Summit rugby stomps toward state
Ryan Summerlin October 27, 2012
In a 30-0 shutout of SWARM in the high school rugby playoffs, Summit left the game wishing the team had played better – as a team.
They’ll need to in order to secure a sixth state championship in seven years of making the playoffs.
“(SWARM) forced a lot of mistakes,” head coach Karl Barth said. “We didn’t adapt as quickly as we’d have liked to. We did some good stuff, but it wasn’t the game we were hoping for, building for finals, but we got the business done.”
Maddy Hunt-Snyder, Morgan Courtney, Kayce Chaparas and Diane Mastin scored tries, but none of those tries was converted. A few conversions weren’t completed because of where the ball touched down, but it also had to do with the players not striking the ball well, Barth said.
“It was just one of those days,” he said, adding that he expects to focus on playing together and communicating in the week leading up to the Nov. 3 state championship against Castle Rock. The Tigers have shut them out, 91-0 in two games.
Castle Rock made its way into the final game by beating Regis Jesuit 10-7.
“It was a nail-biter,” Barth said.
Summit rugby players agreed that there were good moments and bad moments in Saturday’s game, though the team came together for the win in the end.
“When we played as a team and were all on the same page, we did well. When we played individually, we fell apart,” senior Kellie Cochran said. “We need to get the starting 15 in a groove and working together when we go out on the field (against Castle Rock).”
Sophomore Rachel Fitch came off the bench at halftime and played a strong game, Barth said. But she, too, observed that teamwork is key for the 2012 team, which has focused all season on unity.
“Maddy, Kellie and I – we didn’t have bad games, but we didn’t click the way we usually do,” Fitch said. “It was better at the end. In our individual games, we each got tries with our own talent not as a team.”
Barth also wants to continue to develop the team’s ability to handle a physical game, because that’s what Castle Rock brings to the table. That, and teamwork. He noted that the Tigers were limited in their ability to prepare for Saturday’s game with snowy, cold weather rolling into the High Country.
“We need to amp it up for states, and we plan to,” Cochran said. “We need to get focused this week and not treat the state game lightly. We’re going to play the best game we can play and not let the other team control how we play.”
It could also help to have senior captain Katy Peoples back on the field after a shoulder injury. Her experience and leadership is valuable to the team, Barth said. She’s been imparting it from the sidelines, but he hopes she’ll be ready to play the championship game.
“We’re ready to play our hardest we’ve played all year,” Hunt-Snyder said. “We know we’ll have to make hard tackles and run hard because they hit hard. We can play a wide, fast game, or we can play a hard, pound-it-down-the-middle game. It depends on how they come at us, but either way, we’ll be ready for them.”
Saturday’s championship game is at 4 p.m. at Infinity Park in Glendale.
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