Red River Rugby Conference D1 Pick ‘Em Panel – Week of 24-25 January

Is it CRAZY that our Panelists only see one game in question this week? Perhaps not. It IS the beginning of the season, the cold slate. We’ve endeavored to pick four panelists from the areas of the Red River D1 Clubs but not directly associated with those clubs and one who is on the outside looking in:

Grant Cole – The editor of Texas’ best Rugby coverage site, This is Texas Rugby and a partner atT5RDG. He has been reporting on Texas Rugby for over three years and will be filming several matches in the Houston area for T5RDG this spring

Gordon Hanlon – the president of Dallas Athletic Rugby Club. He has played for the Quins, as well as many years in his home country of Ireland

Buss Hopps – The head coach of Men’s Rugby at the University of Texas in Austin. He keeps close tabs on the Rugby scene there.

Ted Hardy – Resides in Clayton, NC and is our educated outsider. He has been following rugby all over the states and reporting on it periodically through his website, Rugby America.

Gift “GiftTime” Egbelu – The Editor-in-Chief and founder of Gift-Time Rugby Network. While he works primarily out of Louisiana, he covers Rugby across the region. In addition, he likes to slip in his own brand of Rugby entertainment when allowed.

Each week, This is Texas Rugby and Gift-Time Rugby Network will post game predictions for the Red River Conference Division 1.

NOTE: Links below are to USAR stats pages on the Competition Management System for each club.


It’s BIG GAME week! Huns at Blacks. NOLA at Reds. If you are in Austin or Dallas, you have plenty of great rugby to watch! 

Austin Huns at Austin Blacks

Grant – Blacks’ Coach/Flyhalf Tane Jericevich blew his knee out last weekend in Dallas. For most teams, this would be a tough break. but the Blacks have Pat Sullivan and a few others to slot in at Flyhalf. Sullivan knows how to win big games and has done so. This is a big game. It will set a tone for how these two teams play the rest of the season. The huns will have the lead a time or more in this match. But, I think the Blacks will nip them by a couple of points.

Gifttime – Look for the Austin Blacks to overcome the Austin Huns. A great inter-city rivalry, but the Blacks are simply the better team of the two. Blacks win.

Gordon –  Torn in this game, Huns lost to a very good NOLA side while the Blacks beat a limited Quins team. Blacks to win at home against former coach and with bragging rights on the line.

Buss – Blacks. Not just yet for the Huns

Ted – Talk about a tough start to the season. Huns with back to back road games against two of the best teams in the RRRC. The Blacks had to work to defeat the Harlequins last week and will look to put the Huns away early. The Huns will put up a fight, but the Blacks are the heavy favorite.

Houston Athletic at Dallas Harlequins

Grant – Houston played with so much talent last weekend, but they won’t be traveling with all of it this weekend. Such is Club Rugby. Houston has a focus this week to be more cohesive in Dallas. The Quins are smarting from a loss that was closer than the score showed. They ran out of gas in the crucial 60th minute against Austin. Don’t expect them to do any different this weekend. Houston has plenty of fitness in the right places and will turn it on in the last quarter to put the game away by a try’s spread.

Gifttime – Coming off a loss from last week, HARC will look to rectify themselves. HARC will have the win in this game over a reeling Harlequins team.

Gordon – HARC to win this as will be fired up not to start season with two defeats on the road.

Buss – This is such a great competition and even though it’s only week 2 HARC cannot afford to lose a step.

Ted – HARC is coming off a disappointing home opening loss to the Griffins. They’ll head to Dallas looking to get in the win column and get the loss out of their system. The Harlequins put up a fight against the Blacks last weekend and will have the home field advantage this weekend.

New Orleans at Dallas Reds

Grant – The Reds are hungry. New Orleans will play its absolute best. This match will be a slobberknocker and will be decided by which team splits the uprights better. Just the way the top two clubs in the conference should battle it out. Reds by a penalty kick.

Gifttime – Rematch of the top two teams from the RRRC last year. Last year this game came down to the wire with the Reds taking the win in Dallas. But this year, Reds barely defeated a strong TCU team last week and New Orleans is coming off a nice win over the Huns. Look for New Orleans to take this win in a close match. 

Gordon – Reds to get ahead early and stay ahead.

Buss – NOLA has to be dialed in and I believe they will be. Tons of big game savvy for the New Orleans outfit.

Ted – One of the best current fixtures in American club rugby, NOLA and the Reds have been neck and neck in the RRRC and in the National playoffs. This should be one heck of a game. Reds get the edge with the home field advantage and the fact that NOLA is facing a grueling two matches in two days trip.

New Orleans at Griffins Rugby

Grant – New Orleans may be tired on Day 2, but they will be patient. If they hold the line against the Griffins and wait for the right moments, NOLA can come out of top. Griffins are confident with a win and cohesive as a team, but they will need a much better performance than last week to beat New Orleans. NOLA by a try.

Gifttime – Back to Back days of tough teams. I look at the Griffins to take the win in this game over an exhausted New Orleans team.

Gordon – Griffins have a great defense and look to be adding attacking edge to the team, but a fired up NOLA team will not lose twice in one weekend. NOLA to win.

Buss – Griffins pulled a great win out in week 1 but NOLA knows how important this one is.

Ted – Even though it is only the second week of the RRRC season, this could be a very important matchup. NOLA will be playing their second match in two days which will take a toll on the squad. If they lose to the Reds on Saturday, the pressure will be multiplied. The Griffins picked up a good road victory over HARC last week and will like their chances against a NOLA squad that will be tired. It is going to be a close one.

Jan 24 Panel

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