Defiance gets off to ‘good start’ in loss
VAIL ” For the Vail Rugby Football Club’s Ted Browner, who played four years with Glenwood Springs, games with the Defiance are a reunion of sorts.
“It’s good to see the boys, but it’s not good to see their front row,” he said. “They’re huge and it hurts.”
And that was the story of the day in Saturday’s fixture at the Vail Athletic Field, as the match turned into a scrum-athon with Glenwood’s front pack pounding away at the Blue and White. Vail managed to get outside enough to salvage a 34-18 win against a determined Defiance 15.
“A lot of us scrum players have been playing together for many years, so we’re pretty tight,” Glenwood player-coach Fred Webber said. “We’re big, and we have experience in the scrum. We were playing catch-up being behind in the score. I felt like we were pressuring the ball on them.”
Vail got off to a 29-8 lead early in the second half behind tries from Tom Vallentine, Brandon McDonald, Matt Palmer, Brian Dalrymple and a penalty kick from the latter. Glenwood answered with a three of its own from Ken Murphy and a try from Jim Hoffman.
But Glenwood dictated the tempo, especially in the second half, keeping Vail’s backs inside, slowing the tempo and winning scrum after scrum. The result was a late surge from Defiance.
Glenwood put up two tries, including one from James Lewis to close to 29-18, before a late score from Vail’s Paul Drugan iced the game for the hosts.
“Glenwood has a huge pack,” Browner said. “The last thing we wanted to do against them was scrummage and we scrummaged against them all day long, and they pushed us off the ball all day.”
Saturday’s game was the Defiance’s first regular-season match of the season, while it was Vail’s third, giving Webber and company reason for optimism as they head into their next tilt next month against Steamboat Springs.
“This is really our first game,” Webber said. “We had an intrasquad game. This is our first opposition game. It’s a good start.”
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