Glenwood Defiance falls decisively to Gentlemen of Aspen |

Glenwood Defiance falls decisively to Gentlemen of Aspen

Joelle Milholm
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” For 15 minutes on Saturday, the Glenwood Defiance rugby team was on track to repeat last year’s historic victory over the Gentlemen of Aspen.

Even after the first 40 minutes, it still looked possible as Defiance only trailed Aspen 17-9.

Then came the second half where mental breakdowns, mistackles and lost scrums and lineouts by Defiance helped propel Aspen to a 48-9 victory at Glenwood Park.

“The first half, we lost our composure and argued with the referee and blew some opportunities,” said Glenwood head coach Bob Herrell. “Because of that, in the second half, we lost all of our game discipline and fell apart. We completely lost our discipline. We let our defense lapse. We started playing individual ball instead of team ball.”

After Aspen struck first with a try on a quick tap in the opening minutes, Glenwood answered back with two penalty kicks by Glenwood flyhalf Ben McCarthy which put Defiance up 6-5. The lead lasted for about 12 minutes before Aspen scored another try to take a 12-6 advantage.

McCarthy hit one more penalty kick for Glenwood before Aspen closed out the first half with another try that put the Gentlemen ahead 17-9.

In the second frame, Defiance started off on the wrong foot as fighting their opponents and talking back to the official landed players in the sin bin and left Glenwood short handed. Aspen wasted no time taking advantage of the situation.

The Gentlemen scored three tries in the first 15 minutes of the half to take a commanding 38-9 lead.

“The first half was tough, they usually are,” said Aspen player/coach Freddy Waititi. “They have a good side, so it took us a long time to figure out where the weakness was.”

Once the Gentlemen got going, there was no stopping them. Aspen’s backline ran through Glenwood’s for the remainder of the contest, breaking tackles and scoring two more tries to put the match away. Aspen started stealing the ball in Glenwood’s scrums and did the same in lineouts and rucks.

“It comes with the momentum. As we started moving forward, things started going our way,” Waititi said of Aspen’s play in the second half. “In the first half, things were pretty even. All the set pieces were even and the breakdowns were going both ways. It took until we started to get ahead before we started winning them.”

Glenwood fell to 1-2 on the season with the loss and will be off next week before returning to action July 12-13 at the Cow Pie tournament in Steamboat Springs.

Aspen moved to 2-1 on the year and will be back on the pitch on Friday to host Vail at 4 p.m. for an Independence Day match.

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