After a number of fall cancellations due to COVID-19 and related causes, the clubs in the TRU are gearing up for an action-packed spring; all kicking off January 15, 2022. Below we highlight what happened in the fall, what to look forward to in the spring, and can’t miss matches scheduled for this month.
What happened in the fall? Well, a lot of cancellations and postponements. We saw a number of smaller clubs suffer from the COVID-19 pandemic; some won’t be participating in the 21-22 season, some will be participating with less sides than planned, and some will be playing under new banners temporarily. With all this happening, we still had a number of matches and enough exciting rugby to pull us into the new year.
The spring portion of the 21-22 season kicks off January 15th, 2022 with hometown derbies highlighting the opening weekend. There are currently 41 matches scheduled across the TRU in January, starting with 15 on opening weekend and ending with 16 on the 29th. In short, plenty of rugby to get you through the winter slump.
The Austin Valkyries led the TRU season start, with matches against the Colorado Gray Wolves and Denver Black Ice in October and November. Both matches were close losses, 13 points behind Colorado and 10 behind Denver. Colorado Gray Wolves trounced Denver at home, putting up a massive 72 to Black Ice’s lone unconverted try. Back in Texas, the sHARCs shook the Dallas Harlequins with 88 points to Dallas’ 19.
More Texas match-ups to look forward to in January as Austin travels to Dallas on the 22nd and a classic derby on the 29th as the sHARCs head west to Austin.
Four massive league games in the fall, and all but one came down to the wire. The Austin Blacks handedly beat the Grand Prairie Mavericks at home 88-20 on November 20th, but had a much tighter match when they headed up to Dallas on December 18th, winning 24-22 to keep the only undefeated record in TRU Men’s Division 1 entering the spring. The Dallas RFC split the difference on last minute results as they surged past the Austin Huns in November to win 35-33 on the road, but lost a heartbreaker in December hosting the Austin Blacks. The Grand Prairie Mavericks celebrated their first Division 1 win this year with a thrilling finish over the Dallas Harlequins 33-31. Both the Dallas Harlequins and the Dallas RFC took on Rugby HTX, a non-league Division 1 TRU Member Club, adding those wins and plenty of game-time experience to bolster their runs into 2022.
Derbies are the name of the game to open January play, with the Dallas Harlequins traveling to the Dallas RFC and the Austin Huns strolling 1.2miles over to Burr Field to play the Austin Blacks. Grand Prairie takes to the road to play Rugby HTX in a non-league match. The last weekend in January has the Dallas Harlequins on the road again to the Austin Blacks, the Grand Prairie Mavericks coming down to Nixon Lane to take on the Austin Huns, and the Dallas RFC headed to Houston and Rugby HTX. If the fall was any sign, these games are sure to be exciting, and you don’t want to leave until the final whistle.
The Women’s Division 2 only had one league match in fall 2021 and one cross-division friendly. In league play, the Dallas RFC women hosted the Little Rock Stormers in December. Little Rock blanked the home team, scoring an impressive 71 points. The Dallas Harlequins pull double duty this year, playing in the Division 1 conference while also participating in friendly matches with the northern Division 2 clubs. They traveled to the Rugby Gardens to take on the Dallas Athletic Rugby Club, scoring an impressive 74 points against DARC’s lone try.
January holds plenty of action for the women’s clubs as newcomers Round Rock Rage host their first league match on the 15th against Bay Area. The Rage then travels across town to take on the Austin Valkyries 2 later in the month. The Dallas RFC host the Dallas Harlequins on derby day, one of the five matches taking place at Lake Highlands that day. Dallas Athletic travels to the Dallas RFC on January 22 and the San Antonio Riveters round out the month with a trip to the Bay Area Rugby Club on the 29th.
A ton of action has taken place already in the Men’s Division 2. The Austin Blacks cleared Fort Worth at home to start the season, then lost a tough one on the road to the Dallas RFC. The Austin Huns are riding high, with exciting wins over the Dallas RFC and Little Rock, leaving them undefeated entering 2022. The Dallas Athletic Rugby Club are also undefeated, beating both Little Rock and Fort Worth at their beautiful home pitch in Wylie, TX. The south has been wracked with reschedules, with only West Houston and The Woodlands taking the pitch in a played forfeit.
This January we are excited to see HARC and San Antonio take to the pitch, with HARC at The Woodlands on opening weekend, and San Antonio hosting The Woodlands the week after. The Austin Huns and Dallas Athletic look to defend their undefeated records on derby day, as they cross town to the Austin Blacks and the Dallas RFC respectively. Little Rock hosts their first home games of the season as Fort Worth travels north, followed by Dallas the week after.
The Men’s Division 3 saw it all already in November and December, leaving nothing but loose ends and a wild finish to look forward to in 2022. The Austin Blacks opened the season with a massive win over the Grand Prairie Mavericks at home 87-0, following it up with a big win on the road in Dallas 46-7. The Austin Huns banked a win at home over Dallas as well. San Antonio won over Houston United 41-19, the only time we’ve seen these clubs in action so far. Denton had two tough losses at home, 40-19 to Alliance and 31-0 to Shreveport. Seeing as it’s their first season after promotion from Division 4, this Denton club has shown a lot of promise, and is sure to keep climbing. Another Division 4 promotion, Fort Hood Old Skool rugby smashed the Other Rugby Club at home 54-5 in November, making a statement with their first D3 league match. The Outsiders learned from those mistakes and managed a sweet 36-34 win on the road at Alamo City. The Dallas Harlequins skirted the Grand Prairie Mavericks by a point to win 30-29, and the Houston Arrows banked a win over the Bay Area Rugby Club 45-18.
What’s in store for January? One of the Austin teams has to take their first L of the season, as they battle it out on opening weekend. Dallas will give it all to get their first win of the season at home as they host the 1-0 Harlequins. The Woodlands host Houston Athletic, the first outing for both of these sides; and Galveston gets into the game, traveling to Bay Area. The next weekend, more clubs get involved as we see Corpus Christi traveling to the Houston Arrows and McAllen hosting Fort Hood. Last but not least to the party, OKC Tribe finally kicks off their campaign hosting Denton on January 29th.
The division that has suffered the most from loss of clubs and sides; two teams currently remain in the TRU Men’s Division 4. Lost Souls has replaced the Dallas Diablos this year, and they sit in a bracket across from the Dallas D4 side. These two played in December, a thrilling match that saw the Dallas RFC emerge victorious 27-24. While the league rematch isn’t until February, friendlies are being scheduled with these sides and things are possibly in motion to add a bit more competition. Dallas D4 hosts Denton as part of derby day in January, and we expect more with Lost Souls to be added to the calendar soon.
Bottom line? Plenty of rugby to be had in January. Stay safe and we’ll see you out on the pitch!
Please note that some teams have dropped from the competition this year but remain in the standings tables.