Rugby: Defiance snaps skid, easily beats Grand Junction
GRAND JUNCTION — Leave it to a longtime veteran of the Defiance Rugby Football Club to give plenty of props to the rookie players who made a big difference against Grand Junction on Saturday morning.
“Today,” Defiance veteran Sean McDermott said, “I have never seen such incredible heart come from this team before. The effort these guys made today was amazing.”
Jermiah Moreno scored a pair of tries and Auston Tribble also crossed the try line twice in his first rugby game ever, and Defiance won its first Mountain League game since 2012 with their 24-14 victory.
Tribble, a former Glenwood Springs High School quarterback who two years ago won the Class 4A state championship in the 300-meter hurdles, scored the first and final try of the day for Defiance (1-2). His final try of the game came with 15 minutes remaining and gave the Glenwood club a more-than-comfortable 24-7.
Grand Junction had a late try and conversion to come within 14 of Glenwood, but Defiance held on. Kyle Bullinger made 2-of-4 conversion attempts.
“There’s just so many exciting things about this,” said McDermott, who was unable to play because of an injury. “This shows a lot about our future because our rookies did our scoring today. We’re thrilled and stoked, but this is just one win. We’re hoping to get at least a couple more.”
Defiance will be off next week before returning to the field the weekend of July 11 for the annual Cowpie Rugby Tournament in Steamboat Springs.
After that, the Glenwood squad will return to Mountain League play when it heads up Interstate 70 to play a road game against Vail.
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