Merlins Rugby News#MerlinsMagic off the press
Merlins Fall in Playoff Battles, Celebrate Strong Spring Season
The spring season for Glendale’s amateur teams concluded this weekend, with both the Men’s and Women’s Division I teams falling in the first round of their respective playoffs. The Women’s side hosted Denver Black Ice on Infinity Park’s turf field Saturday morning, clawing back a first half deficit but ultimately unable to prevail. The Glendale squad lost in a close second half contest, 35-26. The Utah Vipers bested the Black Ice on Sunday, clenching the Rocky Mountain Conference Championship title.
Photo by Justin Purdy
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The Merlins Men traveled to Texas on Friday, facing the Dallas Rugby Reds in the D1 Red River Conference playoffs. The match was to be live broadcast, but impending severe weather disrupted the ability of conference organizers to stream video. The Glendale side fell to the Dallas team, 27-14. Unable to put up any points in the opening half, the Merlins had too much ground to make up after the break. Sunday saw the Dallas side matched up against the hometown Austin Blacks, who took the win 22-18 over the Reds and secured the conference title. In spite of the losses both Merlins teams suffered, each enjoyed competition, camaraderie, and success over the course of the season, expanding on the positive rugby culture that has characterized Glendale for more than a decade.
Though amateur rugby is done for the season, the professional Raptors are in full swing. Undefeated in the third week of their MLR debut, the Raptors will host San Diego Legion at Glendale’s Infinity Park Sunday May 13 at 6pm Mountain Time. Working to further establish themselves as the preeminent force on the American professional rugby scene, the Raptors will look for a win this weekend to put their first place position in league standings further out of reach for the competition.
Be sure to drop by the Raptors website to pick up discounted combo tickets for June 8 and 9, a weekend filled with rugby action. Friday evening watch the Glendale Raptors take on the Houston SaberCats at Infinity Park, and Saturday see the USA vs. Russia in the 2018 Emirates Airline Summer Series at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. A combo ticket to both games is just $40 – a savings of nearly 20% over the door price. The Raptors kickoff Friday at 7pm MT, and the Saturday match begins at 6pm MT. Act fast, this limited time promotion ends at midnight June 1.
In addition to the excitement of professional rugby, Glendale will also host a number of national and international tournaments throughout the summer and early fall. Over the weekend of May 18-20, Infinity Park will host Men’s and Women’s Division I and II teams from more than forty colleges across the nation. Three days filled with intense competition will decide the USA Rugby Collegiate National 7s Championships. June 2-3 will see more tournament action, as the USA Rugby Club National Championships unfold in Glendale. These two competitions will set the stage for Infinity Park’s signature annual event: RugbyTown 7s. Drawing thousands of fans, and boasting international and military talent from across the globe, the August 24-26 event never disappoints. Paired with the Bruises and Brews beer festival, it’s a can’t-miss rugby weekend.