Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Rugby Football Club rebounded from a tough three-point loss to league rival Vail the best way the team knows how - by crushing its next opponent.
On Saturday afternoon at Whistler Park, the men in orange and green dismantled Glenwood Springs Rugby Football Club, 65-13. It was the team's final home game of the season.
"We smashed Glenwood good and proper," team captain Michael Hurley said. "It was a great home game and nice weather with a good crowd - a lot of fun."
Hurley said the game gave some of the team's players who have not seen much field time during closer games a chance to prove their abilities, noting quality play from Bjorn Utu and Brian Smith. He said Casey Bogenhagen was the "man of the match."
The win came after an upsetting home loss on Aug. 12, where Steamboat lost a close match against the Vail club in the closing seconds of the game.
"(Vail) didn't win the game, we lost the game," Hurley said.
Steamboat gave up a 12-0 halftime lead and failed to convert a game-tying penalty kick against Vail. "If we hadn't have lost to Vail, it would've been a perfect season, just a couple of close losses."
The loss to Vail effectively eliminated Steamboat from winning the six-team mountain division of the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union. Steamboat is 4-3 in league play and 10-5 overall.
Hurley said Steamboat can finish in second place in the league with a win over Breckenridge at 2 p.m. Saturday in Breckenridge.
"They're not going to be a push-over," Hurley said of Breckenridge, which Steamboat beat, 13-0, July 7 at the Cowpie Classic. "They've really gotten better as the season has gone on."
Once season play in the mountain division is complete, an all-star team will be announced to represent the division at the Aspen Ruggerfest, Sept. 14 to 17. Hurley said several Steamboat players have a shot at making the all star team.