Black and Blue Rugby

The Daily Inter LakeDaily Inter Lake

HELENA — The Kalispell Black and Blue couldn’t find its footing on a mud-soaked pitch, falling flat against fifth-seeded Helena 25-20 in the semifinals at the MYRA state rugby championships on Saturday. Helena would go on to beat second-seeded Bitterroot 27-20 to win the state title. Helena held possession for most of the game and took a 10-5 lead into half. The Black and Blue tied the game at 15-15 in the second half, but turned over the ball on the ensuing kick and surrendered another Helena try. Helena tacked on a try in the last 20 minutes to seal the win. The Black and Blue scored one final try in the waning seconds of the match, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the scrappy host squad. Logan Jones and Arik Lybeck each scored two tries for Kalispell in the loss. “They were just out in front of us all day,” Kalispell coach Bob Keisel said. “We just got outplayed. Our kids are awesome, they just had a bad day.” Neither team was able to convert a kick in the sloppy conditions, leaving points off the board. The conditions also made for tough footing and a slew of knock-ons. Helena handled the conditions better than most teams at the tournament. “We couldn’t get any offensive flow going, they dominated the ball,” Keisel said. “Having said that, I’m glad they won (the championship).”

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