April 11, 2016
Austin Huns Narrowly Lose Against Dallas Reds
Photo: Norma Salinas Photography
Austin Huns Press Release: April 11, 2016
Austin, TX (April 11, 2016). The Austin Huns traveled to Dallas to face last season’s #3 team in the nation, Dallas RFC, losing 18-29. They were looking to avenge their January loss in Austin by a very similar 17-25 margin. There was light rain as the game began at Dallas’ Lake Highlands Park, but the weather soon cleared. The small crowd was treated to a somewhat sloppy but fiercely contested match.
The Huns put Dallas under pressure right from the opening kickoff, and drew first blood when awarded a penalty in front of the Reds’ posts. Thierry Daupin, making his debut at fullback for the Austin team, slotted the kick to give Huns the early lead after only 3 minutes. It did not hold up long, however, as Dallas struck back with two quick tries from wing Chris Slater, one of which was converted. Slater was not unfamiliar to the Huns, having played for El Azul 7s a few years ago before a stint playing in Canada. with a quarter of the match played, the Reds lead was 3-12. The visitors had their chances, almost scoring twice in the right corner after strong runs by flanker Kyle Breytenbach. But Huns’ errors at critical moments spoiled the opportunities. It appeared that the men in blue were tight, with each player trying to do much on his own in this key late season encounter. The Dallas club capitalized on those mistakes, grabbing a third try at the 24 minute mark, widening their lead 3-19.
It looked as if costly errors, poor footing, and missed tackles might lead to a heavy loss. But with about 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Dallas #8 Dale Russ was forced off due to injury. The Huns settled down and got back to work, earning another kickable penalty, again converted by Daupin to narrow the lead to 6-19. Dallas kicked a penalty of their own just as the half ended, the teams went into the break with the score Huns 6, Reds 22.
The Austin Huns came out of the half time break refocused and more relaxed, bolstered by the experienced Tim Fitzgerald coming off the bench. Playing with the physicality that has been a hallmark of this season’s squad, the Huns gained a further edge as another Dallas back row left the game shaken up. Winning a lineout in their own half, the Huns held the ball through multiple phases working it up and across the field to the opposite sideline. When the reversed direction, they found space and series of nice offloads resulted in a beautiful try on the left sideline by wing Tuwi Rokodulu. Huns now trailed 11-22 with 30 minutes to play. With the Huns’ scrum again asserting its dominance, more hard work yielded another try ten minutes later, this time Breytenbach breaking free to score between the posts. Daupin converted, and after 62 minutes the score was Austin 18, Dallas 22.
The final stanza was tense. Huns’ center Sam Feldman was replaced after taking a knock on the knee. The home team extended their lead when #10 Blake Boulton stepped through the center of the Huns’ defense to score under the crossbar. Dallas’ #15 Phil Bolton was yellow-carded for a high tackle. A man down, the Reds defended bravely, and when they had the ball relied on their pick and go game to kill time – the same tactic Huns had used to successfully secure an away victory against New Orleans only a few weeks earlier. At full time Dallas had won 18-29.
The Huns are off next week, and then renew their local rivalry versus the Austin Blacks on April 23rd at Nixon Lane.
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.