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Steamboat Springs outlasts Glenwood Defiance ruggers

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado Stay focused boys.If three words heard from the sideline could describe Saturdays matchup between Glenwood Defiance and Steamboat Springs Rugby Club, those would be them.Were playing fairly well at all aspects of the game, said Defiance head coach Bob Herrell, at the half. Were just not finishing off.Like the afternoon sun beating down on the pitch, Defiance came out strong Saturday at Glenwood Park. Defiances Morgan Harris in at fullback for the day said the team was poised and ready for a win to knock Steamboat from first place.We were feeling really good, he said. We thought we could win the game. I think it was that way until the last 10 minutes when they stepped it up and we didnt.Herrell said strong kicking by Ben McCarthy and an excellent power game by Tom McKeown at No. 8 helped Defiance take the lead over Steamboat 14-10 at the half. McKeown of Dublin, Ireland, one of 10 international ruggers playing for Defiance this summer was named his teams Man of the Match.Tom had a lot of composure, a lot of maturity, Defiance team captain Armando Herrera said. There was just outstanding play by him.Going into the second half, Defiance had Steamboat Springs beat, Herrera said. But missed tackles and a focused Steamboat Springs team in the final 10 minutes proved too much for the home team.It was an even duel the first half, then they came out the second half and scored, Herrera said. They beat us plain and simple. You cant teach the hunger and the want.Overall, Steamboat captain JoJo Bucci was impressed with Defiances performance.Glenwood has really stepped up over the years, especially with recruiting, he said. They are much more competitive across the board. I have to give credit to Glenwood. They were up with 12 minutes to go. But our experience with all the boys and their heart paid off in the end.Prior to being named Man of the Match, McKeown reflected on Steamboats 28-10 win over Defiance.It could have went better, he said. This was a big game for us, and a big disappointment. Earlier on we could have put a few more tries away.Stronger tackling and better game experience might have made the difference for Defiance, Herrell said. We had consistent problems with tackling. Poor tackling led to two long tries for (Steamboat) and they put on a 10-minute rush that we did not match, he said. The biggest difference is they adjusted to the outside attack. And in the last 10 minutes they decided to win at the end of the second half and we didnt.Despite the loss, Herrell noticed improvement in his players approach to the game. Especially when it came to officiating.I was happy we played with discipline and stayed on our game plan, he said. We showed much more composure as a team when calls went the other way. We are actually maturing a little.Harris wholl return to his hometown in Wales after the summer but plans to come back for Defiances 2009 season agreed.I think Defiance has grown, he said. Personally I want to win every game, so Im a little disappointed today. But I think we can do it. I think next year well do even better.Harris hopes his teammates remember those three words.


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