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Merlins Teams Victorious on Pivotal D1 Weekend
Merlins Men’s D1 51 – Dallas Harlequins 26
The Glendale Merlins hosted the Dallas Harlequins in a Division I battle this Saturday. Following a last minute tie to the Little Rock Stormers last weekend, the Merlins looked impressive in their victory against the Dallas team.
Photo by Seth McConnell
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The Merlins dominated the first half of play, scoring at regular intervals and racking up 22 points. The ‘Quins weathered the onslaught, however, taking advantage of playing with the wind at their backs. The Dallas team put up points in the 30th minute of play, and added a second try in the half’s closing seconds.
Rallying after the break, Dallas scored in the 53rd minute, though the Merlins would control the match for its remainder. Glendale scored tries at 57 and 62 minutes, though strong winds made conversions difficult. Holding off the Dallas offense, the Merlins touched down more points in rapid succession, scoring tries in the 72nd and 75th minutes, again without converting, giving Glendale a commanding 44-21 lead.
The Harlequins scored a final try in the 77th minute, but the effort was too little, too late. Glendale finished the match with a try and conversion in the final minute, securing an impressive 51-26 victory over the ‘Quins. The Merlins named Siale Maka their Player of the Match. Merlins Head Coach Luke Gross nodded to his team’s struggles with injury this season, but acknowledged the accomplished play in the second half of Saturday’s match: “With the injuries this season, we’ve got a lot of guys who aren’t accustomed to playing together,” he said. “They needed some time to find their groove, but everything came together after the break. We played a tremendous second half.”
Glendale hosted more than the Men’s Division I game, also fielding it’s Women’s D1 and Men’s D2 teams. Both squads were victorious, defeating the Utah Vipers and Denver Harlequins, respectively. The Merlins Men’s D1 team has a bye this week, giving the team a chance to prepare for their upcoming match against the Dallas Rugby Reds, a squad that has proven itself particularly accomplished this season. Glendale will host the Reds at Infinity Park on April 7 at 3pm Mountain Time. The Merlins Women’s D1 team faces Black Ice Rugby in Denver on March 31st at noon.
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.
Siale Maka – Merlin of the Match