We’ve ALL been away for a week. Vegas is over! Mardi-gras is over! Time to get back to Red River Rugby!
In Las Vegas, the Texas All-Stars went 1-1 in XVs play, while the Austin Blacks went 2-4 in 7s play. Now everyone is back home and healing. Houston Athletic has a bye this week. The Quins make a tough trip to Gretna, LA. The Huns invade Allen, TX to battle the Griffins. And the match EVERYONE has been anticipating, the Reds at the Blacks is set for Burr Field.
Grant – Even with an off week, the Quins are still healing. Making the long trip will not help their cause. New Orleans will be looking for the bonus point win to pull into 2nd place and own it. New Orleans will take this in a barnburner.
Gift – New Orleans will be hosting the Harlequins this weekend. Dallas has had one big win against HARC on January 24th, but have otherwise show very little in terms of production. New Orleans took on the Austin Blacks on January 31, and managed to attain a second half comeback to win. I don’t expect New Orleans to have to worry about a second half comeback in this game. Look for New Orleans to take the dominating win in this game.
Ted – The Harlequins have shown that they are competitive. This is a tough trip to make and NOLA is starting to show signs that they are preparing for a playoff run. Pick: NOLA
Gordon – Chance Doyle is in New Zealand now and one of the Quins’ recruits from there, Ethan Reuben, suffered a horrific injury first time out for them. None of that will make a difference though New Orleans to win without getting into third gear.
Buss – NOLA. This is not a good conference to adjust on the fly and the Quins will have had to make some big adjustments to win here. NOLA have proven they kept their class and hunger this year.
Grant – The Huns gained great ground with the big win over Houston. They will be looking to replicate that feeling in Allen. The Griffins look to get back in the money, as well. The Huns travel squad has yet to prove consistent, though. This may hurt them. Look for a full-strength Griffins to be challenging on their home turf. Griffins by a try, barely.
Gift – This is the battle of two teams that have fallen lower than the expectations this season. The Huns are coming off a dominating victory over HARC on February 7th. Griffins have been up and down this season. They have two good wins against the bottom two defenses in the league, and they have two big losses against the two of the top four defenses in the league. Austin Huns have shown to be a high powered offense, and have the third ranked defense in the league. Despite the Griffins having the fourth best offense in the league, look for the Austin Huns to take this game. The Griffins’ defense just might not be strong enough to hold out against the Huns.
Ted – This match could be a toss up. Both teams have been decent this season and are rightfully in the middle of the conference table. Neither are ready to make a playoff run this season, but could make a run at getting into the top half of the table. Tough game to call as the teams are evenly matched. Pick: Griffins
Gordon – Huns lost to the Blacks and New Orleans and put a whipping on HARC. That’s not saying much though since they’re a pretty awful team. Griffins are predictable in attack but will grind for 80. I don’t see the Huns being able to consistently break the defensive line and therefore won’t be able to score that much. Griffins to win by a score or two in a poor game.
Buss – Huns. Huns set good platforms and if their runners are on they should win on the road.
Grant – This match will be a definite decider as to which club pulls ahead of the pack. The Reds are on track for an undefeated season, but just barely. The Blacks are tracking for nine wins and I do not think this will be one of them. The Reds need to put the hammer down to gain the bonus point, though. Reds by a try because the Blacks should be concentrating on defense. If one team gets a four try bonus point, so will the other.
Gift – Whoa, it’s been a couple weeks since we last saw these these teams play. Dallas Reds are looking to continue their rampage on the Red River Conference after having last week off. The Austin Blacks took a bit of a vacation in Las Vegas, as their Sevens team competed in the Las Vegas Invitational Tournament. Dallas Reds have been the top of the list in offensive points scored with 178 total points, and have the top defense in the league allowing a league low 43 points. While the Austin Blacks have shown proficiency on offense (ranked #3) and defense (ranked #2), they have yet to show success against anyone in the top 5 of defenses. Look for the Dallas Reds to take this win. But watch for great play by Austin Blacks, Patrick Sullivan and Dallas Reds, Jon Moore and Zack Klump.
Ted – The Reds come into the match with the top offense and defense in the RRRC. The Blacks will put up a fight at home, but this game is the Reds to lose. Pick: Reds
Gordon – The Reds have had a disruptive week this week preparing for the game. They have players out and fields rained out. The Blacks have started clicking on attack though and will look to test the Reds’ backline out wide. The Blacks are definitely the second best team in the conference and the reds the first, neither are as good as they think they are, yet, but there is potential for an incredible game here. If the Reds are to be beaten this season this may be the best chance. If the Austin team can figure out how to nullify the Reds forwards then they have a very good chance of exposing the weakness in the backline. If they cannot get on the front foot then they will struggle like Wales against England the other week. Gerard Crosswy will need to be a rock on defense in the centre. If he is then the Dallas Rugby Club comes out as winners at the end.
Buss – Reds. Blacks will need to have come together in a big way to win this one.