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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Red River Recap: Trio Earn Wins



It was a busy weekend in the Red River Conference as every team has now played a match and started their season. Early on things look to be holding to form with the Austin Blacks and the Dallas Reds both winning.

Austin Blacks 34-22 Griffins

Last year's Red River champions and DI runners-up, the Austin Blacks, got their 2015-16 season off to a great start with a win over the Griffins. The team is coming off a series of warm-up matches, including the Rugby Gold Cup where they saw a lot of success despite playing only a few players from their DI final match. Against the Griffins they picked up right where they left off running out to a 19-3 lead on the back of two tries from wing Matthew Radzavich and one from wing David Comerford. Center Pat Sullivan hit two of the three conversions while Toby Quarendon had a penalty for the Griffins.

A yellow card to the Griffins just before the half would prove costly has Sullivan would hit another penalty and lock Tyler Terrazone would score a try to put the Blacks up 27-3. However, the Griffins fought back and only two minutes after Terrazone scored Detwan Robinson scored for the Griffins to get a try on the board. The Blacks would manage another try from Terrazone but let their foot off the gas in the last ten minutes giving up a penalty try and another try to Robinson to make the final 34-22.

Take the jump to read more.

Dallas Reds 42-11 New Orleans

The Dallas Reds moved to 2-0 on the season thanks to a surprisingly large win over New Orleans. Without question the Reds have talent and are making a serious run at the Red River title this year, just like last year, but it was assumed that New Orleans would be more competitive in the match. They did have Eagles prospect Cameron Falcon and Ross Bellaci playing but were missing Jeff Reuther and Chance Doyle, two stalwarts that have delivered for them in the past.

The match was fairly even throughout the first half. Two penalties from Zack Klump put Dallas up 6-0 before a try from William Stewart put NOLA within one. The Reds went on a mini run with Kelly Kolberg scoring a try and Klump adding another penalty to lead 16-5. However, two penalties from Bellaci put NOLA down only a try shortly into the second half. That's where Dallas ran away with the match getting two tries from Dale Russ and Klump to yawn the lead to 26-11. Blake Boulton would have two more tries to push the final to 42-11.

Austin Huns 26-12 Dallas Harlequins

The Huns did a much better job of writing up their report than we could so see their report below.

Austin, TX (December 21, 2015). The Austin Huns moved to 2-0 on Saturday with a strong 36-12 road victory over the Dallas Harlequins. The Quins swept the Huns in last year's competition, but it was clear the visitors were intent on reversing that trend, putting in big hits across the park. Quins' talented #12 Darragh Lynch was injured in a ruck just 4 minutes in, and play stopped for several minutes. Fortunately he was able to walk off the pitch to applause by both teams in the true spirit of rugby. After play restarted, Huns flyhalf Andrew Heller burst through the Quins' defense to score between the posts. Alex Liles converted to put Huns up 7-0. In his debut as a premier-grade starter, St. Edward's University alum Heller appeared confident all afternoon. About 10 minutes later back row Kyle Breytenbach broke the line and found Alex Liles in support for a try in the corner, giving Huns a 12-0 lead.

The Quins are a club with a long tradition of winning and would not be beaten easily. Fueled by an excellent poaching game, they turned over the ball numerous times while the Huns got on the wrong side of the penalty count. Quins missed a penalty shot but soon afterward were rewarded with a try to trail 12-7 at half time. After the break, the men in green and black went back to work playing in the Huns' half. Huns fullback Shawn Cox was yellow-carded for a try-saving high tackle at the 44th minute. The Huns defended heroically while a man down, but the Quins eventually capitalized to level the score at 12-12 with about 30 minutes to play.

The Huns showed their character in the final stanza to come roaring back. Cox, a Texas State product and member of the 2013 USA Maccabiah team, redeemed himself with a scintillating run down the right sideline to put Huns ahead 17-12. Fellow Texas State alum Matt Zappa injected energy coming off the bench. The Huns had been dominant in the lineouts all day, and got their mauling game going to great effect. Number 8 Rui D'Orey Branco, capped 18 times by Portugal, scored once and man of the match Gio Bonilla scored twice, capping a six try day to secure the win and a bonus point.

The Huns take a two week break for the holidays, and then are back in action against the Griffins of Allen, TX on January 9th at the Huns' pitch on Nixon Lane. The Griffins are much improved over last season, and will be a test of the Huns' growing confidence.

Full time: Huns 36 Quins 12 (12-7 half)

Huns

Tries: Heller, Liles, Cox, Branco, Bonilla (2)

Conversions: Liles (3)

Penalties: none

Quins

Tries: 2

Conversions: 1

Penalties: none


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