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Dallas plays Dallas, Austin plays Austin and two Houston-area teams face off this weekend in DI men’s club action. The Woodlands and HARC are fighting for respectability and to stay off the league floor, while the Huns, Blacks, Harlequins and Reds are all jockeying for playoff position.
In Dallas, the Reds and Quins are riding high into the weekend. The Quins have scored a bonus point win in three of their last four games and managed a tie against the Blacks last week. They’re the only team to go up against the Blacks and not lose so far this season. The Reds are fresh off a 35-6 spanking of the Austin Huns and are looking for their third-straight win.
The Reds haven’t beaten the Harlequins in a while. “Let’s just put it this way, we haven’t won in recent history,” Reds coach Jeff Kolberg said, hoping the rivalry aspect of the game doesn’t cloud the importance of a league win.
“We’re trying to make all our players understand that even though they’re the crosstown rivals, it’s a cup game and we’ve got to have the points,” he continued.
“Because going down to the end, when you start looking at seedings for the round of 32, it’s really important to be in the top two, or minimum the top three. So we’re looking at the game as an opportunity to go out and play against one of the better teams and see if we’ve improved over last week.”
In Austin, the Huns and Blacks are trying to rebound from less-than-welcome results – the tie to the Quins for the Blacks and the loss to the Reds for the Huns.
“We had a rough outing last weekend against Dallas…We haven’t hit on all cylinders the last few weeks in terms of 15, so we have to get that turned around,” said Kirk Tate of the Huns.
“I think the guys were probably not as focused as they could have been, and Dallas has got a couple of new players that we haven’t seen before. We were not expecting the speed and the challenge that they gave us, and we were missing [starting flyhalf Blaine Miller], so I think all those things combined.”
Miller is expected to be back in the lineup against the Blacks.
If the Blacks win, they’ll remain in first place in Texas. If they lose without scoring a bonus point and the Harleqiuns get a bonus-point win, the Quins could catch up and tie for first place.
The Huns and Reds can’t get into first on the weekend, but they can score some very valuable points. Texas plays a home-and-home series, so the second rivalry week is April 20, with all of this weekend’s match-ups being repeated.