Cronies get ball rolling at Ruggerfest | AspenTimes.com

Cronies get ball rolling at Ruggerfest

The Dark 'N Stormy Misfits (blue shorts) play the Kansas City Rugby Club Thursday in a 45-and-over match on the first day of the 49th annual Ruggerfest rugby tournament at Wagner Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert |

Thursday’s Ruggerfest Results

Old Boys 45s (Cronies)

Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 24, Maccabi USA 10

Cardinals Rugby 15, KC Rugby Club 12

Olympic Club 17, Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 14

Cardinals Rugby 24, Maccabi USA 19

Olympic Club 24, KC Rugby Club 0

Cardinals Rugby 21, Olympic Club 15

KC Rugby Club 19, Maccabi USA 17

Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 15, Cardinals Rugby 5

Olympic Club 3, Maccabi USA 0

Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 54, KC Rugby Club 0

Old Boys 55s (Fogies)

Cardinals Rugby 24, Florida Old Boys 0

It took a dominant fourth match, but the Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 45s side is right where it thought it would be — headed to Sunday’s championship match of the 49th annual Aspen Ruggerfest.

“That’s what we are here for — Champagne rugby. Definitely getting to the finals is the goal,” said Misfit coach, organizer and player Whitey Nelson. “We did that. The boys had fun, had smiles and just good continuity. We have to carry that into the finals on Sunday.”

Ruggerfest, Aspen’s ever-popular rugby tournament, got underway Thursday morning at Wagner Park. The first day was all about the cronies, the 45-and-older players, with the teams playing a round-robin schedule. The teams with the best records advancing to Sunday’s championship.

The Misfits went 3-1 and will play the San Francisco-based Olympic Club 45s in that all-or-nothing battle.

Nelson, who lives in Evergreen, started the Misfits in 2008 as a 35s side and has watched it evolve from there. The Misfits 45s side is looking to win its third Ruggerfest title in four years. Their big win Thursday came over the Cardinals, based out of Virginia — the team that beat them in the Ruggerfest finals last year.

“That was key to getting the momentum,” Nelson said.

The Misfits beat Maccabi USA, 24-10, in the first match of the day, lost to Olympic Club, 17-14, in penalty kicks in the second match, beat the Cardinals, 15-5, in the third match, and then routed the Kansas City Rugby Club, 54-0, to cap the first day.

The Misfits will continue to be a factor, no matter the division. Nelson has brought in many former pros and U.S.A. Eagles to play for him this Ruggerfest, an answer to The Gentlemen of Aspen, which beat the Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits for the open championship last year.

Today will be centered on the Masters 35s and Old Boys 50s sides. The match of the day could possibly be The Gentlemen of Aspen 35s taking on the Misfits 35s — a squad with 14 former Eagles on it — at 6:30 p.m. at Wagner Rugby Stadium.

“Starting (today) when the over 35s go, the pace out here is going to be a lot different. It’s electric,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be good. It’s going to be very high-level rugby from (today) on.”

The Gentlemen of Aspen 35s side also will play at 9:30 a.m. against PAC Team Zippy 35s and at 2 p.m. against the Kansas City Blues Brothers 35s. The women and open division start play Saturday.

For an updated schedule and results, visit http://www.aspen-ruggerfest.com.

acolbert@aspentimes.com


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