Indomitable’ Gents fall to Old Mission Beach
The seemingly indomitable Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Football Club dropped the opening game of its U.S.A. Rugby spring schedule Saturday against Old Mission Bay Athletic Club (OMBAC) in San Diego.
OMBAC, a perennial power in men’s club rugby, staked a 17-0 lead at the half en route to a 32-5 win over the Gents, a team that’s amassed a 100-6 overall record since the fall of 1995, including Saturday’s loss.
“It was a disappointing game. Every now and then, well, you can’t win ’em all,” said Aspen captain Chris Morrow, the team’s fly half. “All the credit goes to OMBAC, they were well-drilled that’s for sure.”
“They’ve been playing for two or three months, and us being on our second game with very little time outdoors, we were a bit rusty, that coupled with a lot of new faces on the team hurt us,” he continued. “We didn’t adapt and we made a lot of fundamental mistakes.”
Winger Bobby Lochrem scored the Gents’ only try.
Gents spokesman and former player and coach John Silich said, “the guys took it pretty hard. But in all fairness, (OMBAC) was just better than we were that day.”
“As I mentioned to them after the match, when you win so many games, you’ve got to learn how to lose also – gracious in victory, humble in defeat,” he added.
Silich said the loss “puts a little bit of a hitch in our plans for home field in the playoffs,” but shouldn’t keep the Gents from making a run at the team’s fifth-straight U.S.A. Rugby National Championship.
“This is a position we’re not used to being in,” Silich said. “If it doesn’t inspire us, then we’re taking it a little lightly. But I know for a fact that the guys are going to use this to move forward and improve.”
The Gents travel back to California this weekend for a match Saturday against Golden Gate, a team that beat a club from Dallas last Saturday.
Golden Gate “probably feels like they’ve got a good shot at us considering our result against OMBAC,” Silich said. “But anyone who takes us lightly is foolish. We look forward to playing OMBAC in the future, and if we plan to make a run at the national championship again, we’ll likely meet them in playoffs; we look forward to that wholeheartedly.”
Morrow said the Aspen side was somewhat depleted Saturday against OMBAC, due to player commitments elsewhere and injury.
“OMBAC played to the best of their abilities, and I think we played pretty well for the start of the season, but we know we could’ve done a lot better,” he said. “There’s a lot more games left in the season and we still think we’ll be in the finals. I’d prefer to lose now, to find out where we’re going wrong, rather than later in the season.”
“We’ll be closer to our full side this Saturday,” Morrow added.
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