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Game 1, Week 3 of Major League Rugby: Austin Elite v New Orleans Gold Review

Welcome to Week 3 of the 2018 Major League Rugby Season.

We’re here to focus on the first of the three games as NOLA Gold take on Austin Elite Rugby at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in Texas.

The weather is beautiful as the game is ready for a kickoff for great Thursday Night’s Game of Rugby.

1st Half

Timothee Guillimin takes up the early strike over the goal posts to take the three points for Austin Elite Rugby inside two minutes.

SCORE: Austin 3-0 New Orleans

Guillimin ready to take his time for his second kicking attempt and successfully split the uprights between the sticks as Austin gets another three points.

SCORE: Austin 6-0 New Orleans

Austin Elite Rugby tried to search their first chance of a try but dropped the ball midway before the Referee called a Scrum.

They’re still seeking to capitalize their lead as neither sides have scored a try so far this match in the 15th minute.

What a TRY from Ned Hodson from Cork, Ireland!

It’s a team effort from the Vice-Captain Ben Mitchell who rumbles down the pitch at Second Row using his power by beating the NOLA defense.

Then Mitchell finds a solid offload to Hudson who carries the ball nicely & runs home with pace for the five points.

Guillimin didn’t successfully convert the kick between the sticks, so no extra two points there.

SCORE: Austin 11-0 New Orleans

Matt Hughston is starting out for the NOLA Gold tonight at Openside Flanker.

He comes from Charlotte, North Carolina, so he’s one of the few Rugby players to watch from the Carolinas.

25 minutes in and NOLA still need to make up the lost time from the two penalty kicks & a try against the home team.

JP Eloff who plays at Inside Centre will take the first kick.

Can he successfully convert for the three points?

Yes, Flags are raised up as NOLA fight back with the three points with 13 minutes left in the 1st Half.

SCORE: Austin 11-3 New Orleans

NOLA tried to attack the maul, but they played ineffectively & didn’t stay straight so Penalty to Austin.

Guillimin will take his third penalty conversion attempt and can he get over the posts?

He takes his educated right boot & goes off the upright so play on to the NOLA Gold with the ball.

NOLA gains the possession yet again by making it difficult for the Austin attack to get past their territory.

Bobby Johns almost goes free, but the Austin defense held him up.

Can NOLA secure a try before Half-Time?

Austin has read it well with the two-man tackle as there’s no turnover just yet.

The ball has knocked on as NOLA looked very dangerous in the attack.

If they held on with the ball a bit longer, then they would’ve secured the five points.

Matt Hughston is gutted not to continue to play on with disbelief.

It’s Scrum time to Austin with under a minute left in the 1st half.

NOLA had made a stunning turnover with the ball making Austin feel hesitant with the scrum before John Sullivan struck gold with the try.

Sullivan who plays at Blindside Flanker boasts some power with 225 pounds of wright before swept past the Austin defense inside the goal posts.

Conversion successfully made from JP Eloff as NOLA trails by a single point behind Austin at the break.

HALF-TIME SCORE: Austin 11-10 New Orleans

Austin

  • Tries: Ned Hodson (17′)
  • Conversions: Timothee Guillimin (0/1)
  • Penalties: Timothee Guillimin (2/3)

New Orleans

  • Tries: John Sullivan (40′)
  • Conversions: JP Eloff (1/1)
  • Penalties: JP Eloff (1/1)

2nd Half

Timothee Guillimin kicks off under lights to begin the final 40 minutes of Rugby at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in Texas.

NOLA knocks it on straight away as they’re unable to hold the ball well.

They’re ready to attack and create that storm later in this match after John Sullivan’s try before Half-Time.

Ned Hodson plays on and finds Germishuys with the offload and TRY for Austin Elite!

That’s five tries now overall so far this season from the South African born Flanker Henco Germishuys.

Germishuys made a great run by playing on with the ball before he swept past three NOLA defenders & reached the try line.

Well played from Germishuys or his nickname, “The Terminator.”

Guillimin didn’t successfully kick between the sticks as the score remains Austin’s way by six points in the 45th minute.

SCORE: Austin 16-10 New Orleans

Sebastian Kalm is unable to return to the field as he’s nurses treatment with an injury.

That’s a big blow in losing some steel within the forward pack from NOLA.

John Sullivan moved from lock to flanker as the forwards drive the line in search of a second try.

Only the two extra points with the conversion would help NOLA regain the lead ahead of Austin.

The referee says the ball has held up as it’s a 5-meter scrum.

