Steamboat Springs rugby player Shane Dooley runs the ball up the pitch during Saturday’s game against Breckenridge at Whistler Field. Steamboat won, 40-31.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs rugby player Shane Dooley runs the ball up the pitch during Saturday’s game against Breckenridge at Whistler Field. Steamboat won, 40-31.

Steamboat rugby team earns 1st win

Squad beats Breckenridge, 40-31, in home opener

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— The Steamboat Springs Rug­by Club used a torrid 15-minute stretch in the second half to pick up its first win of the season, a 40-31 triumph against Breck­enridge on Sunday at Whistler Field.

Steamboat, now 1-1 overall, remained in the hunt for a Mountain League title with the win, while Breckenridge (0-2) will need some help the rest of the season.

“I think it was attitude,” Steam­boat’s Tim Callahan said. “The first half we let them score on us, and the second half we were able to get some scores on them.”

The two teams waged in a back-and-forth battle for the first 40 minutes, trading try after try.

Breckenridge scored first when Ross Buchan broke away for a 7-0 lead. The two teams then traded tries, giving the Blue Goose a 12-7 lead midway through the first half.

Steamboat’s Brian Naqica and Shane Dooley added late tries in the first half to give the Green and Orange a 19-12 lead at halftime.

Breckenridge’s Will Skertic cut the Steamboat lead to 19-17 early in the second half before Steamboat hit its stretch.

The Green and Orange’s Clinton Camp scored two consecutive tries, and Naqica added another one to give Steamboat a 40-17 lead midway through the second half.

“There were 10 minutes where they scored three tries and killed the game,” Breckenridge coach Pete Clarke said. “It was a good workout for us. The positives were we scored some nice tries, but the negative is we got to improve our tackling.”

The Blue Goose made it interesting in the last 10 minutes, getting Dan Treitweiler’s second and third tries of the game to cut it to 40-31 with five minutes remaining. Steamboat, however, maintained possession and was able to hold on.

“The difference was I think we played better as a team,” Steamboat captain Michael Hurley said. “We cycled the ball better. We played to our strengths, which is playing quick and getting the ball wide.”

Steamboat originally was scheduled to play Glenwood on June 26 at home, but that game has been postponed.

The next time the Green and Orange play will be July 10 when they host the Cow Pie Classic in Steamboat.

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