Defiance falters in second half
The Glenwood Springs Defiance Rugby Club got off to a solid start in its summer season opener Saturday at Glenwood Park, but couldn’t keep the momentum in the second half.
After a first half dominated by tight defense on both sides, Vail’s offense found its groove and rolled to a 46-12 victory over the Defiance.
“It was more, `let’s see where we’re at,'” Defiance captain Mitch Bowers said. “For us it was touch and feel, and we have some work to do.”
Leading 10-7 after the first half, Vail poured on the offense to open the second frame. Vail scored three tries in the first 15 minutes, including a pair separated by less than three minutes by Rex Pennefather.
“We spent the last two weeks working on our conditioning, and I think it showed,” Vail coach Steve Doyle said. “We knew if we showed some patience (Defiance) would crack a little.”
“We let our guard down and were a little flat (to open the second half),” Bowers said. “They kind of caught us off guard and kept us back on our heels.”
Vail didn’t stop at three tries. The Blue and White scored six consecutive tries before the Defiance scored their first points of the frame on the contest’s final minute.
“We seemed to play 5 minutes on and then let off for 5 minutes,” Bowers said. “We needed to play 10 full minutes and we would have scored easily.”
Bowers scored the match’s final try, bowling in from a yard out for the 46-12 final.
“In the second half I was very impressed,” Doyle said. “We cut down on the mistakes and played basic rugby.”
While Vail didn’t control play in the first half like in the second, the Blue and White never trailed in the contest.
Vail got on the board in the first 10 minutes with a penalty kick by Brian Dalrymple.
Minutes later, Brandon Farmer snuck through the pile at the try line for the first of his two tries on the day, and Dalrymple’s conversion gave Vail a 10-0 lead. Dalrymple kicked four conversions in the contest.
“It’s typical of this team to come out a little slow,” said Bowers, pointing out that the team had to adjust to Vail’s style and plays as well as all the new players on the Defiance roster this season.
And, in the first half at least, the Defiance adjusted well.
Defiance wing Keith Jones took a pitch from James Lewis from about 10 yards out and cruised in for the try. Adam Tormey’s conversion cut the Vail lead to 10-7 17 minutes into the game.
Glenwood held the territorial edge for the remainder of the half and had two opportunities to even the score, but failed to hit penalty kicks of 19 and 23 yards.
Vail improves to 2-0 on the season, while Glenwood drops to 0-1. The next Defiance game is Saturday in Breckenridge.
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