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Despite four inches of heavy snow, the Kansas City Blues outlasted the Chicago Griffins 12-5 in Chicago Friday night. The game was one of few on the DI men's club calendar. “The conditions completely threw all the game plans out the window,” Kansas City Blues coach Markus Valovalo told Rugby Today. “I have been coaching for ten years now and I have never played in that kind of snowfall before.”
With the weather conditions, the match turned into mostly a forward-heavy battle. “Both teams decided that it wasn’t going to be a high scoring game,” added Valovalo. The teams grinded it out in the first half and through 39 minutes the teams were scoreless. One minute before halftime, flanker Lloyd Saunders intercepted a pass and took it in to give the Blues a 7-0 lead at halftime.
“We had a couple of guys that really stood big for us. Lloyd’s try before the halftime break was a real momentum changer,” said Valovalo. “It allowed us to breath a little bit easier.”
Gannon Moore put the Blues up 12-0 in the second half. Kansas City kept Chicago off the scoreboard for nearly the entire game, but the Griffins had several chances to score. Chicago finally got on the borad in the 80th minute to prevent a shut out. “Give credit to the Griffins. They didn’t quit, they didn’t give up and nearly stole in from of us. I was just happy to get out of Chicago with a victory,” Varovalo admitted.
With the win, Kansas City moves to 6-1 in league play chasing the Milwaukee Barbarians and Metropolis. With several games in hand, the Blues control their own fate and are looking to a key matchup with Milwaukee.
“Next week is a huge game. The winner of that game will have a huge bearing on the rest of the season,” said Valovato. “Our destiny is in our own hands. If we win this game against Milwaukee and then the return game against the Griffins, it will leave us in the driver's street for the spring.”
Currently Kansas City has a five-game winning streak in league play.