Ski Town supremacy on the line |

Ski Town supremacy on the line

With a few summer games under their belts, the Glenwood Springs Defiance rugby team players are ready to start playing the games that have real significance.

And what’s more significant than claiming bragging rights as the top ski town rugby club?

Ten teams will have the opportunity to earn those bragging rights at the Ski Town Rugby Tournament, which starts Saturday at the Gates Soccer Fields on the Colorado Mountain College-Spring Valley campus.

Defiance has fared well in the last two battles for ski town supremacy, but has yet to vie for the tournament title. Glenwood finished third in the previous two tournaments behind rivals Aspen and Vail.

Aspen’s summer league team, which hosted the last year’s Ski Town, enters as the defending champion. Aspen and Vail have met in the Ski Town finals the last six seasons and are seeded Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.

Along with Glenwood, the Denver Harlequins (last year’s Division II state champion) and the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union team (a collection of the top college players in the eastern Rocky Mountains) could sneak into Sunday’s title game with an upset or two.

The other teams slated to compete are: Park City, Utah; Steamboat Springs; Santa Fe, N.M.; Breckenridge; and Jackson Hole.

The tournament opens at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday with Vail playing Steamboat in the Group 1 bracket and Aspen facing Jackson Hole in the Group 2 bracket. Each team plays four 40-minute games on Saturday.

The first Defiance game is at 11:15 a.m. against Vail. Defiance faced Vail in their summer opener, but, after trailing just 10-7 at the half, Glenwood couldn’t keep up after the intermission as Vail won handily 46-12.

Defiance president Tom Sullivan thinks the Ski Town game could be different, however, due to more players and more time on the field.

“I think we have a legitimate shot at Vail,” Sullivan said. “We kind of let it get away (in the first meeting) and didn’t have our full team.”

The Plate Game pits the second-place squads out of each bracket against each other for third-place honors and is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. The two No. 1 teams play for the tournament title at noon. The Plate Game and championship are full 80-minute contests.

For a complete tournament schedule, see Scoreboard on page 19.

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