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The Glendale Raptors Beat Austin Elite 41-26

In the first match of the Major League Rugby season, the Glendale Raptors were able to come out on top 41-26, despite playing the last portion of the match down three men, including two red cards. On a wet and dreary day, Austin was able to give the Raptors a competitive match.

Ben Mitchell received a yellow card in the second minute of the game. Mitchell was sent off for a no arms, off the ball tackle. Reece Czarnecki got the scoring started. Roland Suniula had a nice line break for the Elite before he offloaded to Zac Mizell, who offloaded to Czarnecki for the try. Will Magie got the Raptors on the board with a penalty kick and Timothée Guillimin missed a penalty kick of his own.

The wet weather was causing a lot of issues. Numerous knock ons and penalties abound throughout the match. Will Magie helped start the Raptors first try. After receiving a pass, Magie kicked through, it was bobbled around before Magie picked it up and offloaded to Connor Cook for the try.

Peter Dahl was just held up in the try zone, Austin preventing him from dotting down. John Quill eventually got the Raptors on the board again. After a five meter scrum, Shaun Davies passed to Bryce Campbell who was brought down just short of the line. Quill was there for the the cleanup and got over for the try.

After a cheeky, short lineout, and Austin penalty, the Raptors had a lineout five meters from the try line. Harley Davidson came close to scoring, but was tackled just short of the line. The ball eventually found it's way into Ben Landry's hand who trucked his way over for the try.

Maximo de Achaval scored first in the second half for the Raptors. After getting down into Austin territory, the Raptors went back and forth across the field. Shaun Davies passed out of the ruck to Dylan Fawsitt, who left it inside for de Achaval who broke two arm tackles for the try.

Harley Davidson eventually got his try. After a yellow card was given to Sani Taylor for throwing the ball away, the Raptors kicked to touch for the lineout. The Raptors started to maul and Shaun Davies passed to Davidson who dotted down for the try.

Ben Landry was given a red card for a tip tackle. Landry lifted Hanco Germishuys past the horizontal and he landed on his shoulder and head. Hanco Germishuys then added a try for Austin a few minutes later. Hanco bulldozed the Raptors winger and rumbled 50 meters for the try.

Ben Mitchell added a second straight try for Austin. The Elite had a scrum about 10 meters from the line. After two penalty advantages, the Elite quick tapped and were stopped just short of the line. Knute O'Donnell passed out of the ruck to Mitchell who got over the line untouched.

Connor Cook was given the Raptors second red card of the match. After going low on Todd Clever, Cook lifted him up past the horizontal and Clever landed on his head. Kelepi Fifita was handed a yellow card for cynical play after being offsides twice in a row in the red zone. This caused Glendale to finish the match with 12 men.

Austin was able to take advantage a few minutes later. After a couple pick and goes that the Raptors were able to stop, the Elite went wide to take advantage of the three man advantage and Reece Czarnecki dotted down for his second try of the match.

This was a great first regular season match for these two Major League Rugby teams. There were some discipline issues for both teams; but mainly for the Raptors. Glendale will need to clean it up. Austin has the talent to be better than their last place predicted finish. They will need a few games to gel together.

Both teams are at it again next Saturday, the 28th. Austin head to Houston to take on the Sabercats. While Glendale are once again the game of the week, as they head to Seattle to take on the Seawolves.

Man of the Match:
Austin Elite: Hanco Germishuys
Glendale Raptors: John Quill
Austin Elite vs Glendale Raptors 4/21/2018

Austin Elite

Tries: Reece Czarnecki 2 (14, 75), Hanco Germishuys (52), Ben Mitchell (59)

Cons: Timothée Guillimin 3/4

Pens: Timothée Guillimin 0/1 (30)

Yellow Card: Ben Mitchell 2 (No Arms, Off Ball Tackle), Suni Taylor 46 (Throwing The Ball Away)

Glendale Raptors

Tries: Connor Cook (33), John Quill (37), Ben Landry (40),  Maximo De Achaval (44), Harley Davidson (47)

Cons: Will Magie 5/5

Pens: Will Magie 2/3 (21, 63, 80)

Yellow Card: Kelepi Fefita 74 (Cynical Play)

Red Card: Ben Landry 48 (Tip Tackle), Connor Cook 71 (Tip Takcle)

~Josh Fredlund (Photos by Josh Fredlund)