Vail beats Glenwood Defiance, 45-22 |

Vail beats Glenwood Defiance, 45-22

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Teddy Omandi made his last game of the summer with the Glenwood Defiance rugby club well worth his while, scoring two tries for Defiance and preventing a try attempt by Vail.Unfortunately for Glenwood, it wasn’t enough as Vail walked away with a 45-22 victory.Omandi, who’s originally from Kenya, but plays in France, will be returning to France today before his rugby season there starts up later this month. The outside center has been the leading scorer for Glenwood this summer, and Saturday was no different.

Omandi scored his first try 10 minutes into the match, but Vail scored a few minutes later to tie the game at 5-5.A few plays later, Vail was passing the ball down its backline when Omandi zoomed in to intercept the ball and run it 35 meters for another try. Morgan Harris made the conversion to put Defiance up 12-5.Vail responded with fury, scoring three straight tries, two from wingers and one from flanker Brandon MacDonald, to close out the half and go up 24-12.Omandi came up with another interception to prevent a should-have-been try for Vail when Vail was 5 meters outside the try line and attempted to kick the ball to touch (out of bounds). But the kick was low and Omandi swooped in for a pick before booting the ball to the other side of the field.Hooker Tom Schwenk also made a big stand on defense. With Vail quickly moving the ball down its backline, Schwenk charged up and leveled a Vail center, forcing him to knock the ball on and allowing Glenwood a chance to clear the ball out of its defensive zone.

Harris split the uprights on a penalty kick a few minutes into the second frame, trimming Vail’s advantage to 24-15. Vail once again answered, scoring three more tries and keeping the ball in its possession for the majority of the half.”We knew their strengths and we knew ours and really if they don’t have the ball, their excellent backs can’t really do much with it,” said Vail coach/player Steve MacKinnon. “We had maybe 90 percent of possession and when we had the ball, we turned over a lot of ball.”Harris scored one try between Vail’s three, sending a chip kick down the field that deflected off a handful of people before he fell on it in the try zone.Glenwood put together a few scoring attempts that came close in the second half, including a dive for the corner of the try zone by Caesar Omdula, but he went to touch before crossing the line.”First half was good, we played pretty well as a team,” said Glenwood winger Rich McDilda. “Second half, we had a couple of interior breakdowns.”

Throughout the game Omandi found himself lined up against a familiar face – Vail’s outside center Enos Otieno. The two, along with Omdula, played for the same club team in Kenya. All three hung out together after the game to catch up.”I grew up wanting to be like him,” Omandi said of Otieno. “He is an icon.”Glenwood moved to 1-4 in the Mountain Rugby League, while Vail bumped up to 3-1 in the MRL. Vail and Glenwood had planned on rematching today in Vail, but the game was canceled.As for Omandi, he said his experience in Glenwood has been a good one.”It’s been a lot of fun hanging out with these guys … the trainings and even though there’s been a lot of ups and downs, pretty much, it’s been good,” Omandi said. “Hopefully I can come back here next summer.”

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