Defiance joins ski-town battle
Making it through one rugby match with your body still intact is something of an accomplishment. Two matches in one day – followed by the inevitable festivities formed whenever a large group of ruggers get together – and another game the following day will undoubtedly leave players with sore muscles and a bit of a headache. But pain is part of rugby, and the Ski Town Tournament is one of the favorite events of the season for the eight teams competing this weekend in Vail.”It’s a good time. Everybody always looks forward to the Ski Town,” said Glenwood Springs Defiance’s Tim Swanson. “You play a lot of good rugby, and it’s always a good party afterward.”The Defiance will also get to face some opponents they only see once a year.Glenwood opens the tournament today at noon against one of those unfamiliar squads in Missoula, Mont. The winner faces the winner of the Aspen-Breckenridge game, at 4 p.m., while the losers scrum at 2 p.m.While Swanson, a key member of Glenwood’s big pack, is still a bit banged up with a hamstring injury, the Defiance side should be bolstered by the return of Jonny “Z” Zalinski and some roster additions from Grand Junction and Fort Collins. “We’re throwing together a side to have fun, and we’ll see what happens,” Swanson said. Glenwood has never won the Ski Town Tournament. Aspen enters as the odds-on favorite, with Vail also in the mix. The Gentlemen of Aspen have dominated the tournament in the past, but didn’t compete last year. Their absence left the door open for Jackson Hole to claim Ski Town supremacy and the Wyoming squad is back to defend its title.Other teams in the tournament include Santa Fe (N.M.) and Steamboat Springs.The early-round games start at 9 a.m. today, and the last game is at 4 p.m. Sunday’s action features three consolation games, with the first starting at 10 a.m. The championship is at 1:30 p.m. All games will be played at the Vail Athletic Field.
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