Updated: Apr 24
The Kansas City Blues had their penultimate matchup of the Spring developmental season against their fellow Missourians the Columbia Outlaws this past Saturday. A brisk, windy Saturday afternoon gave a chill to the air, but the Blues stayed hot in their cruise to victory. Youth, speed, fluidity, coaching, and overall toughness gave the Blues a significant edge over the Outlaws, and that edge was exploited en masse. The Blues gave the Outlaws a 50-5 drubbing, with Ethan Rogers, Jordan Rice, Caleb Boyce, Zach Cohen, and Omar Tapia (including but not limited to) all having exceptional games.
Rogers scored multiple tries, many of them being massive breakaways in what proved to be a sluggish Columbia defensive effort. Rice dished the ball with ease to many an open man setting up scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity, even scoring one himself in the process. Boyce showed why he's considered an up and comer on this team, as the 19-year-old showed a quick step for a big man and great strength in the scrum throughout his minutes. Zach Cohen attacked ferociously, defended with authority, and showed his skills as not only a rugby player, but a great athlete. Finally, Omar Tapia was an absolute ballhawk, poaching every possible ruck he could and coming up with the ball on basically every attempt. Many Blues showed what they had been working on throughout the Spring in a spectacular manner, and this game certainly showed why the Spring season is so important. However, the man of the match went to longtime Blue Ryan Ellison, who showed his veteran status in the plays he opened up at fly-half and the abilities he showcased. He even hit a drop goal while in play late in the first half, an instance rarely seen but executed well by Ellison.
This victory was bittersweet though, as this was head coach Derek Pearson's final game as a Kansas City Blue. What better way to send him off though than with a big away trip win? Coach Pearson after the game received a signed jersey and declaration from the Missouri House of Representatives signifying and acknowledging his efforts toward the Blues and Kansas City rugby community. He also received a special night out on the town with the rugby lads, a night I'm sure he won't soon forget. Being my first ever interview on this blog as well as my rugby coach, Coach Pearson is considered to be a strong influence and mentor in my life as well as many others, as well as a great friend. His impact cannot be understated, as he has done so much for so many both in and out of the rugby community. I'm sure he will continue to do more and be more with wherever life takes him. Here's to Coach, best wishes and good luck with wherever life takes you next. You'll always be a KC Blue!
Burn Notice: 10/10 Blue flames lighting up CoMo over the weekend
Editor's Note: Happy Birthday to fellow Blues Eli Brizendine and Tom Murphy!