July 25, 2016
Austin Huns Win RRRC 7s Title & Trip to Nationals
Photo: Norma Salinas Photography
Austin Huns Release: Thierry Daupin
Austin, TX (July 25, 2016). – The Red River Rugby Conference (RRRC) concluded its final 2016 National 7s qualifier play this past weekend. The Austin Huns were deemed conference champions after securing conference points through the 3-tournament series. This championship qualifies the Austin Huns for the USA Rugby National Championships in Denver August 13-14, 2016 and it is the first time the club has qualified in its 44-year history.
The Austin Huns and Little Rock Stormers began the tournament tied for the number one seed in the RRRC, with the Dallas Reds not trailing far behind. The Huns and Stormers fought to secure the conference championship, while the Reds battled for a tournament win and a national tournament berth possibility with a finals win.
The Austin Huns started the final series in typical fashion, dominating ‘Pool A’ through unselfish play, attaining the restart, and controlling the breakdowns. Huns opened the series against HARC winning 31-7, then took their efforts into the second match shutting out Ft. Hood Phantoms 33-0. The final pool match was an early title preview as the Austin Huns met the Dallas Reds, emerging victorious with a 19-12 final score.
Austin Huns won the pool and moved into the cup semi-finals which secured them a spot in the national tournament. Huns achieved their long-term goal. They looked to capture the first conference title in Austin Huns History. In their semi-final matchup, Austin Huns met a physical and highly skilled Lone Star. The Huns remained true to their team game plan and dynamics while keeping Lone Star scoreless and winning 31-0.
While the Austin Huns battled to make the finals, the Little Rock Stormers and Dallas Reds fought to do the same, Reds won 19-10 moving them to the finals in a rematch against the Huns. Little Rock eventually finished third in the tournament.
As they moved into the finals, Austin Huns marked their fourth straight finals appearance over the short 7s season, and their fourth meeting with the Dallas Reds, which Huns lead 3-0. The final meeting of two of the conference’s most athletic teams was everything it was expected to be; high flying, fast paced, long-breaks, and our course tries with big hits. The Dallas Reds pushed out to an early lead by that half, up 19-5. The Huns played a 20-minute final with only 9 people. Since they were unable to make too many personnel changes at the half, they made strategic adjustments which proved to be effective. The Reds struck first after the half, scoring after the Huns received a penalty in their own 22. The Austin Huns then adjusted and scored three uncontested tries narrowing the gap. However, in the end, the Huns came up short losing by a try in the final minutes.
The Austin Huns end their conference 7s season campaign 18-1. They will be competing in their first Club 7s National Championship Tournament in club history. When asked about the historic moment, 1st-Year Huns Head Coach Jacob Liberman stated, “Qualifying for nationals is a nice result but as a 7s team we are far from a finished product. The results on the field are a nice validation of the hard work the players put in this summer. That being said, we have a lot of positive momentum right now. The players are hungry for success. We know nationals will be a big step up in competition but everyone involved is looking forward to the challenge.”
The National tournament takes place August 13-14, 2016. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.usaclub7s.com
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More photos from the event will soon be on our Facebook page, provided by Norma Salinas.