Sunday, February 26, 2017

Major Rugby Championship - Opening Day at the well-chilled Kettle

Glendale Raptors v Austin Huns

Raptors 60-minute men: all eyes intent

An intermittently swirling westwind set the stage for Glendale Raptor’s cold shoulder on Major Rugby Championship guests, Austin Huns, in the Kettle on Saturday afternoon.  The hosts ran their league record to 2-0-0 with an application of their rugby process that was powerful and precise. The numbers 10-15 combo for Raptors, whether it be Will Holder-Maximo de Achaval, or de Achaval-Holder, their synergy is a joy to behold and just gets better and more sublime every match. Logan Collins and captain Zach Fenoglio, numbers 4 and 2 respectively, formed a dynamic core to a forwards set mobile to breakdown and voracious therein, and fair stifling their defensive structure.

Flyer Dustin Croy opened the scoring with a textbook close in the corner and it was 5-nil homeboys shortly after kickoff. 

Austin replied swiftly with a sortie into the Raptors 22 that resulted in a penalty converted by the standoff, Giovanni Bonilla, for trey and 5-3 the contest at the 6th minute as the well-layered, sizable crowd settled in for a Major Rugby show.

It was action between the 22s for the next 25 ticks with each side making ground from breakdown in pick-and-goes and near-channel bull work with Glendale getting the best of possession and territory. 

A multiple-phase movement by Raptors had fullback de Achaval across at its conclusion for a corner score that made the tallies 10 and 3 for the home team at minute 32.

Chances for the travelers as time ran to the half, yet no further numbers for either side and it was lads to lockers for hydration and instruction with a 10-3 Raptors scoreline. Glendale winning the forwards battle both in sets and in the loose, while halfback Mose Timoteo’s wide variety of applied offensive gambits kept Huns on the back leg often.

A bashing, crashing incision by inside center dynamo Ata Malifa after restart got Glendale five more in the 46th minute, but the turning point in the match came soon thereafter; Austin were awarded a kickable penalty, but elected for the touch-kick to corner, which resulted in an eventual Raptors turnover and clearance. Subsequent, the long, battering home XV’s march upfield eventuated 8man Peter Dahl’s try for flyhalf Holder’s additional deuce, and 22-3 the score nearing the hour mark. 
Right back at a fading Huns defense. Captain and hooker Zach Fenoglio sly with a stuttery 2-step, spry and speedy on the 20-meter angled cutter to goal making it 29-3 with Holder’s plus-two at the stroke of 60.
Croy got his brace in the 64th minute and the rout was fully on. Glendale would record its seventh grounding on a deftly swatted-on communication by de Achaval that had Croy, after a jink and one jank, right near the line for Fenoglio’s crafty support, take and finish, and 41-3 the numbers nearing time.

A blast through the Glendale defense by replacement Joedee Reyes at the home 22 resulted in Reyes touch down converted by Bonilla at the death, and 41-10 the record this Raptors MRC Opening Day.
                Glendale – Try: Croy (2), de Achaval, Malifa, Dahl, Fenoglio (2); Con: Holder (3);
                Austin – Try: Reyes; Con: Bonilla; Pen: Bonilla;

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