Defiance ends league season on a high note
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The Defiance Rugby Football Club didn’t win a game last year, or the year before that.
On Saturday, the 2015 version of Defiance didn’t look a thing like their counterparts from previous years. After winning a friendly match against Grand Junction by a score of 14-12, Defiance followed up with a convincing 32-7 victory against Breckenridge that was more lopsided than the final score indicated.
“I am so proud of this team,” Defiance team captain Sean McDermott said. “This team never gave up or never let up. It didn’t matter if they were up by a lot or down by a lot. They kept going no matter what.”
Granted, the season isn’t completely over since Defiance will play in the annual Ski Town Rugby Tournament in Park City, Utah, next month. Saturday’s Mountain League season finale at Glenwood Park, however, capped the Glenwood squad’s season with a 3-3 record.
And Defiance capped the season with not only a lopsided win, but a down-to-the-wire victory.
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Against Grand Junction, Nick Garay scored both tries and James Mitchell nailed both conversions, and Glenwood took a 14-7 lead into the final five minutes of the game. Grand Junction scored a try with close to two minutes remaining but failed to tie the game when they missed the conversion.
Defiance’s game against Breckenridge wasn’t nearly as close.
Glenwood, at one point, held a 32-0 lead and didn’t relinquish Breckenridge’s only try of the game until its final play. In the meantime, Gilbert Hernandez scored a try on a long breakaway, Germiah Moreno scored a pair of tries, Trevor Lindberg bulled into the try zone for a score after breaking several tackles, and even veteran defiance player Raul Passerini found a way to score.
Mitchell also found the try zone, touching the ball down after kicking it the distance of the field into the zone.
“All of the little mistakes we made against Grand Junction we managed to fix against Breckenridge,” McDermott said. “This is an absolutely huge momentum boost for us going into next year.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.