The Austin Huns beat the Dallas Harlequins 42-25 Saturday in the Texas DI opener in Austin, Texas. The Huns led 20-18 at intermission and secured the win with three second-half tries.
The Huns were anchored by the midfield combination of outside center Angus McLean and inside center Hugh Stitt. McLean scored three tries and a conversion, and Stitt slotted three penalties and three conversions.
Austin director and forwards coach Kirk Tate was pleased with his team’s defense, which he says was the catalyst for McLean’s hat trick.
“Two of his three tries came off of defensive pressure. We had real good line speed, we were coming up pressing hard,” he said. “One of them was an intercept and one of them was swooping down on a loose pass and taking that in. The defensive pressure, I think, was the difference maker for us in the whole game. It was just good line speed and good organization.”
Both Austin and Dallas were shown two yellow cards each in the second half. All were doled out for repeated infringements in the tackle and breakdown areas. Austin scored 10 points during the Quins’ sin bins and a try during one of their own.
“I would say it actually played a pretty dramatic factor,” said Tate of the yellow cards. “All four cards were in the second half and we were actually able to score a try while down two men, and that was just absolutely huge for us in terms of momentum. After we did that, once we were back at full strength, we didn’t give up any more points. We scored the last 15 points of the match.
“To be honest, I think the win said a lot about where we’ve come with our fitness. We’ve been at halftime with a team like the Quins before, and so often times those top teams then pull away from you at that point, and we turned the tables on that and we were the team that was pulling away as the game got into its late stages. That’s what we’ve been waiting for. That’s a sign that we’re getting where we need to be.”
The Huns, at 1-0 and in first place in the league, are certainly where they want to be going into the holidays. DI action in Texas takes a break until January 5th, when The Woodlands squares off with Fort Worth and HARC takes on the Austin Blacks.