Frontier Recap: Tense Finishes Throughout Championship Weekend

Teams gave their all over the weekend and in some instances 80 minutes wasn't enough to separate them.

Women’s Division I:

The Glendale Merlins D1 faced off against the Utah Vipers in the Frontier Women’s Division I championship. Utah had gone through the season undefeated and entered the match after a week’s bye, where Glendale had to fight out a tough win against Black Ice in the preceeding round to advance. The match was a back and forth affair with four lead changes in the first half alone. After the opening 40 minutes, Utah held a nine point lead. They were able to extend it to 14 after scoring the first try of the second half. Glendale, wasn’t going anywhere and they stormed back to score the next 19 points to close out the game. The Merlins received a large boost in the 70th minute when Utah were issued a yellow card. At the time, the Merlins trailed by seven, however, in the ten minutes they were up a played Glendale scored 12 points and sealed their spot in the national playoffs.

 

Men’s Division II:

Boulder Rugby traveled to Wichita to take on the Barbarians. It was a close game throughout, with Boulder opening with lead, however, Wichita scored 15 un answered to take the lead from them. Boulder closed the half with a penalty and a try to draw within two. Both teams shot out of the gates in the second half with both scoring tries in the first 5 minutes. The teams closed the match out swapping scores, but Boulder was never able to retake the lead after their intial lead in the opening five minutes. Wichita now advances to the National Division II quarterfinals.

Women’s Division II:

Last year’s national runner’s up, the St. Louis Sabres entered the Frontier semifinals as the second seed and were determined to do everything within their power to get back on the big stage. It showed from their opening fixture, where they downed the Omaha Goats, 65-5. Anna Albrecht, Dominesha Newton and Alexandra Cole all scored doubles in the opening win. Their opponent would be the Kansas City Jazz.

The Jazz were coming in as the first seed and would have been confident in their ability to land the result. However, that confidence was quickly tested, as the Sabres opened a 17-point lead only 21 minutes into the match. It didn’t get much better, as just passed the 30 minute mark, the Jazz were trailing by 29 points. An Emily Wessel try on the stroke of halftime gave them hope the second half’s momentum would be on their side. However, that wasn’t to be, and the Sabres rode out the healthy lead they had established to win the Frontier Women’s Division II championship, 36-10.
 

Men’s Division III:

The Men’s Division III championship was another close affair, between Sunday Morning Rugby and the Queen City Rams. The first 20 minutes of the match belonged to Sunday Morning as they opened a 10-0 lead. However, Queen City came right back and closed the half out on a 17-0 run. The second half took a while to heat up, but when it did Sunday Morning were right there to cash in two tries in the space of five minutes and reestablish a three-point lead. With a converted try in the 68th minute, it looked as if Sunday Morning were on their way to nationals; however, a penalty in the 71st minute, followed by a try and conversion in the 79th and 80th minute saw the game head into extra time. In the end a try in the 103rd minute of the match saw Queen City advance through, 37-32.