Sunday, June 26, 2016

Huns, ARPTC top the tables in #RRRC7s after Little Rock

Huns flyer Justin Hale (A&M) dots center just out of a Stormer's reach.
The first round of the Red River Rugby Conference 7s Qualifier Series is over and finds the Austin Huns Men's Club and the American Rugby Professional Training Center Women's Team at the top of their respective tables.
2016 RRRC 7s Points Table as of 26 June 2016

Austin Huns Press Release
Austin, TX (June 26, 2016). The Austin Huns Rugby Club won the championship match in the first of three national 7s qualifiers, beating the host team, Little Rock Rugby.

Sevens season is here. The road to a national championship has begun, and teams all around the country are playing in competitive tournaments hoping to earn their bid to the tournament. The Red River Rugby Conference boasts a large amount of talent, and this year’s pool play has seen powerful fast attacking offenses, and even tougher defenses. The old adage, “defense wins championships” holds especially true in Rugby 7s where defensive turnovers almost always result in a score. Three qualifiers are being held to decide who will move on to the national tournament. Twelve points earns an automatic entry for a team, and tournaments are scored as follows:

First place– 6 points
Second place – 4 points
Third place– 2 points
Fourth place– 1 point

Austin Huns in Little Rock after winning the Final.
The Austin Huns showed dominance throughout the day, going 3-0 in pool matches to secure the semi-final against The Dallas Reds. Coming off their defeat last weekend in the Bloodfest Final to The Huns they likely had a chip on their shoulders heading into this match, and their physicality showed it to be true. The first half ended scoreless, with the defense from both sides making huge tackles and chasing down breaks to ensure the other side couldn’t get any points on the board. In the end though, The Austin Huns stepped up to the physical challenge while still keeping the game plan in place to secure a spot in the final match. Little Rock Rugby was the only team to have gone up in points against The Huns during pool play, so it was sure to be an exciting final. Right off the whistle The Huns attack proved itself strong as they went up 7 points. Another try quickly followed with a reply from Little Rock coming right before the halftime whistle putting it at 12-7. An emotional ball spiking error from Kyle Breytenbach saw him get sin binned early in the second half. Little Rock capitalized on the extra man to bring the score to 12 even, and followed with another try putting them up 17-12. This is where the team had to dig deep to not allow Little Rock to run away with the score, and something known to members of the club as "Huns Grit" was in full force. The defense held until Breytenbach returned from the bin, and he instantly changed the game with his powerful running to bring the score even once again at 17. This switch in momentum allowed The Huns to attack effectively, and in Sevens every possession counts, every opportunity can change the game, and in the end The Huns took that opportunity to come back and win 22-17.

Huns 7s grinder Craig Welborn prepares to send the ball out to his support.

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