Ski Town rugby hits Breckenridge |

Ski Town rugby hits Breckenridge

VRC Vallentine, Tom PU 7-23

Look out Breckenridge, here comes Ski Town.

The annual rugby tournament hits Kingdom Park and Upper Blue Elementary today and Sunday with teams coming from all over the Rockies.

The Vail Rugby Football Club will be on hand, trying toe the delicate balance between the social aspect of Ski Town and the business on the pitch.

“History says we haven’t,” joked Vail vet Greg Tarpey. “That’s why we always come in second. If there was a team that could drink with us, we’d win every game. It’s the truth.”

It is Ski Town tradition for the hosts to do two things ” jigger the schedule to their advantage and be courteous guides to the local tavern scene. As every host team has done before, the Breckenridge Blue Goose has twisted the schedule to its benefit ” and ironically, Vail’s as well.

Vail is the No. 1 seed in Pool B, followed by the host Goose, Crested Butte, Missoula, Mont. and Santa Fe, N.M. In pool play, each team plays three of the four teams in the group. By sheer coincidence, Vail, which has thumped Breck twice earlier this season, does not play the Goose.

Also doubtless a coincidence is that Aspen, Steamboat, Jackson Hole, Wyo., Park City, Utah, and Glenwood Springs make up a much deeper Pool A.

“It’s rigged in Breckenridge’s favor. That’s the prerogative of the home team,” Tarpey said, noting that Vail as the host last year engaged in the same shenanigans. “We’re definitely in the easier bracket. I’d be disappointed if we don’t go through to Sunday(‘s semifinals)”

Vail faces Missoula today at 10 a.m., followed by Crested Butte at noon and Santa Fe at 4 p.m. All games are at Upper Blue Elementary. Missoula likely presents the Blue and White with their biggest test. The Maggots won Ski Town two years ago in Jackson Hole.

Provided Vail steers clear of an upset, the semifinals are Sunday at 10:45 a.m. at Kingdom Park and the final at 1:15 p.m.

If the tournament breaks to form, Ski Town should be left with its tradition Aspen-Vail final. The Blue and White are anxious to face the Gents again after Aspen pounded Vail, 55-5, in their first fixture of the season.

“God willing, we don’t take too many injuries,” Tarpey said. “The thing Aspen has is depth, and in the last game, we didn’t. I’m the only back liner that played in that game who we have this weekend. We were just devastated by injury. Tom (Vallentine) coming in has been a huge addition. I don’t know if we can beat them, but we can give them a run.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or

Vail, Colorado

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