Saturday at Rice University Rugby Field in Houston broughtperfect conditions for rugby. A cloudless blue sky and sixty six degrees greeted HURT and DARC as they kicked off for eighty minutes of the game they play in heaven.
Only two minutes had passed when HURT opened its account with Justin Blocker flying down the sideline to score after stronglead up work by Dennis Walker and Carl Newman. Five minutes later Walker would capitalize on a red zone scrum opportunitywith a splendid “Maori sidestep” over the DARC fullback to take the lead out to 12-0 after just seven minutes.
At the thirteen minute mark Walker took advantage of poor defense again to score his second try, converted by fly half Scott Thompson the game had barely a chance to restart before Walker’s center partner Marshall Brown streaked away and scored in the corner. HURT 24 DARC 0. Second tries to Justin Blocker and Brown took HURT into the halftime break with a commanding lead of 34-0.
The second half started very similar to this first except it was a different Blocker brother opening the scoring, Jayson Blocker carved a hole through the middle of the field and crashed over. It looked like one way traffic again but no one gave DARC that message and through a crafty set piece off a lineout they took advantage of a lapse in the HURT line and opened their scoring account with the Number 8 scoring their first try. HURT 34 DARC 7.
DARC’s hopes of a comeback were soon dashed by a brilliant one man effort by HURT prop Jon Linnett as he bulldozed over six defenders on his way to score. The next ten minutes was a tough back and forth affair until flanker Matthew Echezabal broke through to score under the posts and with Rafael Casas conversion HURT crossed the half century. HURT 52 DARC 7.
A second try to Jayson Blocker, to take the Blocker family tally to four tries for the day led to Laurence Hermann scoring a late well deserved try in the sixty fifth minute. With both tries converted by Casas the score sat at HURT 65 DARC 7.
In a good show of heart and determination DARC’s forward pack found a lost gear for the final ten minutes and after camping in the HURT twenty two for the majority were rewarded with a final minute try to close out the game. Final score HURT 65 DARC 14.
A great day of running rugby under a perfect Texan sky was appreciated by all who came out to support HURT. Thank you to all those who made the day possible, a special thanks goes out to Trey Melcher at the Railyard and the folks at Red Bull Houston for making the after match party a success.
– Coach Dan Green
HURT 65 (TRIES – JUSTIN BLOCKER 2, JAYSON BLOCKER 2, DENNIS WALKER 2, MARSHALL BROWN 2, JON LINNETT 1, LAURENCE HERMANN 1, MATTHEW ECHEZABAL 1) (CONVERSIONS – RAFAEL CASAS 3, SCOTT THOMPSON 2)
DARC 14 (TRIES – 2, CONVERSIONS – 2)
MAN OF THE MATCH: DENNIS WALKER