Siaosi Finau gets a yellow card as he comes off with the sin-bin for a while.

John Sullivan strikes Austin yet again from the No.6 Flanker.

What a job where he whipped around the missed tackle of Courtney Roland Suniula before coming home safe with the try.

JP Eloff successfully kicks between the sticks as NOLA now leads Austin by a single point with 26 minutes left in play.

SCORE: Austin 16-17 New Orleans

Timothee Guillimin ready to take his time as Austin looking to lead yet again.

No, that kick isn’t successful as New Orleans still lead 17-16 ahead of the home team.

Todd Clever is on for Austin Elite as he boasts 76 caps for the USA Eagles.

He also played Super Rugby over a short while back in 2009-10 for the Lions in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Austin Taylor speeds through the opposing defense by almost reaching the try line.

However, what a job from Michael Baska for saving NOLA from sinking into danger.

That would’ve cost the away side dearly.

What about some power from the Terminator!!!

He gets past multiple guys from the NOLA defense as Hanco Germishuys could not stop running before he comes down home with a TRY!!

Timothee Guillimin successfully converts into the goal posts for the first time in his three attempts.

So Austin re-gained the lead ahead of NOLA by six points.

SCORE: Austin 23-17 New Orleans

Ned Hodson flys through the NOLA defense over half-way through the pitch and comes one home with his second try of the night.

That’s an outstanding effort for the 24-year old from Cork, Ireland.

Hodson shifts and dodges tacklers before the NOLA defense couldn’t match the power that Austin has come up with the attack.

That’s too easy for the home side.

And so does Timothee Guillimin as he successfully kicks between the sticks for a further two points.

SCORE: Austin 30-17 New Orleans

NOLA is looking to drive forward with the maul after the successful line-out.

But they collapsed it at the wrong time which is a terrible possession for the away team, so line-out goes to Austin.

Austin miscued that line-out as NOLA looking to fight back with the scrum.

NOLA is using the ball to drive it forward as they execute the scrum well.

Great job from the Austin Elite defense where they ruined NOLA’s opportunity to take out a consolation try.

And Austin Elite now win their first home game of the season with two excellent tries towards the back end of the match.

FULL-TIME SCORE: Austin 30-17 New Orleans

Austin

  • Tries: Ned Hodson (17′, 68′), Hanco Germishuys (42′, 64′)
  • Conversions: Timothee Guillimin (2/4)
  • Penalties: Timothee Guillimin (2/4)

New Orleans

  • Tries: John Sullivan (40′, 53′)
  • Conversions: JP Eloff (2/2)
  • Penalties: JP Eloff (1/1)

Austin Elite’s Performance

The home team structured their attacking line well throughout 80 minutes.

Their defense leaked in some areas as John Sullivan took two tries from them.

Though, they managed to improve and assisted the backs where Hanco Germishuys & Ned Hodson struck a double blow to NOLA towards the last 20 minutes.

Plus credit to “The Terminator” in Hanco Germishuys at Openside Flanker as he couldn’t stop running as he smashed piece by piece before nailing down two tries of the night.

What about Ned Hodson’s half-field dash, the opposition front rowers looked tired and failed to hold down his speed.

That try is one of Austin’s best moments in their victory tonight.

Austin Elite now get to celebrate their night out before heading to Utah next Friday.

New Orleans Gold Feedback

For NOLA Gold, it’s just unlucky to see them lose for the first time in 2018.

They had a bye last week and a win during the opening week v Houston.

Unfortunately, the structure organization when it comes to executing those mauls and drives against the opposition looked brittle.

Plus there’s not much progress from their attacking half as only John Simpson has done a lot of the work alone down in the forward department.

The backs didn’t do well enough to help the forward line protect their territory from the home team.

It’s one of these areas that NOLA will look to improve next week when they host the Seattle Seawolves.

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Things to look forward now

We got two more games left in Week 3 of the 2018 Major League Rugby Competition.

Houston SaberCats will face San Diego Legion tomorrow night at 8.30 PM ET LIVE on CBS Sports Network.

And Glendale Raptors will complete this week’s round when they take on the Utah Warriors.

That game will be on Saturday 3.30 PM ET LIVE on AT&T SportsNet RockyMountain & ESPN+.

What a match between the two sides where they played hard with skill, power, and pace.

But Austin Elite came home victorious ahead of NOLA Gold with the successful balance of both attack & defense.

One Game Down, Two more left in Week 3 of Major League Rugby.

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