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The Denver Barbarians scored a try by Hunter Leland with five minutes to go, and with fullback Max de Achaval's conversion, secured a dramatic 41-41 tie with OMBAC Saturday in Pacific Rugby Premiership action.
OMBAC, who had come back from 25-7 down against Santa Monica last week, led 25-10 with five minutes left in the first half, but were overhauled by Denver in the second period.
Center Will Holder opened the scoring with a long, slicing run for a try for OMBAC in the 4th minute. Zach Pangelinan kicked the conversion and added a penalty goal nine minutes later. Pangelinan added to his league-leading points total with a big break for a try after that to make it 15-0.
Denver replied with a penalty from scrumhalf William Jennings - Jennings had come on for Tyson Meek, who was injured early, and was kicking because Max de Achaval was in the sin-bin. But OMBAC was on the front foot and a try from wing Ben Leatigaga, with Pangelinan's conversion, made it 22-3.
Denver center Hunter Leland's try pulled the Barbarians a little closer, and then, after a Pangelinan penalty, flanker Brendan Shea was on the end of a long period of Barbarians attack and that, with a de Achaval conversion, made it a ballgame at 25-17. Pangelinan put OMBAC at 28 with a 50-meter penalty goal, and that's how the half ended.
The teams traded scoring in the second half. Pangelinan kicked another penalty, then Denver wing John Godinet scored, and then OMBAC and USA lock Tai Tuisamoa powered through several Denver players to touch down. That last try made it 38-22 OMBAC. But Denver finished strong. Jennings, who came on early for Tyson Meek after the starting scrumhalf sustained a nasty cut on his head, sniped over while the OMBAC players complained that he had knocked the ball on (the call was that the ball had gone backward, and OMBAC should have played the whistle). And after a Pangelinan penalty,
Mike Garrity's Iniki Fa'amausili was put away by
Taylor Howden to make it 41-34 for OMBAC with 13 minutes to go.
It took a while, but eventually Denver did score the final try - Leland going over for his second after a nifty break from de Achaval - and de Achaval's kick locked the game up.
The result, then, was inconclusive for both teams. Denver moves to 4-4-1, adding a bonus point to put them at 23 points. OMBAC moves to 4-2-1, and 21 points.
"We just did a better job of making tackles past the gain line," said Denver coach Lance French. "They are very organized 1st and 2nd phase on defense so we needed to get into the 3rd phase. We left gaps early in the game on defense - allowing them to come in behind the tacklers to get the offloads. We fixed that, and we almost stole it."
Tries: Leland 2, Shea, Goodnet, Garrity, Jennings
Convs: de Achaval 4
Tries: Holder, Leatigaga, Pangelinan, Tuisamoa
Convs: Pangelinan 3
Pens: Pangelinan 5