Glendale Merlins Host Austin Blacks in Division I Home Opener March 10, 2018

by | Mar 8, 2018 | D1 Men

The Merlins host the Austin Blacks in Glendale’s D1 home opener this Saturday at 1pm Mountain Time. The Merlins are coming off a bye week, following a hard fought, non-league loss to St. Mary’s College at the end of February. Glendale will look to best the as-yet-undefeated Blacks and establish themselves among the top teams in the Red River Conference. Glendale’s Division II Men’s Merlins also play Saturday, facing the Denver Highlanders.

Glendale Merlins Host Austin Blacks

Photo by Justin Purdy

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The Glendale Raptors are hosting a professional rugby exhibition on March 10 as well, facing New Orleans Gold at 3pm. A glimpse at professional-level rugby, which debuts April 21, the event is free and open to the public.

Merlins Head Coach Luke Gross is looking forward to an exciting day of rugby in Glendale: “We opened our season against the Blacks, and they beat us in a tight contest that could have gone either way. Playing at home is always to your advantage: we don’t have to travel, we know the landscape, and it’s always better to play in front of your family and friends. With the Raptors game at 3pm, we’re hoping for a huge turnout.”

The D1 team has used the rest week to their advantage, working hard to prepare for the season’s first home game. The Merlins have struggled with injuries in their inaugural venture into the Texas-based Red River Conference, but Gross expects his team will continue to play to win: “We do have some injuries at some key positions, but we know the boys stepping in will do a tremendous job. We are looking forward to a very competitive match.”

The Merlins next D1 match is again at home, hosting the Little Rock Stormers on March 17 at Infinity Park. The game kicks off at 3pm Mountain Time. The 17th will be a day full of elite club-level rugby for Glendale, with nearly all of the non-professional teams competing. The Merlins Women’s D1 team will host the Boulder Rugby Football Club in a non-league match at 10am MT and the Merlins Men’s Division II team will host Boulder RFC at noon. The U23 team will travel to Ft. Collins, CO to take on Colorado State University.

Follow the Raptors Academy and Glendale Merlins on Facebook and Twitter for full-time scores on all games and additional information. All Glendale Merlins home games will be played on Infinity Park’s turf field in 2018, and are free and open to the public.

Starting Fifteen

  1. Tsverava, Giorgi
  2. Downey, Thomas
  3. Hathaway, Christopher ©
  4. Schoelch, Christopher
  5. Gallrein, Brett
  6. Myeni, Lindani
  7. Davidson, Richard
  8. Fitch, Alexander
  9. Wilder, Trevor
  10. Chavkin, Ryan
  11. Croy, Dustin
  12. Hitt, Kyle
  13. Johnson, Nicholas
  14. Faamatuainu, Nathen
  15. Vakabua, Juta