Austin Elite Get Their First Victory Of The Season Over NOLA Gold 30-17


The Austin Elite Rugby squad welcomed NOLA Gold to Round Rock. The Elite have shown improvement each week this season. That work turned into this victory after two preseason losses to the Gold. NOLA showed promise but fell apart at key moments.

Timothée Guillimin gave Austin the early lead with two converted penalty kicks. Austin had early ball handling issues, as multiple line breaks were stopped by dropped balls. Ned Hodson added a try for the Elite. After a successful line break from Ben Mitchell, Hodson received the off load and ran in for the try.

Sebastian Kalm was taken off for a head assessment after a collision with Hanco Germishuys. Kalm seemed to be in a good tackling position, but fell straight to the ground after the contact. Referee Scott Green decided that the contact and Kalm's actions after the hit warranted a head assessment. Kalm was eventually determined to be unable to continue in the match.

JP Eloff got NOLA on the board with a penalty kick. Guillimin had a shot to get those points back, but his penalty kick hit off the upright. NOLA played the majority of the first half on their back foot. Any position advantage they had was because of Austin mistakes.

Even when NOLA had that advantageous position, they had similar problems as Austin did to start the game. NOLA had a shot at a try late in the first half, but after multiple phases the Gold eventually knocked on.

After knocking on, the Gold did get that try. NOLA pushed the Elite scrum back and stole the scrum from Austin. John Sullivan picked the ball up from the back of the scrum and fought through the Elite defense to bring the Gold within one point at halftime.

It was a sloppy first half from both squads. Multiple handling errors cost each team potential points. Each team was able to capitalize on the other's mistakes. The points on offer were taken when available, but each team will be disappointed with the amount of potential points left on the field.

Germishuys added the second try for Austin. After a NOLA penalty five meters from the line, Hanco quick tapped, was brought down short of the line, but was able to reach over for the try. Siaosi Finau was shown a yellow card for repeated low, no wrap tackles.

John Sullivan added a second try for a brace on the day. After the Austin yellow card, NOLA asked for a scrum and again forced the Elite scrum back. Sullivan once again picked the ball up from the back of the scrum and went through the Elite defense virtually untouched. JP Eloff converted to give the Gold their first lead of the match.

NOLA dominated the Elite scrum. Multiple times the Gold were able to relieve pressure by earning scrum penalties. Timothée Guillimin missed a penalty kick that would've given Austin the lead back. Handling errors once again cost Austin. Sani Taylor was going over for a try, but Michael Baska was able to knock the ball loose before he could touch it down.

The flood gates started to open a little for Austin as both Hanco Germishuys and Ned Hodson scored their second tries of the match. Both players ran through the NOLA defense and arm tackles on their way to the tries.

Austin's defense held strong during the last moments of the match. After being called for multiple penalties on the five meter line, the Elite were eventually able to force a knock on and kick for position.

This started as sloppy match and finished as a sloppy match. Austin won because they were able to capitalize on NOLA's mistakes. Austin outscored NOLA 19-7 in the second half and will be proud of the effort they had in the second half. They earned their first victory of the season and showed that they can make the halftime changes when necessary.

NOLA had multiple opportunities to score, but handling errors cost them points. The Gold will have to find a way to finish when they get in the red zone. The Gold have some good things to take away from this match but they will definitely be disappointed in the amount of points they left on the board.

NOLA has a few extra days to recover and they'll be back on Saturday, May 12th when they host the Seattle Seawolves. Austin is back next Friday, May 11th in the CBSSports Game of the Week at the Utah Warriors.

Man of the Match
NOLA Gold: John Sullivan
Austin Elite: Hanco Germishuys

Scoring
NOLA Gold

Tries: John Sullivan 2 (40, 53)

Cons: JP Eloff 1/1

Pens: JP Eloff 1/1 (29)

Austin Elite

Tries: Ned Hodson 2 (16, 69), Hanco Germishuys 2 (44, 66)

Cons: Timothée Guillimin 2/4

Pens: Timothée Guillimin 2/4 (2, 5, 32 (missed), 60 (missed))

Yellow Card: Siaosi Finau 51 (no wrap in the tackle)


~Josh Fredlund