Vail RFC decks Breck, 78-17
VAIL ” A majority of the players on the Vail Rugby Football Club had forgotten about their 78-17 drubbing of visiting Breckenridge Saturday just minutes after the final whistle blew at the Vail Athletic Field
There were other, more pressing topics to discuss with the local media.
“Here’s a Tipsline for you. How come we have to pay five bucks to park at our own field for our own games?” said Johnny Barker-Goldie as a batch of teammates nodded in agreement. “Can you believe that? It’s ridiculous.”
It was a good question ” especially on an afternoon where it seemed the Blue Goose couldn’t get anything by the home Blue and White. The young girl collecting parking money had better success sneaking something past the home team.
Aside from three tries from Breck ” two of which came from Zack Zellers on bruising runs ” it was all Vail, all afternoon.
Vail’s Nick Harding opened the scoring with the first of his four tries in the opening minutes of the first half. A Blue Goose player shanked a punt deep in Breck territory and Harding picked up the loose ball and ran in for the try untouched.
A few minutes later, Vail’s Brandon McDonald took it wide before pitching to fullback Tom Vallentine for another try. Brian Dalrymple then kicked his second conversion to put Vail up, 12-0.
Dalrymple was 9-for-12 on conversions and connected on one with his eyes intentionally closed.
With his team struggling early, Zellers did a bit of freelancing to score his first try. On a run down the right side, he faked a pass to a teammate, then ripped through two Vail tacklers before diving for the corner of the in-goal. The conversion was no good.
Dalrymple quickly put Vail back up by double digits with his first try, then another conversion. When Greg Ridl scored to put Vail up, 24-5, the rout was officially on.
Breckenridge’s Buck Goroski had a try and a conversion to lessen Vail’s lead to 24-12, but with two more Vail tries ” including Harding’s second ” and two more conversions in the first half, the competitive portion of the game was essentially over at the break with Vail leading, 38-10.
Vail coach Steve Blair said he was pleased with the effort from his team, especially with the Ski Town Tournament looming next weekend.
“A team that can score so many tries like that, you’ve got to be pleased how the guys are playing,” Blair said. “Certainly, the continuity was there and it helped get a lot of the scores on the ends. Our guy’s fitness levels are up, which is good, and I just think some of the younger guys playing different positions this week did well. We’ve got to be quite pleased with the way we kept pressure on the whole game.”
Breck coach Mike Pobar said his team’s biggest problem was that it had no synergy. Saturday, to put a side on the pitch, Pobar had three players come up from Denver and had to borrow four players from Vail.
“We only have like six or seven guys coming out to practice, so the continuity and teamwork of the game is really out of whack,” Pobar said. “They’re running like a bunch of geese, instead of the Goose.”
“Everybody was standing around and calling for the ball, and that’s not how it works,” added Blue Goose scrum off Jake Esterhuizen. “The rucks were good, but our tackling was bad. Some of the running was good, but the passing was bad.”
With the limited number of players, both teams played with sides of 14 for the majority of the game. Vail lost Barker-Goldie late in the second half and played with only 13 the rest of the way.
In the second half, Vail had two tries from Sean Meehan, two from Harding, one from McDonald, and another from Vallentine. The Blue and White also had a try on a maul, but it was unclear as to who had the ball.
Despite the lopsided score, Blue and White captain and loosehead prop Will Mansour said Saturday’s win wasn’t without its flaws. There are still things the team needs to work on this week to be prepared for Ski Town next weekend.
“We were a little lazy at times,” he said. “They were quick on some of their restarts, and we weren’t paying attention, and that’s where they got two of their tries from.”
Still, Mansour said, the flaws were secondary to all the good things his teammates did Saturday to improve to 4-1 for the summer.
“It was fun, just watching Johnny and Greg and Tom actually,” he said. “Just watching those guys run around, it makes our job a little easier up front. We’re sound, and we knew where we were going to be with the two weeks of practice. We’re trying to build something throughout the season. It is starting to come together and that’s good to see.”
Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at email@example.com.