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TRU Weekend in Review: Nov 18-Dec 16

Welcome to the first weekly recap of the 23-24 season! Already I can hear you saying “but this is the whole of November and December how can this be a weekly recap?”, and you know what, you’re right. Once the season really gets grinding we’ll have tons to cover every week, but until then only a handful of games have been played and so we’re combining them neatly into this little package. How kind of us.

Below you can read how each Division has kicked off and check out each standings table. We’ve included teams to watch and upcoming matches so you can always be ready for the action! Check it all out below and stay tuned for more as the season unfolds.

Men's Premiership

Only one match happened in December and that was the Sabercats 2 versus the Dallas Harlequins. The Sabercats 2 took the win 31-27, but with three tries scored in the last 15 minutes, the Harlequins clenched not one but two losing bonus points – proven to be critical when the season comes to a close.

Teams to watch this year will unsurprisingly be the Austin Blacks (2023 National Champions) and the Dallas RFC (2022 National Champions), but those with a big trophy often have a big target on their back. The rest of the Men’s Premier Division begins in January, with the Austin Huns hosting the Dallas RFC on January 13th followed by the Austin Blacks kicking off their campaign on the 27th hosting the Austin Derby at Burr Field.

Women's D1

The Women’s Division had one match take place in 2023 and that was the Austin Valkyries 31-14 loss to Pasadena. With so many new faces in the schedule, it’s hard to pinpoint teams to watch, but in our entirely unbiased opinion – the Austin Valkyries and the Houston SHARCs both look good, maybe it’s that Texas charm. The Women’s Division 1 doesn’t kick off until the end of February with the Valkyries hosting Raleigh Venom on February 24th followed by the SHARCs opening their season on March 2nd with a trip out east to play Raleigh.

Men's D2

All of our Men’s Division 2 teams kicked off in 2023, with some teams jostling to get on top of the table and try to hold their position. HURT has had a strong start, beating both HARC and Grand Prairie by 44 and 45 points respectively. The Austin Huns are also out to a good start with their bonus point wins over Grand Prairie and Fort Worth.

Teams to watch are Fort Worth, who despite the loss managed to seal a bonus point with some last minute magic; San Antonio, who had a big win against DARC and performed admirably on the 6-hour road trip to Dallas; and finally keep an eye on the Austin Blacks who only had one match, but already the largest point differential so far in the season. Three games start the season on January 13th, The Woodlands at HARC, Dallas RFC at Austin Huns, and Grand Prairie at DARC.

Women's D2

The season is in full swing for our Women’s Division 2 teams, with all seven teams already in action in November and December. The Dallas Harlequins are certainly making their mark, smashing the San Antonio Riveters 70-0 before hitting the road and crushing the SHARCs 2 48-5. Little Rock also impressed with their 69-0 win over Bay Area. Dallas RFC traveled to Round Rock Rage and both teams put on a show, but it was ultimately Rage who took the win and the bonus point 43-17.

As years past, the Dallas Harlequins and Little Rock will likely both be season favorites, but watch out for the Dallas RFC, they could be the dark horse in this year’s Women’s D2. The 2024 opening match will be January 13th when Bay Area hosts Round Rock Rage.

Men's D3

Our biggest division, Men’s D3, has seen two of the four subdivisions kickoff with games happening in the Central and South; D1-C and the North are saving up for the January start. San Antonio comfortably sit atop D3 Central with a 3-0 record, one of those being a played forfeit from McAllen this past weekend. Alamo City sit close at their heels though, with a close 13-5 loss from their head to head matchup on December 2nd. In the South, the Houston Arrows are on top of the conference with a 28-21 win over Bay Area who are in second with that close loss and a 12-12 tie with Galveston.

Teams to watch across all four subdivisions: the Austin Blacks, again, kind of a given with the 2018, 2019, and 2023 National Titles; San Antonio in the Central; Galveston in the South could come out strong opening weekend and really make a statement; and Alliance in the North who have had a strong preseason showing. The North and D1-C subdivisions start in January, with a full slate of games on January 13th – Alliance at OKC Tribe, OKC Crusaders at Little Rock, Austin Blacks at Dallas Harlequins, and Dallas RFC at the Austin Huns. The South continues on that weekend as well with Arrows at Galveston and Shreveport at BARC. The Central starts back up on the 20th of January.

Men's D4

Both the North and South of the Men’s D4 have seen action this fall, with a smattering of matches in the DFW metroplex, and one match down in Houston. HURT stomped HARC 72-7, securing an early lead in the table. Leading the D4 North though may prove a bit more elusive. Incomplete match data leads us to believe that Dallas RFC is on top of the table, but deeper diving into the details shows that Fort Worth also secured a 70-15 win over Denton. Collin County banked an impressive 39-26 win over Las Colinas, who got their own win over Dallas RFC. This conference will be fun to follow, so be sure to stay tuned.

Teams to watch in this division – looks like all of them! Pay special attention to Collin County, the new kids on the block might take this one by storm. January 13th is our opening match for the 2024 fixtures with Collin County hosting Fort Worth.

Note to reader: All data is gathered from team-entered match reports on RugbyXplorer, all information is up to date at time of posting. If you notice any inconsistencies or errors, please check with your team admin and if issues persist let me know at kat@texasrugbyunion.com.

All other commentary is unbiased and for fun. 

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