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Steamboat fifth at Cowpie Classic

Rugby club's best finish in 20 years

Melinda Mawdsley

The Steamboat Rugby Club finished fifth in the Cowpie Classic during the weekend, the club’s best showing since the early 1980s.

But even that result left the men wanting more.

A Saturday afternoon loss to Breckenridge, Steamboat’s main rival, cost the host team a shot at possibly playing in the finals, or at least for third.

“We were all disappointed that we dropped that game to Breck with a few, very basic errors,” captain Michael Hurley said. “I think it was a blessing in disguise.”

Prior to the Cowpie Classic, Steamboat had lost just one game this season but looked less than sharp in the tournament’s opening game against Fort Collins. The same mistakes Steamboat made against Fort Collins cost it a game against Breckenridge, prompting the men to value the ball more in wins against Park City and Santa Fe.

“We believe, if we have 50 percent of the possessions, we’re good enough to win the game,” Hurley said. “Our possessions hampered us (against Breckenridge), but we had 50 to 60 percent of the possessions (against Park City and Santa Fe).”

Steamboat defeated Santa Fe, 31-0, in Sunday’s consolation game for fifth place.

“We played really well,” Hurley said. “We really clicked and ended up going out and got five tries and three conversions.”

Wyoming won the Cowpie Classic, defeating Aspen’s B team in the finals. Aspen’s A team is one of the premier clubs in America. Breckenridge finished third. Boulder was fourth.

Steamboat (7-2 overall) returns to the pitch against Colorado Springs at 4 p.m. Saturday at Whistler Field. Whistler Field is located at the end of Whistler Road.

The Steamboat Rugby Club practices from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Whistler Field.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com


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