Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Denver Barbarians Head To California For Friendlies


By Brendan Shea

The Denver Barbarians open up their 2018 spring season with a tour of Southern California this weekend. With a group of roughly 30 players, the Barbos will face Belmont Shore on Thursday night at Millikan High School in Long Beach, followed by a game against Cal Cup champions OMBAC Saturday at noon at the Little Q in San Diego. With the two California clubs on the eve of beginning their Pacific Rugby Premiership season, the Barbos are looking forward to facing two formidable sides as they lay the foundation for a spring season where they hope to compete deep into the D2 West playoffs.

Coach Brian Erichsen spoke about the need to challenge the squad to see how the players mesh on and off the field: “The goal of the trip is to challenge ourselves against higher level opposition which will hopefully force us to elevate our level of play. It will also enable us to benchmark where we are at as a team and learn where we need to grow. Off the field, spending quality time together as a squad will hopefully continue to improve team cohesion and culture.”

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The Barbos were original members of the inaugural PRP and competed in the competitions first three seasons of existence, playing home and away games with the California clubs. Senior player Brendan Shea noted the club’s desire to compete no matter what league the Barbos are in: “Every time we take the field we want to compete and improve. Whether it’s our league matches, summer 7's, Aspen Ruggerfest, local friendlies or on a tour like this upcoming one in SoCal. We had some hard-nosed rugby games against Belmont and OMBAC from 2013-2016 when we competed in the PRP, so we're excited to play these two established clubs again.”

The Denver Barbarians finished the fall 5-0 and sit atop the Frontier Rocky Mountain D2 table. They resume play on March 17th and will hope to take the momentum from their SoCal tour into the spring season.


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