C’dale ruggers show improved play
It’s hard to play rugby inside and that’s why the snow can’t melt fast enough as far as the Carbondale Junior Gentlemen are concerned. Considering they can’t practice many of the necessities of rugby like tackling, scrumming and how everything works on the bigger, outdoor pitch when they are inside a gym, the Jr. Gents were excited to finally get outside and play in a tournament on March 18 in Northglenn.
The ruggers started their season with three losses, but all of the matches were close according to head coach Rob Hurley. “I was very pleased. Last year we had a lot of blowouts, but we were in all three of those games,” Hurley said. “We looked a lot more experienced than in years past. We looked just as good as the Denver teams and in the past we’ve always been playing catch up.” The first contest was against Aurora and the Jr. Gents lost 10-0. Carbondale then reached the tryzone twice in its next game against Ponderosa, but still lost 17-10. Tries were scored in that match by scrumhalf Tony Dibacco and lock Pat Redfern.
The Jr. Gents then faced the Summit Tigers in their last game, but fell 25-20. Redfern and inside center Riley Eaton scored tries in that match.”You could tell that we are an inside team because we didn’t have the spacing and conditioning for outside, but once we start getting outside, I think we can kick it up a notch and start beating these guys,” Hurley said.Carbondale’s forwards played very strong in all three matches, mostly due to their size.
“We are huge – our forwards are huge. Everyone in the pack is at least 6-feet tall and 200-pounds plus,” Hurley said. “I’ve played for men’s teams who didn’t have a pack as big as ours.”The forwards played especially well in the scrums. In high school rugby, winning scrums are only allowed to drive the other team one-and-a-half meters backwards (as opposed to collegiate or adult scrums that have no limit). If they are driven more than that, it is a penalty and the other team is awarded a scrum. “We looked good in scrums. We scrummed so well that we pushed them past the allotted meter and one half and we turned the ball over,” Hurley said. “I’ll take that kind of penalty.”The Jr. Gents are on spring break this week, but will be back on the pitch with home matches at Basalt Middle School on April 8, 15 and 22. Carbondale will play Littleton, SWARM and Bailey, in that order, and all matches are slated to start at noon.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.