Fort Collins wins State Championship over Summit 22-8
Fort Collins played for the Colorado Rugby State Championship against Summit at the new Glendale Rugby Stadium (Infinity Park) and after a tight first half with the score tied 8-8, Fort Collins took control in the second half and scored two trys and held Summit from scoring to win there sixth State Championship 22-8.
Fort Collins took the opening kickoff and within minutes the tone of the match was set by both sides as the defense on both sides attacked hard. Fort Collins was able to make some pushes into Summit’s side of the pitch with kicks into the sun that were hard to handle by Summit. After driving inside the 22 of Summit and showing the first threat of either side to score, Summit was penalized and Sadie Anderson kicked the penalty to put Fort Collins on the board first 3-0. Summit kicked off and once again put on the pressure on Fort Collins deep inside their half and after a penalty by Fort Collins, Summit was able to drive the ball in for the try and take the lead 5-3. Fort Collins struck right back and kicked deep into Summit territory and put pressure on. After several clearing kicks by Summit that were returned by Fort Collins, Maddie Robinson found an overload and was able to make it around the corner to score Fort Collins first try of the match and with Sadie’s conversion, Fort Collins retook the lead 8-5. After kicking off, Summit kept pressure on and with only a few minutes to play in the first half and a penalty inside Fort Collins territory, Summit made the penalty kick and tied the match 8-8 where it would stay at halftime.
Second half saw both teams play conservative ball as no team wanted to make a mistake in this tied match. Seven minutes into the match Fort Collins had the ball around midfield and Sadie launched a corner kick that was chased down and caught on the bounce by Morgan Ackley and she was able to make the corner and outrun the defense to score the try and with Sadie’s conversion the score was 15-8. After the kickoff Fort Collins once again attacked with positional kicking and good rucking by the forwards to stay deep inside Summit territory. After almost getting another score, Fort Collins then got the ball out and Morgan made a break for the try zone but was tackled just short but was able to pop the pass up to Caitlin Chvatal and she was able to stretch in from the tackle to score the try and with the conversion by Sadie Fort Collins was up 22-8. Summit kicked off and the final 8 minutes saw extreme pressure put on by Summit as they kept the ball inside Fort Collins 22-metre line as they attempted to score to get back in the match. Great gang tackling by Fort Collins kept repeated attempts by Summit from scoring and finally with no time remaining Fort Collins was able to grub a kick down the pitch and stop the attack until the final whistle blew to give Fort Collins the State Championship.
A well fought hard hitting match by both teams with exceptional defense played by Fort Collins especially in the closing minutes of the match. Glendale Rugby Stadium (Infinity Park) was a great venue and even made better with the announcers, film crew, and use of the jumbotron. MVP of the match for Fort Collins was Morgan Ackley and Sadie Anderson was selected as the Colorado Youth Rugby (CYR) Player of the Year. Congratulations go out to them and the entire team on an undefeated season (9-0) and their sixth State Championship in nine seasons.