Whether you believe it or not spring has officially started in the Midwest. Saturday was a big day for the St. Louis Bombers with both sides having league matches. With the regional playoffs looming for each side, both teams knew they needed a strong showing.
The Bombers DIII side, having lost by one point last Sunday, needed to build some momentum heading into the playoffs against the Hornets. The first half proved to be a defensive struggle with both teams refusing to give an inch. The Bombers had the lion’s share of possession while playing in the Hornets half for most of the opening period but were unable to punch in a try. The Hornets ended up being the first on the board with a penalty kick slotted through the uprights. The Bombers were able to drive down the field and #10, Jim Morrison, was able to answer with a penalty of his own, tying the score going into half time.
As the second half began, the momentum was on the side of the Bombers. They were able to add another penalty kick and then scored 3 tries in quick succession by Morrison, centre Justin McKay, and Fullback John Pauley, bringing the score to 25-3. It appeared to the Bombers were going to cruise to a victory, but the Hornets had other ideas. The Hornets were able to stop the flood of points and turn the Bomber’s momentum on its head. Rallying with some long scores and closing out the game on a 26-0 run. It was a hard fought game from both teams with the final score being 29-25, Hornets. The DIII side will still make the tournament this weekend and will surely be training hard all week to right the ship before Saturday’s first round of the playoffs in Forest Park.
Following the first game, the Bombers DII side had a tough and must win game against the Omaha G.O.A.T.S. As Omaha and St. Louis took the field you could see the determination from both teams, each desperately needed to win this game to improve their chances of moving on to the playoffs. From the opening kickoff you could sense the urgency of the Bombers players as they set out to take control of the game. Luck would be on their side it seemed, as an Omaha knock-on fortuitously bounced to inside centre Ryan McDonald’s chest, corralling it in and scoring the game’s first try. As play went on, the Bombers defense took over. A big play by Matt Skarin getting his hands under the ball stopping a try, and the continuously punishing the GOATS runners as they tried to break the gain line.
Omaha seemed to be building momentum until, hooker, Matt Brotemarkle, kicked the ball from the deck down the center of the field as Mark Menne raced under it, scooping and scoring a long try. The Bombers would remain in the driver’s seat the rest of the game, taking penalty points whenever they were available and adding tries from forwards Dave Klug and Alex Ochoa before the final whistle blew. However, the defensive effort out of the Bombers was the story of the day as they cruised to a 36-0 victory and were able to keep their season alive when their backs were against the wall. After a few weeks of rest, the DII side will be back in action when they travel to take on Palmer in Iowa.
Despite this victory and the Bombers ending 6-2 in league play it is still uncertain who the top two teams will enter the playoffs in Glendale. The Bombers have finished league play, but both Omaha and KCRFC have 3 and 2 league matches left, respectfully. More info can be found on RugbyMag.com- Logjam Atop Mid-Ameria DII
This upcoming weekend is the DIII playoffs and those games have been announced. The Bombers will take on Franklin County for the third time this season. Both teams are 1-1 against each other with Franklin County taking the recent victory. Saturday match is at Cricket Fields in Forest Park, kick off at 3pm and is expected to be a very exciting game. The Royals take on the Hornets in the first match of the day at 1pm. The two winners will play Sunday and the victor will continue onto playoffs.