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February Preview – RRRC/TRU

January kicked off the TRU 2022 campaign with freezing weather, rain and snow. More cancellations came across the board as the highly anticipated Austin Huns vs Austin Blacks derby was postponed until March. The latter weekend of the month provided beautiful weather, as more clubs took to the pitch and it finally looked like rugby spring was upon us.

Our January highlight had to be Women’s Division 2 newcomers Round Rock Rage playing their first league match against the Division 2 Austin Valkyries. This match was one of five hosted at the Austin Huns facility on January 29, after a morning of youth and high school rugby. The Valkyries struck first with an unconverted try by number 8 Kristina Koufos. The Rage answered back with their own from flyhalf Analisa Ruiz. The conversion by flanker Samantha Ondra allowed the Rage to take the lead for the first time, and they never released it. Fueled by a passionate sideline, Round Rock Rage closed out their first league match with a win – final score 48-15 over Austin.

Our January lowlight (work with me here) was the January 15th match between Fort Worth and Little Rock Men’s Division 2 sides. The game itself was thrilling, Fort Worth starting off with first blood, and Little Rock racking up three unanswered tries until Fort Worth surged back bringing the score within three with 10 minutes to go. Little Rock closed the deal with a final try in the 75th minute to make it a 32-24 hometown win. So why the lowlight? The CONDITIONS. The rain slogged the pitch, turning it into a mud bowl that was still damp a week later. In addition to the rain, temperatures didn’t rise above freezing, and the wind was howling. Props to these two sides for pushing forward and providing a great game of rugby for those brave enough to brace the weather and attend.

What’s on deck in February? Four ACTION-PACKED weekends. Check out below to see how each division stands, and what to look forward to in February.

Men's D1

Derby weekend opened in January with the Dallas Harlequins traveling to the Dallas RFC and the Austin Huns to the Austin Blacks. The Austin matches were postponed due to COVID, but the Dallas teams played on despite windy and cold winter weather. The Dallas RFC had a strong performance, beating the Quins 68-5. In Houston, Grand Prairie played Rugby HTX in a friendly, losing 43-17. The end of January saw the top three teams in the league advancing further as both Austin teams banked wins, and the Dallas RFC won in their HTX friendly. The standings table seems to be unfolding into a similar pattern as years’ past – Austin Blacks, Austin Huns, and Dallas RFC at the top, and everyone else sitting below.

February has all five teams in action during three weekends. Austin Blacks will look to maintain their undefeated record, while Dallas will try to ruin it. The Austin Huns want to capture wins on the road before they have to take on their home town rivals back to back in March. Both Grand Prairie and the Dallas Harlequins have two home games this month. Expect them to be strong in defending the home turf.

Matches to watch: The Austin Blacks hosting the Dallas RFC on February 26th, Austin’s famous Ladies’ Day. The Dallas Harlequins will host the Grand Prairie Mavericks on February 26th. Anyone else up for a repeat of two-point wins?!

Women's D1

One match took place in January, a rivalry we all look forward to – sHARCs vs Austin Valkyries. Austin held the lead for much of the match, but sHARCs kept pace score for score until the 50th minute when they scored three to finally pull ahead. A final try by Houston in the last minute sealed the deal as the sHARCs took home the win.

February brings three league games to the table. Dallas Harlequins face both Texas teams, traveling to Houston on the 19th and hosting Austin on the 26th. Houston also crosses the conference to host Denver Black Ice on February 26th. Can the sHARCs keep an undefeated record? Will Austin or Dallas finally bank their first season win?

Matches to watch: Houston hosting Denver Black Ice and Dallas Harlequins hosting Austin (playing in Austin) on February 26th.

Men's D2

The southern D2 Division (D2) seems to have struggled most with numbers coming out of COVID. Only two games were able to be played, with HARC and San Antonio topping The Woodlands. Don’t let down your guard too soon, The Woodlands put up 50 points between both matches, showing that they are not a team to be taken lightly. The northern D2 Division (D1-B) is all over the place. Dallas RFC topped DARC while Little Rock beat Fort Worth, then Dallas RFC beat Little Rock and Fort Worth beat the Austin Huns. The Austin Blacks dismantled DARC at home during their only D2 game of January.

