Merlins Rugby News#MerlinsMagic off the press
Merlins Host Austin Huns in Final Men’s D1 Regular Season Game
The Glendale Merlins Men’s Division I team will host its final match of the regular season Saturday, facing the Austin Huns on Infinity Park’s turf field. On the heels of a road victory against the Dallas Harlequins, and with a playoff berth secured, the Merlins will look to Saturday’s match as preparation for the post season, an opportunity to continue to progress as a cohesive unit.
Photo by Sara Wright
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The Huns, ranked last in the Red River Conference, have celebrated victory only once this season, and although the Saturday match will not impact the playoff standings of either team, Merlins Head Coach Luke Gross says his team won’t hold back: “We’re always playing to win games. We’ve got a couple of starters that may sit on Saturday, giving them two weeks to rest before playoffs. We need them to be healthy to perform in the post season, but we’re always playing for the victory.”
As they did early in the season, the Merlins will field some of Glendale’s Academy players, providing the team additional depth and curtailing some ongoing issues with injury. In spite of the Huns record, Gross knows the opposing team won’t back down from the challenge: “They’re dangerous. They’re a well-coached side and even if they are down on numbers this season, they won’t quit. We can’t get complacent – that’s a slippery slope.” The Merlins need to continue to progress as they have throughout the season, maintain their composure, and stay sharp to walk away from their final home game of the regular season with a win.
In addition to club play, April 21st will see the debut game of Major League Rugby’s inaugural professional season, the Glendale Raptors hosting Austin Elite Rugby at 3pm MT. The Merlins Men’s Division II team will face the Denver Barbarians on April 21, while the D1 women will challenge the Utah Vipers. The Red River Conference D1 playoffs are May 5-7, with venues to be determined.
Follow all of the Glendale teams on Facebook and Twitter for full-time scores on all games and additional information. All Glendale Merlins home games will be played on Infinity Park’s turf field in 2018, and are free and open to the public.