Defiance Rugby club to be showcased Saturday
The Defiance Rugby Club of Glenwood Springs will play a showcase game at Aspen’s Wagner Park at noon Saturday as a preview to the USA Rugby national championship game (Division I).
Defiance will take on the Aspen B side in the early game, followed by the championship game featuring the Gentlemen of Aspen vs. Belmont Shore of Long Beach, Calif,. playing for the national title immediately after Defiance’s game.
The Gentlemen of Aspen will be trying to earn their sixth straight USA Rugby Division I national title.
That game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Going into Saturday’s match, the Defiance Club is 1-1 on the current season.
Last week, they lost their first game of the season, 27-24, at Colorado Springs.
Injuries to key players, along with a sluggish first half start put Defiance in an immediate hole.
Colorado Springs built a 20-0 lead at halftime.
Defiance came out strong after intermission, but failed to convert their two tries of the second half into scores.
Halfway into the period, Beau Sinclair’s steal turned into a conversion. He bulled his way into the scoring area from 10 meters out after the turnover for a try where Jon Zelinski made the conversion.
Later, Zelinski nailed a try after a Colorado Springs penalty from 20 meters away, then added his second successful conversion of the game.
“Although we had a soft start, we were pleased with our second half performance,” said Keith “Hippie” Jones, a longtime Defiance player.
“It showed our resilience and our will not to give up. That resulted in 24 unanswered points,” Jones said of the team’s second-half comeback.
After Saturday’s game in Aspen, the Defiance Club plays their next three matches at Glenwood Park.
On June 15 Defiance plays Vail, followed by Strawberry Days weekend contest with Park City on June 22. The Defiance Club’s three-game homestand concludes with a June 29 match with Breckenridge.
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