Gentlemen travel to face Dallas | AspenTimes.com

Gentlemen travel to face Dallas

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

It’s off to the Lone Star State for the Gents.

After a week off for the Easter holiday, the Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Football Club resumes USA Rugby Super League play this weekend in Dallas.

Aspen, 4-1 on the season, travels to face the Dallas Harlequins, 3-2, on Saturday.

“We consider them to be a very strong team,” said Aspen coach Brian Going. “They put up a good showing against OMBAC, which is a pretty good indication that they’re not an easy side to topple.”

OMBAC, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club of San Diego, remains one of just two undefeated Super League teams this season. OMBAC dealt Aspen it’s only loss, 27-22, on March 29 in San Diego.

Since then, the six-time defending U.S. national champs crushed Boston (96-14) and Potomac Athletic Club (71-24).

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And while the Gents benefited from the week off, primarily in the continuing recuperation process from injuries, Going said he would have preferred to play a game.

“I feel that the guys lose their edge, and the complacency sort of sneaks in a little bit,” he said.

Saturday’s game will feature the return of two starters from last year’s squad: Aussie Paddy Shaw had visa problems that delayed his return to the States, and Isaac Mbereko, a former Zimbabwe National Team player, has been slowly coming back from a shoulder/sternum injury sustained in a March 8 exhibition game with the Denver Barbarians.

Going said it’s vital that Shaw, the scrumhalf, and Dean Walsh, the next back out the line at flyhalf, reacquaint themselves at game speed on Saturday.

“It’s very important that those two gel together,” Going said of Shaw and Walsh. “That’s the keystone combination in the back line, and, of course, Isaac is getting his first start, and he’ll be in the mix with them.”

“So there’s three exciting players that I want to see in action together. When they click, they can be remarkably good.”

The following week, May 3, Aspen hosts New York Old Blue in their Super League regular season finale. The eight-team playoffs open May 17.

Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com

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