Gents take the fight out of Glenwood’s Defiance
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Aspen
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” For 15 minutes on Saturday, the Glenwood Defiance Rugby Club was on track to repeat last year’s historical victory over the Gentlemen of Aspen.
Even after the first 40 minutes, it still looked possible as Defiance only trailed Aspen, 17-9.
Then came the second half where mental breakdowns, missed tackles, lost scrums and lineouts by Defiance helped propel Aspen to a 48-9 victory at Glenwood Park.
“The first half, we lost our composure and argued with the ref and blew some opportunities,” said Glenwood head coach Bob Herrell. “Because of that, in the second half, we lost all of our game discipline and fell apart. We completely lost our discipline. We let our defense lapse. We started playing individual ball instead of team ball.”
After Aspen struck first with a try on a quick tap in the opening minutes, Glenwood answered back with two penalty kicks by Glenwood flyhalf Ben McCarthy that put Defiance up, 6-5. The lead lasted for about 12 minutes before Aspen scored another try to take a 12-6 advantage.
McCarthy hit one more penalty kick for Glenwood before Aspen closed out the first half with another try that put the Gentlemen ahead, 17-9.
In the second frame, Defiance started off on the wrong foot, as fighting with Aspen players and talking back to the official landed players in the sin bin and left Glenwood shorthanded. Aspen wasted no time taking advantage of the situation. The Gentlemen scored three tries in the first 15 minutes of the half to take a commanding 38-9 lead.
“The first half was tough, they usually are,” said Aspen player/coach Fred Waititi. “They have a good side, so it took us a long time to figure out where the weakness was.”
Once the Gentlemen got going, there was no stopping them. Aspen’s back line ran through Glenwood’s for the remainder of the contest, breaking tackles and scoring two more tries to put the match away. Aspen started stealing the ball in Glenwood’s scrums and did the same in lineouts and rucks.
“It comes with the momentum. As we started moving forward, things started going our way,” Waititi said of Aspen’s play in the second half. “In the first half, things were pretty even. All the set pieces were even and the breakdowns were going both ways. It took until we started to get ahead before we started winning them.”
Aspen moved to 2-1 with the win. The Gents host their first home match of the summer season at 4 p.m. Friday against rival Vail at Wagner Park.
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