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Austin Elite Defeats The Utah Warriors, 41-33, In A Rematch

Austin Elite welcomed the Utah Warriors to Round Rock for their rematch from earlier this season. Austin was able to capitalize on enough of the Warriors mistakes to walk away with the win. Utah let this match slip through their fingers.

Alex Fiason-Donahoe got the scoring started on a mistake by Utah. The Austin winger took a 50/50 pass from Saia 'Uhila 90 meters the other way for the try. Timothée Guillimin added to the Austin lead with a penalty kick.

Tonata Lauti was able to get a try back for Utah just a minute later. Utah was able to turn it over in the ruck and worked it wide to Lauti for the try. Jonny Linehan stepped in for Kurt Morath who was away on international duty. His first attempt was wide of the sticks.

Zinzan Elan-Puttick added the next try for Austin. Elan-Puttick was set up by Sani Taylor. The wind was playing havoc as Timothée Guillimin missed his second conversion. Continuing the back and forth action from both squads, AJ Tu'ineau put the next try on the board for Utah. After multiple crash ball phases from Utah, Tu'ineau found himself in open space and powered through Austin for the try.

Pedrie Wannenburg was the next man on the board. The Austin 8-man had the ball roll out of the scrum on him, picked it up and spun his way in for the try. Jonny Linehan had a chance to get some more points on the board at the stroke of halftime, but his penalty kick went just wide.

Utah kept shooting themselves in the foot. Every time they looked to make a move, they made a simple mistake. They should've had the lead at halftime, but the Warriors mistakes gave Austin the lead. Austin was very lucky to be leading at halftime. They were on their back foot for the majority of the first half. The Elite's defense and Utah mistakes kept Austin in front for the first half.

Austin struck first in the second half as Zinzan Elan-Puttick scored his second try of the match. Andrew Suniula drew the defense in and offloaded to Elan-Puttick for the try. Marcus Walsh added to the Elite's lead. He let Utah over-play their hand and went around them for the try.

Timothée Guillimin looked to extend Austin's lead, but his penalty kick was just wide. After a lull in the scoring for both teams, Tevita Tameilau just bulldozed his way through two tackles under the sticks for the try. Timothée Guillimin made up for his earlier miss, with a penalty kick that pushed the Austin lead past two converted tries.

With the wind at his back, Timothée Guillimin added another penalty kick. This time from around 45 meters out. Utah looked to start a comeback with a nice try from Ray Forrester, but Timothée Guillimin put Austin back in front by more than two converted tries with another penalty kick.

Iniki Fa'amausili continued the fight for Utah. Tonata Lauti fought his way out of an Austin tackle and offloaded to Fa'amausili for the try. Utah looked to earn a losing bonus point, but spilled the ball forward as they looked to gather it in.

Austin continued their drive towards the playoffs. They moved into third place with this five point win. They were on their back foot for the first half, but were able to turn it around in the second. Austin was able to capitalize on the Utah mistakes for their scores. Their defense played a bend not break strategy in this game and held just enough to hold onto the victory.

Utah will be disappointed in their performance. They made multiple mistakes that either killed their momentum or led directly to Austin points. They had their moments, but they didn't make enough happen to pull out the victory. The Warriors played catch up for the majority of match. They let this game slip through their fingers.

Utah has a week off before they welcome NOLA Gold to Zions Bank Stadium on Saturday, June 16th. Austin have a week to recover before they welcome the Seattle Seawolves to Round Rock.

Man of the Match
Utah Tonata Lauti
Austin Zinzan Elan-Puttick


Tries: Tonata Lauti (13), AJ Tu'ineau (30), Tevita Tameilau (65), Ray Forrester (72), Iniki Fa'amausili (76)

Cons: Jonny Linehan 2/3, Ben Nicholls (2/2)

Pens: Jonny Linehan 0/1 (40(missed))


Tries: Alex Fiason-Donahoe (5), Zinzan Elan-Puttick 2 (18, 41), Pedrie Wannenburg (34), Marcus Walsh (43)

Cons: Timothée Guillimin 2/5

Pens: Timothée Guillimin 3/5 (12, 53(missed), 68, 75)

~Josh Fredlund