Austin Elite Rugby lost 24-13 to the Glendale Raptors on Sunday, February 17 at Dell Diamond, Round Rock, Texas. The Raptors won for the first time of the season and have a 1-2 record. Austin Elite Rugby controlled possession for the final 20 minutes of the first half, but couldn’t hold off the Raptors attack in the second half.
Both teams have not had the start that they wanted. Austin Elite Rugby has lost 3 consecutive close home matches to the Houston SaberCats, Utah Warriors, and to the Toronto Arrows. The Glendale Raptors have also begun their season with 2 road losses, a narrow one to the Seattle Seawolves and another to NOLA Gold.
Both teams had the chances to attack. A penalty by the Raptors, resulted in Andres Vilaseca slotting a kick to take a 3-0 lead in the 12th minute.
The Glendale Raptors went through multiple phases with Ata Malifa dummy allowing him to score under the posts. Carlo De Nysschen then converted to take a 7-3 lead.
Glendale then had two opportunities to go for the posts but elected to kick to touch for lineouts. After a penalty advantage, the Raptors kicked to touch and mauled from a lineout. The Raptors then elected a scrum after the third penalty in a row by Austin Elite Rugby. The ball went to Taikato-Simpson and dished to Harley Davidson for a try in the right corner for a 12-3 lead. Robbie Petzer’s conversion from touch was just off.
Guillimin, who replaced Rodrigo Silva, kicked to touch after a penalty. Ben Mitchell then barrelled toward in-goal. A penalty advantage to Austin Elite resulted in a 5-meter scrum. Austin Elite then had three consecutive scrums, and the Raptors were penalized again. Another infraction could result in a penalty try. Rikus Zart then used a leg drive to propel him in for a try cutting the lead to 12-8. Vilaseca’s conversion was wide left.
Another scrum penalty for a wheel by the Raptors resulted in an Austin Elite lineout just inside Glendale 22-meters. The throw, however, was not straight and Glendale took a 12-8 lead into the break.
The first half had the Raptors controlling much of the possession during the first 20 minutes. That changed to Austin Elite having the majority of possession until the break.
The Glendale Raptors extended their lead to 19-8 after a dummy by Malifa and an offload to Carlo De Nyscchen led to a try and a conversion by de Nysschen.
Austin Elite lost a scoring opportunity as a 5-meter lineout throw went long into Glendale hands. Taikato-Simpson then cleared and Jaoudat broke and chipped ahead. Michael Romera grubbed the ball ahead and bounced off the post padding and resulted in a 5-meter scrum to the Raptors. A lack of discipline then allowed the Raptors to clear.
The Raptors then attacked and an offload by Brendan Daly to Peter Dahl ended in a try in the right corner to push the lead to 24-8 and give the Raptors a bonus point.
Austin Elite then attacked near the Glendale 22-meter, but a loose ball was gathered by Chad London and after a long run, he was chased down close to in-goal, saving a try. A penalty on Austin Elite from their 5-meter scrum placed the team under pressure. De Nysschen then dove over into in-goal but lost the ball forward.
Austin Elite then had their best attack on the night. After a 5-meter scrum to Austin Elite, the ball went wide left to Jaoudat, who offloaded to Ratu Peni Tagive. An Austin Elite lineout resulted in a Tagive offload to Ben Mitchell for a try, to cut the lead to 24-13 in the final minute.
For Glendale, they will leave Austin with a bonus point win, their first one of the season. Austin Elite had their chances, but have started the season 0-4 at home.
Ata Malifa was named Man of the Match for the Raptors.
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Austin Elite Rugby: 1 Simon Courcoul 2 Tiaan Strauss Erasmus 3 Juan Echeverria 4 Ben Mitchell (C) 5 Josh Larsen 6 Kyle Breytenbach 7 Rikus Zwart 8 Travis Larsen 9 Marcelo Torrealba 10 Rodrigo Sliva 11 Ratu Peni Tagive 12 Andres Vilaseca 13 Zinzan Elan-Puttick (VC) 14 Reece Czarnecki 15 Soheyl Jaoudat 16 Peter Malcolm 17 Chris Schade 18 Mason Pedersen 19 Dylan Pieterse 20 Dominique Bailey 21 Mickaël Romera 22 Timothée Guillimin 23 Sione Fangaiuiha + Head Coach Alain Hyardet
Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 Zach Fenoglio 3 Marco Fepulea’i 4 Kody O’Neil 5 Luke White (C) 6 Connor Cook 7 Peter Dahl 8 William Munro 9 Carlo De Nysschen 10 Ata Malifa 11 Harley Davidson 12 Chad London 13 Mika Kruse 14 John Ryberg 15 Dylan Taikato-Simpson 16 Chad Gough 17 Max Lum 18 Kelepi Fifita19 Brendan Daly 20 Malon Al-Jiboori 21 Mickey Bateman 22 Robbie Petzer 23 Nick Johnson