Grand Gents open playoffs with upset win |

Grand Gents open playoffs with upset win

Post Independent staff report
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Contributed photoGlenwood Springs sophomore Wiehan Pretorius is hoisted by his Grand Junction/Junior Gents Rugby Club teammates after making a game-winning kick during Saturday's playoff game against Ridge View.

Just two weeks prior, the Grand Junction/Junior Gents Rugby Club suffered a 45-24 defeat to Ridge View Academy.

On Saturday, the Grand Gents got the last laugh, defeating Ridge View, 13-12, in the first round of the Colorado Rugby Division II playoffs over on the Front Range.

The first half was all Grand Gents, starting out with a penalty kick from Glenwood Springs High School sophomore Wiehan Pretorius for a 3-0 lead.

That was not the last time Pretorius’ kicking expertise would pay dividends for his team.

After a few exchanges of possession, Roaring Fork sophomore Hayden Denton scored for the Grand Gents on a crushing run from a penalty tap about eight meters out. Pretorius booted the conversion.

Second-seeded Ridge View responded with a pair of unanswered tries against its seventh-seeded foe. Making only one of the conversions, Ridge View took a 12-10 lead.

Down by two with three minutes to go, the Grand Gents made multiple attempts to break the Ridge View defense but were repeatedly held off. The last straw was a costly penalty against Ridge View within kicking distance of the posts.

With the game on the line, Pretorius took the weight of his team on his shoulders and nailed the game-winning kick.

Pretorius’ foot lifted the seventh-seeded Grand Gents into the semifinals against PAC Rugby (Platte Canyon) this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The game is at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.

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