Perfect conditions for rugby met the HURT 2NDXV as they took the field for their first game of the year against the Cougars of the University of Houston. With a number of rookies on both sides of the pitch antitpation was high to see what the next crop of players had to offer.
It didn’t take long for HURT to open its scoring account as scrum half Rafic Elahmad took a perfect inside pass five meters out from the Cougar line to score under the posts after three minutes. A Chip Price conversion and it was HURT 7-0. The next twenty minutes was back and forth with a lot of ruck and maul work in the center of the field. The Cougars took advantage of some ill discipline around the breakdown by HURT and slotted two penalty kicks to bring the score in to 7-6.
HURT snapped back into gear and showing great support awareness went 70 meters down the right wing to put new English recruit Andy Thornton over the line after the ball went through what must have been nine sets of hands! Eight minutes later Justin Blocker found some space out wide and recovered his own kick to score HURT’s third five pointer of the day.
Tough defense in the middle from Pablo Cancino, Kyle Brown and Nate Stiers continued to stifle the Cougar attack and after thirty five minutes HURT eight man Franco Basarabescu crashed over to take the score to 22-6. A lapse in concentration allowed the Cougars to get a lineout five meters out from the HURT line. A well constructed maul later and they had scored their first try of the day, making the score at the break HURT 22-11.
HURT was next to score when the game resumed after a crisp backline move put center Fernando Sanchez in the clear and with an offload to Rafael Casas another try was on the score sheet. HURT 27-11.
Spurred on by their hard running fly half the Cougars found some reserve plowing up the middle and scored their second try to bring the scores closer. This newfound vigor rubbed off on the forward pack and the Cougars crashed over again to bring them within a converted try of an upset. HURT 27-21. HURT circled the wagons and re-energized their defensive line repelling numerous attacks on their line in the last three minutes. The whistle was blown for full time with HURT coming out victors over the late charging Cougars 27-21.
– Coach Dan Green
HURT 2NDXV 27 (TRIES: RAFIC ELAHMAD, ANDY THORNTON, JUSTIN BLOCKER, FRANCO BASARABESCU, RAFAEL CASAS. CONVERSIONS: CHIP PRICE 1)
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON 21 (TRIES: 3 CONVERSIONS: 2)