Last weekend the three regional winners from D3 along with the top wild card meet in Austin for the TRU Division Three Championships.
The weather was foul early and late on Saturday but the teams were not to be deterred from playing some open rugby with equal use of close in bangers and wide balls to the wingers for flowing rugby.
Saturday had table topping St. Thomas University playing wild card Dallas RFC in the first semi final.
The heavy rains that welcomed the players slowly subsided during the game to leave warm, humid, tacky mess.
The teams were on par with each other at the half with neither side able to find their true form. The second half saw St. Thomas make a few adjustments and decided to keep ball in hand as the first half kicking game was not resulting in many scoring opportunities. The increased possession gave STT the platform needed to run in some try’s and pull away from Dallas late in the second half and the win 25-10.
The second semi final was a match that saw two teams both looking to take control in their forwards and produced a very physical match between the Huns (Central) and DARC (North) region champions.
The Huns needed every second of the 80 minute semi to hold off DARC. The final seconds saw DARC win several penalties deepin the Huns 22m. The net result was a Try on fulltime. The kick was to determine the winner. DARC missed the kick by just a meter or two and saw the Huns hang on for the victory 21-20.
Overnight rains reinforced the footing conditions on Sunday. Depsite the rain the ground help up well and both teams were in full attack for the win, a win that ensured advancement to Westerns as the TRU third seed. Dallas and DARC continued to impress with the intensity in the first half. The second half saw DARC take control of the match with several nice tries. Dallas was content to clear their bench in the final 10 minutes.
Thus, DARC advances on their 20-7 win to go to Westerns on May 1/2 and will play the Heart of American Champion.
The championship match saw hometown Austin Huns facing off against St. Thomas University who was the only undefeated team in Division Three league play.
St. Thomas continued their attacking rugby, taking most every opportunity to put it through the hands and test the Huns wingers. The Huns worked most of their attacks through the pack and spun it wide when numerical advantage dictated.
STT showed their attacking prowess and led the entire first half and took a 15-6 halftime lead. As the sun began to show itself for the first time all weekend so did the Huns hopes of making a comeback. The Huns repeatedly punished the STT errors and climbed back into the game over the course of the second half.
As with the second semi final on SAT, the fans would not know who would win until the 80th minute on a conversion kick coming from a try scored on the final movement of the match. This time it was the Huns who scored at the final whistle. The ground was still soft and kicking from the ground had been a problem all weekend. The Huns # 8 and MVP of the Tournament calmly set up and struck the ball from just right of center. The ball, as the game, was in doubt until the last second. The ball dropped softly over the crossbar and narrowly inside the post. Only the Assistant Referee confirmation proved that the kick was good and that the Huns had bravely fought back from the halftime deficit to become the 2010 TRU Division Three Champions with a final score of 16-15.
St. Thomas will take on the St. Louis Royals (Missouri Champion) and the Huns will take on New Mexico Highlands (Rio Grande Champion).
Thanks to Austin RFC for hosting the championships and the TRRA for providing fully miked Referees and Assistant Referees for the weekend. It was high standard that the teams were appreciate to have.
Match schedule and other information can be found at www.wrfu.org.