February 8, 2016
Huns Beat HARC In Red River Rugby Action
Austin Huns Press Release
Austin, TX (February 8, 2016). The Huns traveled to Houston for a rare morning match against rivals HARC on Saturday, coming away with a scrappy 40–27 victory. The men from Austin were missing several top players, including starting #8 Rui Branco, outside center Sam Feldman, and loosehead Matt Zappa. However, they welcomed back captain Brian Welborn, who had been out with a knee injury since December. And it was Welborn who kicked off the scoring just five minutes into the match. Huns took possession early and showed excellent continuity, working through multiple phases to get deep into HARC territory where Welborn picked up at the back of a ruck and bulled over for the try. Despite a blustery wind in his face, flyhalf Thierry Daupin drilled the conversion over the crossbar, and Huns were up 7-0. The lead didn’t last long, though, as HARC immediately gathered the mishandled kickoff to level the score only two minutes later. This was a pattern that would recur throughout the match.
It looked as if the Huns would run away with the game when the visitors scored three more tries over the next 20 minutes. Flanker Colin Bugge, making his D1 debut at openside flanker, charged down a HARC clearing kick off a 5 meter scrum. The blocked ball stayed in goal and the Huns’ leading try scorer Kyle Breytenbach touched down for the 5 points. He and Daupin scored twice more, and Daupin converted all three. After only 28 minutes, Huns had built a 28-7 lead.
Given the home team were also missing multiple players due to injury, including talismanic veteran Dax Routh who had his jaw broken in a massive loss a week earlier, it would have been easy to crumble. But HARC showed more mental steel than Huns over the remaining 50 minutes. They went back to work, taking every opportunity the increasingly sloppy Huns provided to them. At 31 minutes, a botched lineout by Huns gave HARC the turnover, and they immediately moved the ball wide to outflank the defense and ultimately score under the posts narrowing the score to 28-14. Fijian flyer Tuwi Rokodulu responded with a try for Huns just before half, with Daupin again converting, but the leaders looked unsettled going into the break, Huns 35 HARC 14.
HARC came out swinging in the second stanza, applying pressure at the breakdown and running hard at gaps in the backline defense. That pressure was rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts. The kick was good and at 44 minutes the lead was narrowed to 35-17. The home side didn’t let up there. Still pressuring in the Huns’ half, they were rewarded with another penalty on the left sideline. Breytenbach prevented the quick tap, but was penalized and yellow carded for cynical play. This was the comeback opportunity HARC was looking for and they scored quickly in the left corner, cutting the margin to 35-22 with just over twenty minutes remaining. While still a man down, the other Welborn twin Craig scored on a pick and drive for Huns. The conversion went wide, the only miss for Daupin all day. But for the third time in the match, HARC answered immediately by scoring again only two minutes later.
Breytenbach returned to the pitch with 15 minutes remaining and the score at 40-27 in favor of Huns. Both sides were beginning to tire, and without much structure traded turnovers back and forth until full time. Huns leveled their record at 3 wins, 3 losses in Red River Conference play, escaping with a bonus point victory. Huns 40, HARC 27.
The Austin Huns return to Division 1 action on February 27th when they host Dallas Harlequins in Austin at Nixon Lane.
Huns 40 HARC 27 (35-14 at half)
Tries: Breytenbach (2), B Welborn, C Welborn, Rokodulu, Daupin; Conversions: Daupin (5)
HARC: Tries: 4; Conversions: 2; Penalties: 1
About HUNS Rugby Football Club
The Huns Rugby Football Club was founded in 1972 and is one of the first rugby clubs of its kind in Central Texas. Over more than 40 years, the club has developed an organization and a culture that have produced winning teams, first class coaches and players. The Huns’ training and competition fields are unmatched by any other in the region. For many years now The Huns Rugby football club remains one the largest men’s clubs in the United States, competing in all 3 National USA Rugby 15s divisions and the National 7s division.