Austin Elite 11 – RUNY 19
RUNY made plenty of changes since last week with several of their first team players either on the bench or not making the trip to Austin. This game was a tense affair right from the start with both teams making a lot of errors. In the first half alone, Austin Elite Rugby had knocked on 6 times while RUNY had 8 knock ons.
RUNY had started out the better team with their forwards dominating particularly at scrum time. In what was a un-characteristically low scoring MLR game, the opening score did not come until just after the water break on the 21st minute.
RUNY executed a great short line out training ground move which saw hooker Mike Brown throw it short to James Rochford catching the Austin line out off guard. Rochford then floated a wonderfully weighted pass to scrum-half Marcus Walsh who showed great pace to finish off the move and score against his old side. Out-half Harry Bennett missed the conversion, leaving the score 5-0 to RUNY after 21 minutes.
On the 30 minute mark Austin Elite did spring into life with a great scrum to force a penalty and seemed to be the spark that the Elite needed. The penalty was slotted over bringing the score to 5-3 in RUNY’s favor.
Austin Elite’s defence was pretty solid and soaked up a lot of RUNY pressure. However once Austin Elite had the ball in hand they Elite seemed to force the play, throwing offloads that were not on and over complicating moves.
It took until the 52nd minute for Austin Elite to take the lead for the first time in the game through the boot of scrum half Mickaël Romera. Romera slotted an incredible swerved kick to make the score 6-5 in Austin’s favor.
RUNY hit back shortly after on the 59th minute when after a patient build up flanker James Denise drove over to score the try. Replays showed that there may have been question marks about the grounding as it appeared to be touched down after a double movement. Unfortunately, the MLR does not yet have the benefit of a TMO and as a result the try stood.
RUNY made a host of changes mid way through the second half and it seemed to pay dividends. RUNY changed up the entire front row in one sweep, while Chris Mattina moved to out-half and veteran Mike Petri replaced Marcus Walsh.
Then on the 69th minute against the run of play substitute scrum half Marcelo Torrealba made a terrific break to split the RUNY defence, winger Reece Czarnecki ran a great support line and showed great pace to finish off the move. This brought the score to 11-12 with just over ten minutes to play
The RUNY coaches will be happy with their decisions as their substitutes made the impact the management would have wanted. On the 73rd minute, Ross Deacon who has been impressive all season intelligently picked from the edge of the ruck to drive towards the line. Deacon laid off a smart pass to Mike Petri who was right on his shoulder to touch down and make the scoreline 11-19 with just over 5 minutes to play in regular time.
RUNY have shown this season that they are a well controlled team who’s game management is one of the best in the league. This proved to be the case once again as they saw the game out with the game ending 11-19 to RUNY.