2017 Austin Huns vs. Utah Select XV

Austin Huns Knock Off Utah Select XV To Keep Perfect Home Record Intact

Austin Huns Knock Off Utah Select XV To Keep Perfect Home Record Intact

A recap of the Major Rugby Championship match between the Elite sides of the Austin Huns and Utah Select XV.

Apr 4, 2017 by Michael Cramer
In a busy day for rugby in Texas' state capitol, the Austin Huns not only captured their third win in the Major Rugby Competition with a hard-fought 48-22 victory over Utah Select XV on Saturday but also remained undefeated at home this season.

The Huns' fields at Nixon Lane played host to the collegiate Red Rugby Championships for most of the day, but later in the afternoon, all eyes were on the Elite squads getting ready to wage war for 80 minutes. While a bruising Utah side came out strong early to grab a 15-14 lead, the Huns responded with 27 unanswered points and stifling defense in the second half to pull away.

Photograph by Norma Salinas Photography

Undaunted by Utah's imposing size, the Huns found great defensive efforts from players such as Lomani "Money" Tongotongo and Kyle Breytenbach as well as an offensive spark from vice captain Hanco Germishuys, who scored three tries -- highlighted by a 70-meter scamper to punctuate the match.

As predicted I knew Utah would come out, all guns blazing," Austin Huns Elite head coach Eugene Eloff said. "They are a big, physical side, and they made us account for it the beginning of the match. They attacked with wave after wave, and we had to defend a lot. But we handled the pressure well and did not allow Utah to bully us physically, as they had done other teams.
Trailing 29-15 to start the second half was no deterrent for Utah, which was playing just its second MRC match of the season. In a back-and-forth battle in the final 40 minutes, the Select XVs and Huns traded defensive stops, and neither team scored until the 65th minute. However, the Huns were able to put the game out of reach behind the two staples of their success this year: strategic rucking and familiar faces finding the try zone.

Minutes after Germishuys extended the Huns' lead to 34-15, Kyle Breytenbach scooped and scored a 60-meter try, his second try of the match. While Rugby Utah finally answered back with a try in the 79th minute to narrow the score to 41-22, a dropped pass in the 84th minute led to Germishuys' final and match-clinching score.

The Huns next travel to take on the Dallas Reds in a Red River Rugby Conference matchup on Saturday, April 8. The Reds (4-1) currently sit atop the RRRC standings, just one point ahead of the Huns (4-1). The Huns then return to MRC action at home on April 15, when they will be looking to avenge a loss to a stout Glendale Raptors team, which bested the Huns 41-10 in late February.

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April 15:
Huns vs. Glendale Raptors
April 29: Huns vs. Richmond
May 6: Huns vs. NOLA Rugby

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