Glendale Merlins at Austin Huns

by | Feb 15, 2018 | D1 Men

February 17, 2018

Coming off a week of rest, training, and preparation, the Glendale Merlins D1 Men travel to Texas Saturday to take on the Austin Huns. The Merlins, coming off a loss to the Dallas Rugby Reds in the first week of February, are looking for an improved performance in this divisional match up.

Glendale Merlins Rugby Practice

Photo by Justin Purdy

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The Huns have struggled in the Red River Conference this year, starting their season 0-3. They fell in their home opener to the increasingly impressive Dallas Reds, and then succumbed to the Austin Blacks and Dallas Harlequins in subsequent weeks. Merlins Head Coach Luke Gross still predicts a strong showing from the team, however: “We’re not sure what they’ll put on the field, but we know they’ll play hard and up front. We’ll see what they throw at us on Saturday.”

Employing the bye week to their benefit, the Merlins have worked hard to prepare for their third trip to Texas this season. Gross noted that the team has had several productive practices since the loss in Dallas, and that the addition of new staff is making an impact. “We did a lot of skill work in the off week, and then a really good training session on the Tuesday prior to the game. We had a mix of guys from our D1 side and from the U23 team. The addition of Duncan James as an assistant coach has added another level of excitement to practice. He brings a lot of pizzazz to the mix. He and coach Mose Timoteo are working really well together.”

Three Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy U23 players are again traveling to Texas with the Merlins, a tactic that has allowed the team to fill its ranks and to expose the younger players to high-level play throughout the season.

The Merlins next Division I match is again on the road, the team traveling to Moraga, CA to face St. Mary’s College in a non-league game. The match takes place at 2pm Mountain Time on February 24. February 9 saw the official start of the season for the Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy team, who bested BYU amid frigid temps on Infinity Park’s Turf Field. The U23 team has a bye this week, traveling with the Merlins on February 24 to face St. Mary’s at 3:30pm. Follow the Raptors Academy and Glendale Merlins on Facebook and Twitter for full-time scores on all games and additional information.

The Merlins first home game of the season is March 10, when Glendale will face off against the Austin Blacks on Infinity Park’s Turf Field at 3pm. All Merlins home games will have free admission in 2018.

Traveling Roster

  • Tsverava, Giorgi
  • Hathaway, Christopher
  • Downey, Thomas
  • Schoelch, Christopher
  • Myeni, Lindani Sanele
  • Davidson, Richard Thomas Jr
  • Rusert, Joseph
  • Fitch, Alexander
  • De Nysschen, Carlo
  • LaBorde, Westley
  • Chavkin, Ryan
  • Cook, Clint
  • Papike, Dennis
  • Chkhikvabze, Irakli
  • Vakabua, Juta
  • Pearl, Devin
  • Wilson, James
  • Gallrein, Brett
  • Smith, Scott
  • Carlson, Jacob Ty
  • Rademacher, Zachariah K
  • Faamatuainu, Nathen
  • Wilder, Trevor