PHILADELPHIA, PA – With the pool of players already in and around Denver, creating this roster might have been the easiest of the PRO bunch. They have a great venue in Infinity Park and expectations are high in terms of both wins and atmosphere. Denver, with two Pacific Rugby Premiership teams, is one place where the existing club structure could be significantly different next year because of PRO. Let’s not worry about that this second.
Reasons to be Optimistic
Unlike many of the teams, Denver has a roster with players already quite familiar with each other. A number of players are coming from the Glendale Raptors or the Denver Barbarians. Niku Kruger is the likely starter at 9, but Mose Timoteo is still playing at a high level and Kruger has played at 10 for Glendale. Kruger’s service is crisp, though at times deliberate. Strong runners like Gannon Moore, Chad London, Mike Garrity, and Brodie Orth should feast in attack, even if the tempo is slow.
Additionally, there are Australian Timana Tahu and South African Pedrie Wannenburg. Given some of what Tahu has been through, the new PRO challenge should be an easy hurdle.
At set pieces, Denver should have a solid platform. Zach Fenoglio throws well come lineout time, and Chris Baumann and Ben Tarr are good options at prop.
At fly-half, Ata Malifa and Will Magie will both make enough good decisions to allow the team around them to shine.
Reasons to Worry
Do they have enough pace to score tries on first or second phase? This seems to be a squad built to exert pressure of 80 minutes, but not necessarily a quick-strike team.
The matches between Denver and San Diego should be the best of the season. Denver will end the season near double digits in wins.
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