Junior Gentlemen Rugby Club forms strong alliance with Grand Junction
Saturday was a day of strong statements for Western Slope high school rugby. The Junior Gents Rugby Club started the day against Ranch Rugby (Highlands Ranch, Denver) with an early try that is likely only the beginning of what should prove to be an exciting season of change. Last year the Jr. Gents took on a half dozen players from the newly formed Grand Junction Rugby Club. Since then the Grand Junction/Junior Gents have been gaining numbers and momentum, and the players have recently dubbed themselves the “Grand Gents.”
The first try scored Saturday by flyhalf Wiehan Pretorius (sophomore, Glenwood Springs) was the first but by no means the last for the Grand Gents. That score was quickly followed up with another by team captain Luke Leone, (senior, Roaring Fork High), who dashed and bashed his way to an astonishing four tries on the day. Pretorius converted his second conversion attempt, bringing the score to 12-0.
The first half was still young when rookie wing Kody Fox, (sophomore, Glenwood) scored his first try, and it was not long after he scored his second. With a second score from Leone and another from flanker Ethan Minnick (Grand Junction) the halftime score was slipping away from the visiting Ranch Rugby at 32-0.
The fireworks continued in the second half when Casey Morland (Palisade) touched the rugby ball for the first time and promptly darted around the outside for a 50-meter score. The Grand Gents continued their domination scoring three more times (Jonny Medrano (sophomore, Basalt) and Leone twice), with Pretorius adding two more converted kicks.
When the dust settled the Grand Gents had scored an impressive 10 tries and converted three kicks, tallying the most lopsided victory in recent history (56-0). The team has obviously taken a huge step forward combining the experience and skill of the Jr. Gents with the talent and numbers of the Grand Junction contingency. The Grand Junction/Junior Gents take their next steps toward their goal of winning the Colorado Rugby, Division II Title, in Fort Collins Saturday, March 5, at 1 p.m.
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Visual Journalist Chelsea Self can be reached at 970-384-9108 or firstname.lastname@example.org