the dominating win that pundits may have expected following each teams' respective performances in pool play. It proved to be somewhat foreboding for the Championship.
The stage was set to finally get a result from the earlier clash between Bulldog and the Barbarians as they met for the second time in the competition. The rematch proved to be a completely different affair, as Bulldog proved there was bite behind the bark and took the Barbarians apart 31-5.
With 3 teams eligible for qualification from the Frontier Region, this loss won't hurt the Barbarians, but for Bulldog it was the ideal way for them to announce their presence on the Western Stage.