Blue Goose grounded by Vail |

Blue Goose grounded by Vail

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE – For the last 15 minutes or so of their rivalry match with Vail, the Blue Goose dominated play. Powerful tackles turned into turnovers, swift passes led the Breckenridge rugby squad down the field, and a couple forceful flicks of the ball led to the Goose’s Will Skertic plowing across the endline for a try late in regulation.

Unfortunately for Breck, the old adage – it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish – couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Mistakes and penalties left the sluggish Goose squad in a deep hole early on, one Breck was never able to get out of, eventually settling for a 28-17 loss – the team’s third straight to open the season.

“I’m a little frustrated to be honest,” Goose coach Peter Clarke said afterward. “Too many mistakes, and we paid for it. It’s the same stuff we did last week (in our loss to Steamboat Springs). We just had too many knock-ons and mental lapses.”

Aside from Sketic’s late tally for the home team, the Goose crossed the endline at Breck’s Kingdom Park only one other time in the match – a nifty score from Sione Letoi.

Now, the Goose – a perennial leader of the competitive Mountain League – is looking up from the bottom of the standings.

The team plays a non-league match at home next Saturday against the Denver Harlequins (3 p.m. at Kingdom Park) before heading to the Cow Pie Tournament in Steamboat the following weekend. The Cow Pie – along with the Ski Town Tournament later in the year – is certainly a competitive highlight to the team’s season.

Clarke feels his team can turn it around quickly before returning to the pitch. After all, he said, it’s simply a matter of focus, not talent.

“Vail played OK, but we definitely did a lot of it to ourselves,” he said. “We just have to clean up our mistakes and we’ll be fine.”

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at

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