In Defiance of the outcome
Post Independent Sports Editor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The Glenwood Defiance Rugby Club wasn’t about the focus on the final score in Steamboat Springs’s 53-18 victory Saturday afternoon at Glenwood Park.
Instead, Defiance opted to focus on a 10-minute span in the second half, when Glenwood outscored the Steamboat club 18-0. It makes sense, especially considering the stark contrast in how well Defiance played in the first half against the Fighting Bulltrout.
“It’s really all about momentum, and we had it in that spot,” Glenwood coach Ian “Spudsy” Skilton said. “You can’t coach heart, and we had that, too.”
That’s what Glenwood showed in the second half despite falling behind 27-0 at halftime. And the score really got out of hand at the beginning of the second half, when a try and conversion kick from Robbie Shine, followed by a breakaway try from Jason Troyer, bumped Steamboat’s lead to 41-0.
Eight minutes later, however, Defiance had scored 18 unanswered points and had seized the momentum.
“We didn’t have anything to lose at that point,” said Wieham Pretorius, who had one of Glenwood’s two trys and a pair of penalty goals during the scoring run. “We showed that we still had something left.”
Glenwood got on the board with 15 minutes gone in the second half when Jase Kacey burrowed across the endline and touched down. Then on Glenwood’s ensuing possession, Defiance moved down the field effortlessly and got on the scoreboard again when Pretorius darted past Steamboat’s line for another try.
Pretorius followed that with a pair of penalty goals, which drew plenty of cheers from the Defiance fans watching the game and spurred a tongue lashing to Steamboat’s players by the Bulltrout’s coaching staff.
That scoring spurt came with a patchwork lineup that included some players from Grand Junction’s rugby team after its game against Aspen in Grand Junction was canceled on Saturday. Defiance, which was short some players for Saturday’s game, offered Grand Junction a short pickup game following the Glenwood/Steamboat contest.
“When you don’t have people who have been playing together long, you’re going to have [starts] like this come up,” Skilton said. “We got it together over a little time, though.”
Steamboat capped the first half with trys from Shine and Troyer. Shine’s came out a scrum not far from the endline about 31 minutes into the first half, and the breakaway score from Troyer capped the first-half scoring.
Glenwood will host the same Grand Junction team it played with for its next scheduled game, which will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Glenwood Park.
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