Gents edged by OMBAC in Super League opener
The Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Football Club lost its USA Rugby Super League season opener 30-17 to longtime rival OMBAC in San Diego Saturday.OMBAC – the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club – scored a try in the final moments of the game. Until then, Aspen coach Mick Melrose said it was a tight contest throughout.”They played well, and we also played well,” said Melrose. “We had our chances to win the game. Unfortunately, our lack of preparation got to us – fitness and so forth – toward the end of the game.”Last year, Aspen advanced to the final four of the USA Rugby Super League playoffs. And in the semifinals, the Gents lost to the eventual champs, Belmont Shore of Long Beach, Calif.This season, Aspen has played a few tournaments already to prepare for the Super League schedule. However, because the Gents practice largely indoors at the Cozy Point Riding Arena until the snow melts, the Gents customarily aren’t all full speed in early spring.”It was encouraging that with limited preparation we had opportunities to win the game,” said Melrose. “It was a good gauge to show where we’re at and ultimately the way we played was pleasing considering.”Simon Dogbe and Carlos Angeline scored tries for the Gents. Kent Currie kicked two 2-point conversions and a 3-point penalty goal to bring Aspen’s total to 17 points.On Friday, the Gents travel back to California for a match against San Francisco Golden Gate on Saturday. Golden Gate lost to Belmont Shore in the Super League finals last June.”There’s a raft of issues with the team at the moment,” said Melrose, including depth of the roster, player eligibility and availability obstacles, and travel challenges. “So we’ve got a difficult road ahead of us, but there’s no reason we can’t win a couple games on the road.”Aspen hosts its first Super League match on April 9 against Old Puget Sound Beach of Washington.Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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