Houston Athletic played a full 80 minutes against the Austin Blacks at home, but even missing a couple of stalwarts, the Blacks were too much. It wasn’t the team-oriented match that the Blacks aim to play, but Reikart Hattingh & Matthew Radzavich stepped up big with a brace of tries, each. Both slid through the HARC defense like the slippery eels they are. Robert McKay and Pat Sullivan added one each and Sulli’s boot was fierce for all six tries. Jeff Burns and Zach Tafelski dotted down for HARC with Conor Mills reviving his old college rivalry with Sullivan by being just as perfect kicking conversions and two penalties.
In Austin, the Huns had their eye on the prize with two 1st half tries and might have pulled it off had they been a tad more patient. In the 78th minute, the Reds’ outside center Chad Haberstroh dashed 80 meters to dot down. Jordan Macey’s aim was true and brought on the draw. Huns’ Coach Lachlan Ferguson said that they quick-tapped a couple of times when they were well in range of Andor Benyi’s siege gun of a leg. Such patience comes with experience. The Huns are peaking and the Reds may be in need of such a wake-up call as last weekend offered.
Grant – HARC played a full 80 minutes for the first time this season. That will bode well for them if they can pull it off a second time against Griffins, a team that plays 80 minutes every match. However, HARC has a tendency to travel poorly. That is something they cannot afford to do this weekend. Griffins have had a few weeks to rest and heal. They are ready for a match and ready to do some damage. A victory puts them in 3rd, ahead of the Reds for a while. Griffins to control this one and win by a couple of tries.
Ted – HARC showed some life last weekend against the Blacks. They’ve been woeful on the road this season and have travelled poorly. The Griffins shouldn’t have any trouble taking them down. Pick: Griffins
Gordon – Griffins to beat HARC.
Gift – HARC just can’t catch a break this year. They have shown flashes over offensive brilliance, but have just had a difficult time puling it all together. While I expect them to again show the offensive brilliance, I don’t think the Griffins at home will be letting them close out this time. Griffins have proven to grind the ball out and will disrupt the most aggressive offensive plans with their strategy. I expect the Griffins to take this game in a defensive game.
Buss – HARC play physical and seem to have upped their play. Griffins have some really good pieces and some underwhelming pieces. HARC wins scoring tries, Griffins stay in close kicking points.
Grant – Old Blue is a strong side this year, but it’s been a while since they’ve played a serious match. Their match XV is a mixed batch with a sizable backline. OB is a solid team, but so is NOLA. NOLA will likely own the scrum and breakdown and OB – the lineout. This game will be won in the backline, tho. That being said, NOLA is much better prepared to slog it out in 80 degrees and 100% humidity than Old Blue is right now. NOLA by five.
Ted – NOLA is clearly not in the same category competitively compared to where they were last year. Still, they should provide a stern test for visiting Old Blue. Old Blue is the favorite on paper, but they’re coming off of a bad winter in NYC while NOLA already has a bunch of games under their belt. NOLA should keep it close for a while, but if their drubbing at the hands of Life is any indication, they won’t have the firepower to take down this ARP side. Pick: Old Blue
Gordon – Old Blue to enjoy Bourbon Street a bit too much. NOLA to win at home.
Gift – This will be the early prep for the return of the American Rugby Premiership in April for Old Blue, and prep for the playoffs for New Orleans. Both teams have been tough. Unfortunately I don’t know that much about Old Blue, so I can’t provide a deep insight on what they can do. I know that New Orleans were not very competitive against Life University, but then it’s Life University. Take that away, New Orleans at home, and in front of a wonderful crowd for their Day of Rugby will help ignite this New Orleans squad. So i’m going to be going with the homer pick and select my states New Orleans to take down the long traveled New York based Old Blue.
Buss – Old Blue relish a physical contest. NOLA doesn’t. In rugby, this is usually enough. The New Yorkers win in a bruising game.