Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs rugby clubs were on opposite ends of the spectrum in June.
Steamboat lost the first match between the two, 24-20, and dropped its first couple of games against other opponents, too. Meanwhile, Glenwood darted out to a 3-0 start.
But rugby has a funny way of working things out.
Saturday was a prime example. Glenwood, strong in numbers early in the year, brought just 15 players on a sun-baked Steamboat afternoon. Steamboat, which beat Breckenridge shorthanded last week, had lots of players and even forced Old Boy Bill Wernig to referee in the absence of referees.
In the end, Steamboat scored early and often Saturday at Whistler Field, quieting Glenwood, 67-8.
Steamboat, after its slow start, hasn’t lost since June 25, a span that has covered two tournaments and a pair of Mountain League games.
“It was surprising,” Steamboat co-captain Tim Callahan said. “The last time we lost by four when went down there. They had an undersized squad, no subs, and we took advantage of that.”
By the 13-minute mark of the first half, the design of the game was clearly evident. Steamboat took a 24-0 lead behind two tries from Jeff Collins and one each from Robbie Shine and Kit Callahan.
By the time Julian Bristow barreled in at the end of the half, Steamboat had a 36-0 lead.
“Early in the season we were doing really well,” Glenwood’s Gregg McCorkle said. “We beat Steamboat in the first game. We barely pulled that off because we weren’t finishing. The last two weeks we’ve been starting really slow and then started coming on late.”
But Glenwood couldn’t come on strong enough in the second half to overcome the early deficit.
The Defiance got a penalty kick to make it 36-3 before Chris Baumann added three tries, Collins two more of his own, and Shine a final one to make it 67-3.
Glenwood’s Nick Garay chased a ball down the right side of the field late to get a try.
“We were happy to get that try,” McCorkle said. “We got back some of that pride we lost in the first 70 minutes.”
The win wraps up the season for Steamboat. Glenwood hosts Breckenridge on Saturday.
“We pounded them early and didn’t let up,” Callahan said. “It was a good win.”
— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com