Gents get revenge on Belmont Shore
The Gentlemen of Aspen enjoyed the sweet taste of revenge last Saturday when they knocked off a team that knocked them off last year.
The Gents pummeled Belmont Shore 16-11 on their home court in Long Beach, Calif., in Aspen’s second game of the newly sponsored Rugby Super League. Last year, Belmont Shore shocked the Gents with an upset win early in the season. It was the Gent’s only loss before they went on to win a second straight USA Rugby National Club Championship title and third straight Ruggerfest title.
Belmont Shore went on to win the Harp Super League title.
But Aspen got revenge last weekend during a thrilling match. The Gents opened the scoring with a drop-kick conversion from captain and 18-year veteran Mark Williams four minutes into the game, to give Aspen a 3-0 lead.
A little over a minute later, Belmont Shore tied the score at 3-3 with a penalty kick.
The game remained tied until Belmont scored a try midway through the first half to take an 8-3 lead. But Aspen answered with consecutive scores late in the half: Williams connected on a penalty kick and Tomasi Takau scored a try. With Williams’ conversion, Aspen took a 13-8 lead.
Belmont managed a penalty kick in the half’s final play to cut the lead to 13-11.
Belmont Shore, however, was completely shut down in the second half. Williams added his third penalty kick of the game to close the scoring at 16-11.
The Gentlemen are now 2-0 and lead the Western standings of the Rugby League West League. Belmont Shore (0-1) drops to seventh in the eight-team standings.
The Denver Barbarians, whom Aspen defeated for its third straight Ruggerfest title last August, are second at 1-0 and 31 points. The Old Blues are third (1-1), the Dallas Harlequins are third (1-1), Golden Gate is fourth (1-0, 20 points), OMBAC is sixth (0-1), and Old Puget Sound Beach is seventh (0-2)
Atlanta Life leads the East standings at 1-0 followed by Potomac Athletic Club (second, 1-0) and Washington (third, 1-0). Chicago, Boston Rugby and Philadelphia-Whitmarsh, all at 0-1 fill out the top six. Kansas City and Old Blue have yet to play their season openers.
The Gentlemen will take this weekend off before traveling back to California to face OMBAC on Saturday, April 3.
Aspen’s first home match of the season will be Saturday, April 10, when the Gents host the Denver Barbarians at either Wagner Park or Rio Grande Park.
Aspen will then head back to California for a match against Golden Gate, followed by the Westerns – a three-day Rugby League Tournament in Omaha, Neb. – on April 23-25.
The USA Rugby Sweet Sixteens begin May 22 and will be followed by the newly added playoffs.
This year’s National Championships will be June 5-6 at Robb’s Field in San Diego.
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