Summit boys rugby club falls to 2-2 with 43-5 loss to Castle Rock |

Summit boys rugby club falls to 2-2 with 43-5 loss to Castle Rock

The Summit boys rugby club poses for a photo at the Kingdom Park turf field in Breckenridge. The Summit boys rugby club recently fell to 2-2 on the season with a 43-5 loss to Castle Rock.
Lance French/Courtesy photo

After a dominant win over North High School on March 18, the Summit boys rugby team faced its biggest challenge of the season on Saturday, April 1, in Highlands Ranch. With a record of 2-1, the team faced a fast, competitive and skilled Castle Rock team that pushed Summit to the brink of its ability.

After Castle Rock ran up the score in the first half of the match, Summit proved to be more of a formidable foe in the second half of play. In the end, Summit was not able to match the skill of Castle Rock and lost 43-5.

Castle Rock got off to a galloping start in the first half of play. Castle Rock drove the ball down the field with extremely strong possessions. Before long, Castle Rock had gotten out to a significant lead.

One of the main reasons for the early scores from Castle Rock was because of the team’s ability to breakdown and cut through the Summit defense. In an effective and efficient manner, Castle Rock employed a pattern of rugby that shocked the Summit defense and allowed Castle Rock to air the ball out wide to its players in the open field.

Castle Rock found open seams and broke down the Summit defense, which resulted in four unanswered tries from outside Summit’s 40-meter line. Summit tried to get reciprocate on offense and got close to scoring multiple times, but it came up short every time.

After one half of play, Summit trailed Castle Rock 31-0.

“We had never seen this pattern before,” head coach Lance French said of Castle Rock’s play in the first half. “It is a classic rugby pattern: get people off their feet, phase rugby, push the ball wide where no one is standing and you can usually find the try line.”

While in the halftime intermission, Summit tried to address some of the issues the team encountered in the first half of play.

“The team now knew and declared what they had to do,” French said. “No. 1 stay on your feet. Only let one or two players make the tackle, and most importantly our back three (defenders) said they have to be ready to make tackles. Ready sooner, and go make the decision to make the tackle in open field.”

With a firm plan for the rest of the match, Summit received the kickoff and immediately tried to improve. After a few back-and-forth possessions, Castle Rock scored off of a Summit penalty to go up 38-0.

Despite the game being well out of reach, Summit continued to stay focused.

“We played steady and strong as Castle Rock tried three or four more times to draw us in,” French said. “Every time they tried, our back three made great tackles, stopping them cold from scoring. Stopping the 40- and 50-yard runs for points.”

Summit remained stoic on defense for most of the second half, but another Summit penalty allowed Castle Rock to bring home another try, expanding its lead to 43-0.

Summit concluded the match with strong possessions and finally a well-deserved try. With a kick over Castle Rock from senior captain Jack Hodge, Summit crashed towards the try line so Hodge could get the try.

Summit fell to Castle Rock 43-5.

“The final score was not all that we should remember about this match,” French said. “In the second half, Summit scored five and Castle Rock scored 17. That is a big difference and big growth in just one half. Our second half success was because of what the team learned in the first half. Our team is still developing. The second half says it all, and we played the best team in the league. As a coach you can’t always look at the score to determine success.”

Summit will take what it learned against Castle Rock into its rematch against North High School on Saturday, April 8, in Highlands Ranch. Following the team’s match against North High School, Summit will host a series of home matches at Summit High School on Saturday, April 15, and April 29.

For the series of matches on Saturday, April 15, Summit will play the Titans at noon, Aspen will face PAC at 1:15 p.m. and Dakota will play North High School at 2:30 p.m. Local fans are encouraged to attend the series of matches in order to support the Summit boys rugby team.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.