Summit rugby club improves record to 2-1 with dominant win over North High School

After a disappointing loss the week prior, the Summit boys rugby club returned to Highlands Ranch on Saturday, March 18, in search of a second win on the season.

Following a hard week of training on snow-covered fields in Summit County, the Summit rugby club was able to secure its goal of a second win by defeating North High School, 49-10.

Heading into the game, head coach Lance French said the team maintained its tradition of setting goals prior to the match. For the team’s third match of the season, the team wanted to address some of the mistakes it made against PAC — a combined team from Evergreen, Bailey and Conifer high schools.

“They must tackle, and they must have ball possession,” French said. “They didn’t get enough ball possession, which means they dropped the ball before the try line and they did not get the points they needed. The boys were determined to never do that again.”

Summit displayed its desire to make good on its promises in the early parts of the first half against North High School. After North received the opening kickoff, Summit tackled hard. Soon enough, the ball came free, allowing Summit to set up its offense.

Summit orchestrated several successful phases of offense before Barrett Ernst plowed his way to the try line in order to give the Tigers an early 5-0 lead.

The opening try energized the team, and a few minutes later, Summit was once again threatening to put more points on the scoreboard. This time, senior captain GC Martinez passed the ball out to Ronaldo Wray who held onto the ball — while attempts were made to tackle him — until successfully past the try line.

Ten minutes into the match, Summit led North High School 10-0.

After a relatively flawless start to the game, Summit committed three penalties in a span of a few minutes, which allowed North High School to bring the score to 10-5.

Summit did not let the brief slip-up impede the team’s motivation as Wray, Ernst and Jack Hodge immediately led two efforts down the field, which ended in successful tries from Hodge and Ernst.

The first half ended with North High School scoring its second try of the game to now trail Summit 22-10.

“During our halftime talk, the players knew what they had to change,” French said. “It’s great when you can stand there and watch the players identify what they must do to stop the mistakes. They had to stop the penalties. When they do commit penalties, they have to get back into place.”

With Summit’s mistakes addressed over halftime, the Tigers had a near-perfect second half of rugby. The team not only produced offensively, but also shut down the North High School for the remainder of the game.

Eight minutes into the second half, rookie team member and Summit High School football running back Ben Elam broke free toward the try line, which set up Martinez for his first try of the game.

Lance French/Courtesy photo
Dirk Bosgraaf poses for a photo for the Summit Rugby Club. Bosgraaf scored his first try of his rugby career against North High School on March 18.
Lance French/Courtesy photo

After that, Summit continued to score at will. Rookie Dirk Bosgraaf sprinted from 40-meters out for another successful try for the Tigers. Summit scored again a few minutes later when Hodge snuck up and under the North High School defense.

The try put Summit up 37-10 with plenty of time left to continue to score.

Summit concluded the game with a 60-meter breakaway try from Elam and a final try from captain Kevin Lopez. Summit powered past North High School, defeating the team 49-10.

“As usual, when you get the ball out to the wings, control the ball and ball possession, tackle and have good defense that will ensure a victory,” French said of the win. “It was a great day for Summit.”

Summit improves to 2-1 overall on the season and is set to play its next game on Saturday, April 1, against Castle Rock in Highlands Ranch.

Following Summit’s game against Castle Rock and a rematch against North High School on April 8, Summit will host a series of three matches on April 15 at Summit High School.

Summit’s home match against the Titans is scheduled to begin at noon. Spectators are encouraged to attend the home matches.

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