Teams ready for all-day rugby in Steamboat |

Teams ready for all-day rugby in Steamboat

Cow Pie Classic to feature teams from all across region

Luke Graham

— There are plenty of keys to winning the Cow Pie Classic rugby tournament: Don't drink too much Friday night, prepare for possibly four games Saturday and, of course, bring your friends from all over the globe.

The tournament, now in its 37th year, features a full day of rugby at its foundation level. Teams from across the state and region — and let's be honest, ringers from everywhere — all commence for the right to hold up a manure trophy.

That's rugby.

The tournament begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Ski Town Fields next to the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

There will be two women's teams, three "old boy" teams made up of older men, and a regular draw for men's teams from around Colorado and surrounding states.

The Steamboat Rugby Club opens play at 11 a.m. The Steamboat old boys will follow at noon.

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"We'll have our whole local team and a couple people joining us from previous Cow Pies," Steamboat co-captain Robbie Shine said. "It's going to be really competitive. With the semifinal shenanigans with Wyoming last year, it's going to be a tough, physical tournament for sure."

Steamboat lost last year in the semifinals to the Wyoming Cowboys, 17-12. The previous three seasons Steamboat won its home tournament.

Vail, Wyoming and Steamboat again figure to be the favorites. Vail won last year's Cow Pie.

The tournament is broken into two pools. The top two teams from each pool advance to the semifinals.

The semifinals should begin around 4 p.m., with the finals at 6 p.m. Halves in pool play will be limited to 20 minutes and bumped up to 25 minutes for the semifinals and finals.

Considering such a short game, Shine said the key for Steamboat (0-3) will be to get off to a fast start.

"We've had some bad defensive errors," he said. "We worked as a team on defense and tackling."

In addition to the day of rugby, food and beer will be available. All proceeds from food and beer sales go to local nonprofit organizations.

A toga party at Sunpie's Bistro at 735 Yampa St. will follow the tournament.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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