Steamboat Springs Big things could be on the horizon for the Steamboat Springs Rugby Football Club.
While Saturday's match against Boulder was the team's first of the year, all indications are Steamboat should give rival Vail and league powerhouse Aspen stiff competition this year.
With an influx of international talent and some local clogs, the Steamboat team took a step in the right direction Saturday at Whistler Park.
Steamboat dominated play for the better part of 90 minutes on Saturday, winning, 24-12, against a Boulder-based team that's been playing for more than four months.
"It was perfect," team captain and fullback Michael Hurley said. "It's a huge effort by the boys. This was massive."
Prone to slow starts in the past, Steamboat scored early and often.
The team converted three tries in the first half, had opportunities for three others and jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead.
Then, in the first five minutes of the second half, Steamboat scored again, pushing its lead to 24-0.
Boulder added on two late tries to make the score closer than the game actually played out.
Steph Nijsten scored two tries, and Rob Mercurio and Scott Steele - an addition from Scotland - each added one.
Hurley, who helped put the team of 30 together in the past 10 days, said the early lead allowed Steamboat to show its depth - something they'll have to rely on against teams such as Vail and Aspen.
"This is as good as it gets," Hurley said. "With more and more training, we're only going to get better and better. Steamboat Rugby is in great shape."
With the win, Steamboat now can look toward its next game Saturday against rival Vail.
While the team still is looking to avenge last year's heartbreaking one-point loss at home, Hurley said he's confident with the new talent and another week of practice, Steamboat can beat Vail on Saturday.
"Vail is on notice," Hurley said. "They have been for a while. ... Saturday, it's Steamboat by one."