Steamboat Springs rugby set for season opener |

Steamboat Springs rugby set for season opener

Luke Graham

— Fresh off a stirring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at Thursday’s Fourth of July parade on Lincoln Avenue, the Steamboat Springs Rugby Club opens its home slate Saturday against Breckenridge.

Although Thursday proved there aren’t any future Grammy winners, luckily the Green and Gold have talent on the field.

The two teams play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Whistler Field.

“Breckenridge is just like us with a good pool of talent,” Steamboat coach Julian Bristow said. “They like coming to Steamboat and like playing against us. They are not coming for a holiday. They’re going to bring it.”

With the holiday weekend, however, Breckenridge could be shorthanded and have to borrow teams from surrounding areas.

Still, the teams have played close games in the past. Last year, Steamboat snuck away with a 24-17 win, one in which it lost Kit Callahan for the year with an ankle injury.

Steamboat, fresh off wins against Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs, already should be at an advantage.

In each away game, the squad has bolstered a team of more than 30 players. With temperatures expected to be in the 80s and two 40-minute halves ahead, Steamboat will have plenty of subs.

“It allows us to change up tactics during the game,” Bristow said.

A win puts Steamboat in the mix for the Mountain League title. The team still has key contests with Aspen and Vail later this season.

Bristow said with the advantage in players, the goal is to get an early lead and freely sub. He said the team’s main goal still is to win the July 13 Cow Pie Classic tournament.

With that just a week away, he said the team will rest some players this week that are nursing injuries.

The Cow Pie draw isn’t up yet, but Bristow said there are 12 men’s teams, four Old Boy teams and four women’s teams.

While the home tournament is the big prize, “going into the Cow Pie with a loss is not a good thing,” Bristow said.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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