Merlins Defeat Austin Huns, Improve to 2-2 Record

by | Feb 20, 2018 | D1 Men

Glendale 60 – Austin 7

The Glendale Merlins traveled to Texas last weekend, facing a struggling Austin Huns team. The winless Huns fell to Glendale, 60 to 7, as the Merlins performance continues to fluctuate in their inaugural season in the Red River Conference. Head Coach Luke Gross was impressed by his team’s performance against an Austin squad he described as big, fit, and athletic. “The Huns battled from minute one to minute eighty,” he said. “They played hard and were aggressive at the tackle contest, which was reflected in our turnovers.”

Merlins Defeat Austin

Photo by Glendale Rugby

Match recap brought to you by:

Glendale Chamber

The Huns, sporting new uniforms for 2018, ultimately succumbed to Glendale, however. Overcoming injury and absence on the path to victory, the Merlins relied on a strong team dynamic to best the larger Huns. Ryan Chavkin, who plays wing and center for Glendale, helped spark momentum for the squad, scoring the game’s opening tries in the second and twentieth minutes.

With starter Carlo de Nysschen not traveling due to injury, Merlins scrum half Trevor Wilder stepped up, delivering the ball to the backs well, and scoring a try in the 35th minute to close the opening half. Glendale went into the break ahead 22-0. Gross was pleased with the Merlins play: “Our boys played our system very well and took advantage of mistakes. We scored tries. Hats off to our guys for working hard.”

Glendale continued to play aggressively in the second half, scoring at regular intervals while holding Austin to just a single try in the sixtieth minute. Merlins Prop Scott Smith played out of position throughout the game, performing well at hooker to fill in for injured teammates. Scrum half Wes LaBorde also bolstered the team, employing exceptional game management and leadership to rally toward victory. Ty Carlson, the youngest player to travel with the team, made an impressive first start in Division I, scoring and converting in the 70th minute. He was named player of the match. Glendale Forward Devin Pearl put an exclamation point on the Merlins win with a try at 78 minutes.

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. Asked about preparation following the victory in Austin, Coach Gross was pragmatic: “The weather won’t permit us to be outside for training this week, so we’re looking for an indoor facility or to our gym. This coming weekend is going to be tough. St. Mary’s just got off a big win against BYU. This is a non-league match, but it’s a recruiting opportunity for us as a club.” The match takes place at 2pm Mountain Time on February 24. The Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy team had a bye last week, and will travel with the Merlins on February 24 to face St. Mary’s at 3:30pm. Follow the 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.

Jacob Carlson

Jacob Carlson – Player of the Match

Scoring Report

2:00 – Try by Glendale’s Ryan Chavkin – Converted by Trevor Wilder – 7-0 Merlins
16:00 – Penalty by Wilder – 10-0
20:00 – Try by Chavkin (not converted) – 15-0
35:00 – Try by Wilder – Converted by Wilder 22-0
Halftime 22-0 Merlins
42:00 – Try by Alex Fitch (not converted) 27-0
55:00 – Try by Lindani Myeni – Converted 34–0
60:00 – Try by Austin Huns – Converted – 34-7
65:00 – Try by sub Nate Faamatuainu – Converted by Wilder – 41-7
70:00 – Try by Jacob Ty Carlson – Converted 48-7
74:00 – Try by sub Irakli Chkhikvabze (not converted) 53-7
78:00 – Try by Devin Pearl – Converted 60-7
Fulltime score – Merlins 60-7

Starting Lineup

  1. Giorgi Tsverava
  2. James Wilson
  3. Chris Hathaway
  4. Chrish Schoelch
  5. Brett Gallrein
  6. Lindani Myeni
  7. Richard Davidson
  8. Alex Fitch

  10. Trevor Wilder
  11. Wes LaBorde
  12. Ryan Chavkin
  13. Clint Cook
  14. Dennis Papike
  15. Ty Carlson
  16. Juta Vakabua

  18. Scott Smith
  19. Devin Pearl
  20. TJ Downey
  21. Andrew Sroczynski
  22. Nathen Faamatuainu
  23. Irakli Chkhikvabze