Stage set for big Ruggerfest weekend | AspenTimes.com

Stage set for big Ruggerfest weekend

A Gentlemen of Aspen 35s rugby player, in red, attempts to keep a Dark 'n Stormy Misfit player from scoring a try in their match Friday afternoon at Wagner Park in Aspen. The Misfits won, 36-5.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

MASTERS 35 SCORES FROM FRIDAY

Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 36, Zippy Blues Brothers 13

Gentlemen of Aspen 45, Zippy Blues Brothers 12

Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 36, Gentlemen of Aspen 5

OLD BOYS 50s SCORES FROM FRIDAY

Cardinals Rugby 34, Minnesota Old Gold 0

Boulder Rugby 10, Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 0

Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 52, Minnesota Old Gold 0

Cardinals Rugby 17, Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 12

Boulder Rugby 40, Minnesota Old Gold 0

Boulder Rugby 10, Cardinals Rugby 5

With the Old Boys getting their chance to shine Thursday and Friday, the stage is now set for the main act to get underway today at the 49th annual Aspen Ruggerfest.

“We’ve got a revitalized open this year. We got some top teams coming in from around the country,” said tournament co-organizer Bryan McShane. “We just got a lot of rugby going on Saturday. We got both fields filled up from sunrise to sunset. It’s going to be some really good playing out there.”

While past years have often been built around a strong 35-and-over tournament, the men’s open division is undoubtedly the heart of Ruggerfest 2016. The 11-team tourney is comprised of three pools, and by this evening everyone will know the two teams playing for Sunday’s championship.

Among the favorites in the open division are the national power Glendale Raptors, the U.S.A. Eagle-loaded Dark ’n Stormy Misfits, and 2015 Ruggerfest champion, The Gentlemen of Aspen.

“We’ve got a good squad together. I think it’s well-balanced. We got some depth in the right areas,” Gents coach Cameron McIntyre said. “We made some strides in achieving that depth in the areas we needed in a tournament. The truth is, we like to think it’s balanced across the board.”

Aspen’s rugby club will play in a three-team pool with Boulder and the Kansas City Rugby Club. The Gents are scheduled to play KC at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. against Boulder, both at Wagner Rugby Stadium in downtown Aspen.

“We had a really good summer and we’ve got a lot of those guys coming back for Ruggerfest,” said Aspen Rugby Club President Fleming Trane. “So we think that our chances are very good to defend our Ruggerfest championship.”

Saturday’s action — which also includes a five-team women’s tournament — will be divided between both Wagner Park and Rio Grande Park. Both parks will again host rugby all day Sunday, with the championship games of each division to all be played at Wagner Park.

Among Sunday’s championships will be the Masters 35s title match between the Gentlemen of Aspen 35s side and the Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits 35s side. The Gents 35s team went 1-1 Friday, beating Zippy Blues Brothers — a last-second combination team after two squads low on numbers decided to join forces — 45-12, and a 36-5 loss to the Misfits. The Misfits beat the Zippy Blues Brothers, 36-13, in the other match of the three-team pool.

The Old Boys 50s title match Sunday, with the pool play also having occurred Friday, will be between Boulder Rugby (3-0) and Cardinals Rugby (2-1).

acolbert@aspentimes.com


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