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The Austin Huns opened the 2015 season over the weekend against HARC. Following a close first half, the Huns pulled away for a 40-7 victory.
In the opening half, the Huns had to shake off the rust and find the competitive rhythm again. According to Huns head coach Kirk Tate his players were adjusting to a new pattern of play and left several tries on the board as a result of some missed opportunities. The offense didn’t fire on all cylinders for the most part, but as the match progressed the Huns stacked up the phases and the points came.
“The offense is a work in progress, but it all starts with a strong set piece and then building multiple phases of pressure on that,” he said. “We did fairly well there. We can do better in terms of supporting the line breaks when they happen. I was pleased with how the guys are picking up the pattern. I could see them working it out as the game went along.”
Kyle Breytenbach led the try-scoring for the Huns, taking home two. Lomani Tongotongo, Giovanni Bonilla and Matthew Potchad also had tries. Frenchy Daupin converted four of his five try attempts. Alexander Liles got a try and one successful conversion out of the day. The offensive efforts were only further bolstered by solid performances in the set pieces.
Even though the final score was firmly in the Huns’ favor, HARC tested the defensive line’s integrity with every touch of the ball. According to Tate, when HARC attacked with its forwards at the fringes of the breakdown, his players initially had some trouble handling the pressure. The Huns didn’t have the tight tackling form needed to effectively counteract this type of attack, but they held HARC to a single try.
“We dominated territory and only gave up seven points, so good overall,” he Tate said. “We've got some things to clean up at the breakdown, and had a few too many penalties there. Our line speed still needs to be better.”
On the whole, Saturday was a positive experience for Austin, but there is still work to be done. Though the offense yielded enough points to get a win Saturday, the Huns had some issues making 50-50 offloads and taking care of the ball in general.
“We're not building on the result so much as on the performance,” Tate said. “There is a good foundation there, and I feel that the players believe in what we're doing. It's all about staying focused on the process. The performance should give us some confidence. The win is just an outcome.”
After a weekend off, the Huns have the Harlequins in the second match of the season.