Steamboat ekes out victory over the Defiance rugby squad |

Steamboat ekes out victory over the Defiance rugby squad

G. Sean Kelly
Post Independent Sports Editor

Glenwood Springs dictated the action during much of Saturday’s rugby match, but Steamboat Springs had the “luck.”

And it’s good to be lucky ” just ask the Steamboat players, who rallied for a 20-17 victory at Glenwood Park.

“Glenwood has a strong, big, mature forward pack,” said Steamboat’s Michael Hurley, who pointed out that his team likes to spread out and get outside. “They kept (the play) in nice and tight. I think we got a little lucky.”

It wasn’t just luck that resulted in Steamboat’s only second-half try, however. There was also some quality passing and the quick feet of Hurley.

What Hurley describes as luck came with less than 10 minutes to play, one of the few times in the second half Glenwood wasn’t able to keep everything “nice and tight” in the pack.

After a couple of quick tosses by Steamboat, the ball ended up in Hurley’s hands and he sliced through the thinly spread Defiance defense for the game-winning try.

The Defiance moved inside the 22-meter line on two occasions in the final minutes but turned the ball over both times.

“At the beginning of the second half we had control,” said Glenwood’s Chris Romme, who set up two Glenwood tries in the game. “I think the heat and the fact the we had some players who we don’t normally play with hindered our cohesiveness a bit. But, all in all, it was a good game.”

Glenwood entered the first half down 13-5, but made a move early in the second half as the players started to click in their passing. Jeff Brundage, one of three Fort Collins players who joined up with the Defiance for the weekend, made a couple of nice moves then stretched just over the try line to cut the margin to 13-10.

“We love to play with Glenwood,” said Brundage, who pointed out that Defiance players helped fill the Fort Collins roster in the past, and he was happy to return the favor. “We’d make the 31⁄2-hour trip to get a game any day.”

Romme set up a go-ahead try later in the half with a soccer kick ahead, then forced a bad pitch near the Steamboat try area. Mike Mirick was there for cleanup, gathering the ball for a 17-13 Defiance lead that held up until Hurley’s run.

In the first half Glenwood looked rusty after three weeks without a game as a full unit. Penalties filled the opening stanza and led to two successful Steamboat penalty kicks. Glenwood also had a key turnover inside the Steamboat 5-meter line that eventually resulted in a try at the other end.

Glenwood’s only first-half try came when James Lewis bowled in from a few meters out. Romme set up the score with a run from midfield.

Both teams head to the Ski Town Tournament in Vail next weekend.

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