Glendale Bested by Austin Blacks in 2018 D1 Debut

by | Jan 22, 2018 | D1 Men

Glendale 14 – Austin 24

On Saturday the Glendale Merlins traveled to Texas to face the Austin Blacks in the 2018 Division I season opener. Head Coach Luke Gross anticipated a hard-fought battle, as the Blacks are among the top performers in the league.

Glendale Merlins traveled to Austin Blacks

Glendale Merlins traveled to Austin Blacks

Match recap brought to you by:

Glendale Chamber

Despite the high level competition, Glendale came out strong, with Alex Fitch and Brian Wanless scoring tries at 17 and 27 minutes, respectively. Following a Blacks try in the 36th minute, the Merlins went into half time with a 14-7 lead. Glendale struggled in the second half, giving up two tries and a converted penalty to the Blacks. The Blacks ultimately secured a 24-14 victory. Said Head Coach Gross, “In the second half we made some poor decisions and had a couple of key mistakes in their end of the field, which they were able to capitalize on.”

The Merlins, who named center Clint Cook the Player of the Match, will look to take the lessons learned from their first game in the Red River Conference to their next match of the season. This Saturday will find Glendale on the road again, this time to face the Little Rock Stormers in Arkansas. Coach Gross reflected on the debut defeat with wisdom earned over a long rugby career: “You never know where you are until you get out and play. That’s how you get better.”

Glendale’s first home game of the season is March 10th, when the Merlins will face off against the Austin Blacks on Infinity Park’s Turf Field. All Merlins home games will have free admission in 2018.

Clint Cook - Player of the Match

Clint Cook – Player of the Match

Scoring Report

17:00 try by Fitch
Converted by DeNysschen
Merlins lead 7-0

27:00 try by Wanless
Converted by DeNysschen
Merlins lead 14-0

36:00 try by Austin’s #15
Converted by Austin’s #12
Merlins lead 14-7


47:00 try by Austin’s #9
Converted by Austin’s #12
Merlins 14, Austin 14

67:00 penalty kick by Austin’s #12
Austin lead 17-14

75:00 try by Austin’s #14
Converted by Austin’s #12
Austin leads 24-14

Austin 24, Merlins 14


  1. Tsverava, Giorgi
  2. Downey, Thomas
  3. Hathaway, Christopher
  4. Schoelch, Christopher
  5. Gallrein, Brett
  6. Myeni, Lindani
  7. Fitch, Alex
  8. Wanless, Brian
  9. DeNysschen, Carlo
  10. Laborde, Westley
  11. Chavkin, Ryan
  12. Cook, Clint
  13. Papike, Dennis
  14. Chkhikvabze, Irakli
  15. Vakabua, Juta
  16. Smith, Scott
  17. Pearl, Devin
  18. Kasali, Tola
  19. Stoffers, Kyle
  20. Davidson, Richard
  21. Faamatuainu, Nathen
  22. Wilder, Trevor