Defiance scraps out road win
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado – Scrappy got the job done for Defiance RFC. Despite a sloppy day of play from both sides, the Glenwood Springs rugby club topped host Steamboat Springs 22-12 on Saturday.
With several rookies gracing each roster, both teams committed numerous turnovers on the day.
Amid the sloppiness, Defiance managed to strike first, getting a penalty kick by Soonshine Stewart to take an early 3-0 lead.
Play went back and forth between the 22-meter lines for several minutes before Steamboat crashed through a try but missed its conversion.
Defiance answered back immediately with a try in the corner by Ryan Wilch. The conversion missed its mark and Glenwood led 8-5 at the half.
Glenwood implemented a new game plan in the second half, swinging the ball wide, inserting the fullback to force the ball outside and putting Lew Culostomy on the back line.
Culostomy scored untouched on a long back-line movement early on to stretch Defiance’s lead to 15-5.
The middle minutes of the half were spent in the middle of the field, with turnovers and changes of possession killing any continuity of play by either side.
In the final 10 minutes, Steamboat rallied for a try to slice its deficit to 15-12.
But Glenwood responded, taking the ensuing kickoff and controlling the ball behind its forwards before sending another long back-line play the length of the field. Chris Woods touched the ball down just left of the center post and Stewart converted to round out the final score.
“I was happy with the way we responded to the pressure at the end of the game, but we put ourselves in that position by not finishing several back-line movements,” Defiance coach Bob Herrell said. “Our forwards played a bit haphazardly in terms of ball control, but we didn’t commit many penalties, and our lineouts were much improved.”
Herrell fielded a pair of new overseas imports in the game in Jim O’Sullivan and Stewart.
“Our new Irish lads contributed mightily, particularly JimJam O’Sullivan at hooker and man of the match Soonshine Stewart,” the coach lauded. “We looked pretty good for a team that had five new players at skill positions and combinations in the back line that we had never tried before. Still and all, we need to pass the ball sooner and let the ball do the work instead of trying to run people over every play.”
Defiance will be in Denver on Saturday to play the Denver Harlequins.
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