Steamboat Men's Rugby Club wins opener

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— The Steamboat Men’s Rugby Club opened the season with a win Saturday, outlasting Breckenridge, 24-17.

Steamboat dominated from the outset, getting two tries apiece from Chris Baumann and Nigel Hammond in building a 24-5 halftime lead.

But 10 minutes into the second frame, Steamboat was dealt with a huge blow.

Kit Callahan, who along with Hammond was dominating the back, dislocated his ankle.

After a 25-minute stoppage, Breckenridge took advantage.

The team cut Steamboat’s lead to 24-12 and 24-17 late before Steamboat held on for the win.

Hammond, for his two tries, was named Man of the Match.

“We dominated early,” captain Julian Bristow said. “The forwards were strong, and the backs were creative.”

Bristow also commended flankers Tucker Brock and David O’Malley on their defensive play.

Callahan will be out for at least three months. He went to Vail on Tuesday to get the ankle looked at. Bristow said they were able to get it back in place Saturday, something that should help the recovery.

Steamboat was able to get the win Saturday in part because of its numbers. The team traveled with 20 players, all the more important with the heat.

“At 9,000 feet and 90 degrees, it’s not conducive to 80 minutes of rugby and running,” he said.

The team next plays at 1 p.m. Saturday at Whistler Field against Glenwood Springs.

Bristow said Glenwood is likely to be better than Breckenridge based on its recruiting efforts.

“It’ll be a quality game,” he said.

Steamboat also will host the July 7 Cow Pie Classic at Ski Town Fields next to the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

The first matches that day begin at 9 a.m. In addition, the Steamboat Women’s Rugby Club will be making its debut.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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