Jr. Gents crush Bailey
BASALT – Change is good. At least that’s what Chris Fitzgerald thinks.The Basalt High junior switched positions from flyhalf to wing on Saturday and scored three tries as the Carbondale Junior Gentlemen rugby team pounded Bailey 47-0 in its final home game of the season.”I like wing a lot more than flyhalf,” Fitzgerald said. “Instead of getting two inches to run at flyhalf, you get a couple feet.”
Fitzgerald took advantage of that space, especially on his second try as he ran 80 meters, faking out Bailey defenders left and right for the score. He showed his mobility even more on his next run, escaping four defenders, jumping over the outstretched arms of one Bailey player and running 40 meters for his third score.Fitzgerald wasn’t the only one evading defenders: Scrumhalf Tony DiBacco took his turn on a 30-meter run after picking the ball out of a ruck. Bailey left a hole, and DiBacco hit it for his first try.He scored again in the second half, after the Jr. Gents stole the ball in a 5-meter scrum, and DiBacco picked in and dove into the try zone. “I was impressed with the scrumhalf, he worked well around the base of the scrum, and of course the two wings were very fleet, very tricky,” said Bailey head coach David Kittrell.The forwards produced the other two tries for Carbondale, with the first coming in the first half. Moving quickly and recycling the ball cleanly like they had done all game, the forwards drove a maul 25 meters and eightman Jason Troyer set it down for a try.
“We had a couple guys who couldn’t make the trip,” Kittrell said of his squad that only had 15 players. “But certainly the Carbondale team rucked a lot harder, played better in the loose than we did.” In the second half, center Danny Grosholz had a 20-meter run to get the ball into the Jr. Gent’s offensive side of the pitch. The forwards took it from there. Troyer, flanker Wylie Chenoweth and lock Pat Redfern took alternating crashes to continue moving the ball down the field. Redfern took the last one, powering into the try zone for another Carbondale try. “They started having fun, and the ball was just moving. I think once the ball started rolling, everybody was running harder,” said Jr. Gents head coach Rob Hurley. “We’ve had a lot of things going right, but finally everything came together. They had a great game working together, rucks were great, forwards were hitting it, backs were communicating, we got it all the way out to the wing.”Fullback Luke Vories made six out seven conversion kicks to add 12 points in Carbondale’s win.After a rough start to the season, plagued by bad weather and canceled games, the Jr. Gents feel like they are getting on track.
“Before, no one had any clue of what we were doing, but now we are coming together, and everyone is falling into their positions, and we are doing a lot better,” Fitzgerald said.Carbondale even lost to Bailey earlier in the season.”We played these guys in the beginning of the season in a tournament that didn’t count for anything, and we lost two tries to one,” DiBacco said. “It’s nice to get this one.”The Jr. Gents will travel to Green Mountain next Saturday before competing in the state tournament May 6.”They are well skilled,” Kittrell said. “I encouraged their coach to go to the state championship, because we’ve played a lot of teams and this team matches up against the top teams we have played.”
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