Merlins Men and Women move to D1 Playoffs, Raptors Academy bids Coach Farewell, Continues to Evolve

by | Apr 26, 2018 | Club News

Their regular season concluded, the Merlins D1 Men are enjoying two weeks of rest and preparation prior to the Red River Conference playoffs, which take place the first weekend of May. The Glendale side sits in third place in the conference standings, with the Dallas Rugby Reds in second and the Austin Blacks atop the division. The postseason will be decided May 5-7 in Austin, with venues to be announced.

David Synnott

David Synnott – Photo by Seth McConnell

The Women’s Division I team will undertake a final regular season contest this Saturday on Infinity Park’s turf field, hosting the Chicago Sirens at 12:30pm Mountain Time. The Men’s Division II team will also be playing, taking on the Chicago Silverbacks at 11am MT, also on the Infinity Park turf. Closing out an exciting day of club rugby this weekend will be the Raptors Academy squad, who will host the Under-20 side of the Chicago Condors at 2pm MT. Saturday will mark an auspicious day for the Raptors Academy, as the team bids a fond farewell to their head coach, David Synnott.

Saturday will be Synnott’s last day in Glendale, as the long time rugby coach moves across country to be closer to family. Assembling an exceptionally successful Academy side in a tight timeframe, Synnott’s recruitment and skills coaching expertise will be sorely missed. Glendale’s Director of Rugby, Mark Bullock, sums the sentiment well: “He’s brought in solid talent as we’re working to grow this sport domestically. We’re sad to see David go but we wish him all the best. Our door is always open to him.” Synnott himself reflected on his time in Glendale, thanking those he’s worked with and noting the high-level at which the programming operates: “I’ve had a fantastic time,” he said. “I want to thank David Williams, Ted Browner, Mark Bullock, Luke Gross, and the rest of the staff for this opportunity. It’s a very professional environment and I’m very proud of the Academy team’s accomplishments.”

While the Men’s D1 team challenges the Texas squads next weekend in the playoffs, the Women’s side will have a couple of weeks to prepare for their own potential playoff run, hoping to travel to Salt Lake City on May 12 to compete in the Rocky Mountain Division I postseason. Follow all of the Glendale teams 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.