Rugby club shows well
Post Independent Sports Editor
Things went basically as expected in last weekend’s Ski Town Rugby Tournament in Vail.
When Aspen, Vail and Glenwood Springs are in the tournament, that is typically the order of finish for the top three.
“We pretty much take third every time because Aspen usually kicks our butts and Vail beats us,” said Glenwood Defiance player Tim Swanson.
Not that third place came easily. Glenwood squeaked out a tight victory in the tournament opener with a 7-5 victory over Missoula, Mont.
Missoula’s matched up well with the big pack of the Defiance. The battle on the pitch turned into a defensive struggle, with neither team able to find much in the way of offensive traction.
“It was a hard game,” Swanson said. “Their pack was just as big as our pack, and the whole team was that size.”
The difference was a converted kick after Glenwood’s try. Then, with a penalty kick chip shot in the final seconds a Missoula kicker shanked it to send the Defiance into the semifinal round.
“We had to put some voodoo on them,” said Glenwood’s Keith “Hippie” Jones, of the missed kick that led to the Defiance victory.
Unlike the opener, the semifinal game against Aspen was not a low-scoring affair ” at least for Aspen. The Gentlemen downed Glenwood 58-0 to advance to the championship against Vail.
“Those guys are so fast, it wasn’t even funny,” Swanson said. “They get the ball out, and the next thing you now they are scoring.”
“It’s not like they are a Super League team, but they are pretty close with all their experience,” Jones said.
The Gents did, however, do the Defiance a favor in the third-place game on Sunday.
Aspen’s Mark Williams played for Glenwood and ” with a pair of tries, a successful drop kick and try conversion kicks ” he helped the Defiance to a 29-10 victory over Santa Fe, N.M.
As far as the Defiance regulars, Jon Zalinski and Chris Romme “both had really good games on Saturday,” according to Swanson.
Glenwood did get some bad news as Eric Olson went down with a knee injury over the weekend.
The Defiance is scheduled to host Breckenridge on Saturday at Glenwood Park. The game starts at 1 p.m.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.