So how do the standings look entering February? All teams in D1-B have played at least three games and all have at least one win and one loss. Dallas is currently on top with a 3-1 record, but the 2-1 Austin Huns beat them in November and will look to strike again on the 19th. D2 have HARC undefeated on top, but HURT have yet to play this year, and they are always a threat. 

This month we hope to see the D2 teams in action, as most of their matches have been moved from fall/January. D1-B has DFW-based sides doing the lions’ share of hosting, as the Austin teams will hit the road.

Matches to watch: The Dallas RFC hosting the Austin Huns, top of the table clash on February 19th. HURT hosting HARC, our favorite Houston-area rivalry on February 12.

Women's D2

We already highlighted Round Rock Rage and their iconic opening match, but that wasn’t the only action happening in the Women’s Division 2 this January. Bay Area and San Antonio also opened their seasons with a match. San Antonio looked good, putting up 69 points to Bay Area’s 14. The Dallas Harlequins played the Dallas RFC in a friendly cross-divisional match, and while the Quins racked up 72 points, we were thrilled to see the Dallas RFC coming back with 19 of their own. That’s impressive, especially playing against a Division 1 side. 

There’s a ton of action in February for the women’s game, two cross-divisional matches and six league ones across the month, just for D2 alone. San Antonio hosts on back to back weekends, while Dallas and DARC go head to head. Little Rock comes back to Texas at the end of the month, facing DARC at the Rugby Gardens.

Matches to watch: Austin Valkyries D2 at San Antonio February 5th, a classic rivalry in D2. Round Rock Rage hosting Bay Area on February 19th, both of these teams play with a lot of passion, not one to miss!

Men's D3

We have to start the January D3 recap with the Houston Arrows’ stunning performance over Galveston. The Arrows hit triple digits at Aveva Stadium, proving the curtain-raiser match can be more interesting than the “main show”. Galveston put up 22 points to Houston’s 101, adding to the try-fest. Fort Hood beat McAllen at home, never an easy task, and Bay Area banked a pair of wins over Galveston and Corpus Christi. Grand Prairie also had a strong win on the road over the Austin Huns.

Standings-wise, the Austin Blacks are undefeated, thanks to a forfeit win over the Dallas Harlequins. The rest of the D1-C are slugging it out, all with one win and one or two losses. D3 Central has former Division 4 standouts Fort Hood Old Skool undefeated, with the Other Rugby Club sitting at 1-1. The Outsiders were inactive in January, but watch this space. D3 North has Shreveport leading the table with a 2-0 record, but Alliance and Denton are hard on their heels. D3 south is led by none other than the Houston Arrows, boasting a 156 point differential, currently the largest differential in the TRU. Bay Area is 2-1, and may be the only ones who can stop the Arrows.

Matches to watch: February 19th we have Fort Hood hosting the Other Rugby Club, and Bay Area hosting the Houston Arrows. Both the Outsiders and Bay Area hope to disrupt these undefeated sides before they gain too much traction. Grand Prairie hosts the Dallas RFC on February 5th. Both clubs are 1-2, but with Grand Prairie’s dominant win over the Huns in January, and Dallas’ against the Quins, we think this will be a battle.

Men's D4

Men’s Division 4 welcomed a new member in January of 2022, the Oklahoma Crusaders. OKC Crusaders worked hard to meet deadlines and show their commitment to joining the TRU, and were granted a place in our North Division 4 with Lost Souls and the Dallas RFC. They played their first match in Dallas on January 29th and started off with a win, topping Dallas 42-17. We expect some of these clubs to play cross-divisional friendlies with Division 3 clubs, especially Denton who made the jump from D4 last year and are at the top of their organizational game, growing and thriving in D3.

Matches to watch: Lost Souls host back to back weekends, Dallas on February 19 and OKC Crusaders on the 26th.

Women's D3

The Women’s Division 3, who primarily plays 7’s and 10’s round robin tournaments, was slated to have one tournament in McAllen, TX. Unfortunately this was canceled due to COVID exposures and concerns. Alliance is hosting on February 12th, and we are excited to see what the Women’s Division 3 clubs have been putting together.

 

All final scores are gathered from CMS data and tables are up to date at time of posting. If you have any comments or errors to report please contact TRU Admin Kat Roche.

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