Summit boys rugby team inches away from completing comeback against Castle Rock, loses 32-23

The Summit boys rugby team poses for a photo alongside family members after the team’s first match of the season against Castle Rock on Saturday, March 26. The team lost to Castle Rock 32-23 after outscoring Castle Rock in the second half, 20-15.
Lance French/Courtesy photo

For head coach Lance French, the first match of the season for the Summit boys rugby team went as expected when the team took on Castle Rock in Aurora on Saturday, March 26.

The team faced a Castle Rock squad that is made up of 22 players and competes in a more challenging division than the young, 15-man roster of Summit. In fact, 10 out of the 15 the Summit boys on the pitch were suiting up for their first-ever matches.

“I liken that to a skier or snowboarder who has just had two hours of a lesson on a green slope and you drop them onto a double black,” French said.

Castle Rock dominated play in the first half as Summit showed a lack of experience in rugby matches. Coming off of mistakes made by Summit, Castle Rock scored three tries off of tap-ins.

Towards the end of the first half, however, the young Summit team started to find a groove and became comfortable.

About 26 minutes into the first 30-minute half, Summit scored the team’s first points of the season when Sam Daly executed a penalty kick from 30 meters out.

“It sort of raised the heads up a little bit,” French said. “They looked confident now. You could just see the difference that score made.”

Summit went into halftime trailing Castle Rock 17-3, but were eager for the second half of play after learning valuable lessons. Summit acted like a completely different team than the one that started the game as the athletes started to play together, get tackles and put points on the board in a fury.

“We were tackling, we were spreading out, we had four or five different rucks led by Ryan Perkins,” French said of the difference of play in the second half. “This kid lit it up, he had three carries for about 30 meters and two of those were 10 meters each with about five or six guys on his back.”

Summit outscored Castle Rock 20-15 in the second half as the team almost completed what would have been a monumental comeback, but instead the team narrowly lost to Castle Rock, 32-23.

Sam Daly was named the man of the match in the Summit boys rugby teams 32-23 loss to Castle Rock on Saturday, March 26. As a senior, Daly is the team captain and has lived in Summit County his entire life.
Stefan de Vogel/Courtesy photo

Despite the loss, French and his team could not have been prouder of how the team played. Summit gained needed experience and actively attacked Castle Rock in the second half.

After the game, Daly was named the man of the match by French and his coaching staff for Daly’s performance against Castle Rock. Daly was contributing to the team everywhere by scoring points and executing successful conversions.

“They are getting better,” French said. “They showed vast improvement. We gave them the goal last week to take care of things in the second half. They exceeded that. As a coach, I was so excited and so tickled.”

Summit will prepare to play two matches on Saturday, April 2, at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. The first match is scheduled to start at noon.

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.