February 29, 2016
Austin Huns Savour Win Against Dallas Harlequins
Photo: Norma Salinas Photography
Austin Huns Press Release: February 29, 2016
The Austin Huns hosted the Dallas Harlequins at Nixon Lane Saturday, coming away with a hard fought 15-10 victory. The day began auspiciously with the Huns’ Division 2 squad avenging their loss in December to run away with the curtain raiser 74-12. It looked as if premier side would feed on that momentum under a clear, sunny sky with a cool breeze at their backs. Off the opening kickoff the men in blue gained possession. Filling in at scrumhalf for the injured Gio Bonilla and Shawn Cox, flanker Michael Hickey squeezed into the 9 jersey for the day and helped the Huns march down the field. After a few phases Sani Taylor and Rui Branco made a break down the left sideline. At the ruck just a few meters from the try line, wing Sam Feldman picked up and scored. The wind pushed Daupin’s conversion attempt just wide, but Huns were up 5-0 after only three minutes of play. Unfortunately fullback Andrew Heller went off a few minutes later with a shoulder injury, and was replaced by Alex Liles.
A penalty at a ruck allowed the visitors to narrow the gap five minutes later with a successful shot at goal, 5-3. The breakdowns continued to be a problem for the rest of the half. Up and coming referee Joey Swatzell dinged the Huns for a variety of infractions inside their own 22, and the home team were fortunate to escape without a yellow card or giving up points, thanks to a missed Quins penalty shot. Quins #8 Imilius Keyser was a force all day, but excellent scrummaging by loosehead Tim Fitzgerald helped to shut down his attempts to pick and run from the scrums.
The half ended with the score 5-3 and both teams struggling to find consistency.
A chance to regroup at the break seemed to help the Huns, and they came out in the second half with renewed focus. Huns kicked off and lock Craig Welborn raced under the high ball to steal possession. From there the home team spent the majority of the next 20 minutes in Quins territory. Tighthead Robert Drummond scored two tries, one with a pick and go from a ruck, and another from a beautifully organized driving maul off a 5m lineout. Both conversions were missed however, and with 20 minutes to play Huns led 15-3.
The Quins were not about to give up, however. Getting some sustained possession, they worked their way to the same corner of the field where Feldman had scored in the first half. At that point the Huns’ breakdown issues reared their ugly head again, and this time there were consequences as Alex Liles received a yellow card for diving over. A man down, the home team gave up a try minutes later. Quins converted and the stage was set for yet another nail-biting finish on Nixon Lane, Huns leading 15-10 with 10 minutes to play.
The Huns had been in this position twice already this season, losing close games to Griffins and Reds. But this time it would be different. Building off a strong scrum and smart tactical kicking, the Huns managed to kill off the remaining time of the sin bin, and once back at full strength fought their way back to midfield. Playing a tighter game they ran out the clock to win 15-10.
Next week Huns host the touring Detroit Tradesmen at Nixon Lane, before traveling to play New Orleans RFC on March 12th.
Huns 15 Quins 10 (5-3 half)
Huns: Tries: Drummond 2, Feldman Conversions: none Penalties: none
Quins: Tries: 1 Conversions: 1 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.