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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Austin Huns Score Late To Beat NYAC, Win DI Title


The Austin Huns are the 2017 DI champions after beating NYAC 27-23 in a tough, physical match that came right down the last few minutes. Momentum in the match swung back and forth multiple times but in the end the fitness and finishing ability of the Huns proved to be the difference.

The first half started with a kicking battle between both teams. Harry Bennett's recovery from injury and into the starting flyhalf shirt for NYAC was a positive early. Bennett nailed a penalty just a minute into the match. He then added another about 10 minutes later to put NYAC up 6-0. Austin would respond with a penalty of their own.

NYAC had the bulk of the go forward play early as they were make it into the green zone fairly regularly. However, credit to the Huns defense who was active all match. Every time NYAC tried to push to get over the line the Huns came up with a big turnover.

Take the jump to read more.

Eventually the momentum swung back in favor of the Huns as they slowly began to take over the match. A couple of errors from NYAC didn't help causes. The first was Justin Hundley taking the ball into touch under pressure. At the time it seemed like the smart decision but the Huns's lineout was working to full impact and after just a few phases Peter Malcolm scored to give the Huns a 10-6 lead.

The NYAC defense was fairly strong in its own right but the Huns were simply quicker at breaking them down. In particular the Huns did well at forcing NYAC into committing men to the breakdown leaving space out wide. That is what led to the final try of the half, a great team try from the Huns finished off by Deon Minnaar. At the break the Huns led 17-6.

All of the momentum the Huns carried into the second half was slowly eroded by NYAC in the first ten minutes of the second half. They came out with renewed energy and were rewarded when Chris Mattina through an excellent dummy to go in for the score. Harry Bennett added a penalty to cut the score to 17-16 in favor of the Huns.

Two substitutions added to the result and changed the game. Seamus Kelly had to come off early in the half while Todd Clever made his mark about 10 minutes in. Clever's introduction was a huge boost for the Huns and they regained their positioning on defense and had more go on offense.

The Huns had a chance to go ahead by more than a try but Timothee Guillimin's kick was off. Still, the Huns had a lot of possession and Guillimin would have another crack at it to take a 20-16 lead. Needing a try NYAC responded. They were finally able to suck the Huns defense in allowing some space on the outside for Gareth Gibbs to score. That put NYAC in charge 23-20 with 10 minutes to go.

In the end the Huns had one last push in them. When it counted in the end they were able to take it up a notch. The match turned when Lomani Tongotongo made a break and the ball was quickly worked to Sani Taylor for a try in the corner. Guillimin hit the tough conversion putting the Huns up by more than three.  NYAC had one last push but couldn't make it happen.


Austin Huns

Tries: Malcolm, Minnaar, Taylor
Conversions: Guillimin (3)
Penalties: Guillimin

NYAC

Tries: Mattina, Gibbs
Conversions: Bennett (2)
Penalties: Bennett (3)

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