On a special note - I'd like to thank Art Anderson who coaches at UNT and his playes who came out to lend us players if we needed and we did. It's great to see that some of the old school rugby mentality is still alive, if a club needs help with players, give them players because it helps everyone involved. His players who may not have had very much playing time got some, playing with us.
Due to the fact that I knew we would have more than 22 players wanting to play, I asked Plano HS to bring their players for a run, since their season would be starting soon and players they brought. The first match kicked off a little behind schedule, but with three 15 minute periods to be played, there was plenty of time and enough periods for everyone to get some time out on the pitch against someone other than their own team-mates in practice.
The list of players for the Plano match are as followed:
Props - Joe, Alex, Justin, Jonathan all played extremly well. Joe as always was steady in all aspects of the game, which is why he's a back up on the first XV. Alex, Justin and Jonathan all played very well, especially since this was really their first game in position. Time will only make them better players and during their time in they all made tackles, hit rucks & mauls like they do in practice and that was fun to watch.
Hookers - Chris, Scott, Dwight each got a 15 minute period to show their skills. Dwight playing for the last time in UTD colors will be leaving to go back home (China) and it's be fun watching him grow as a player. Chris is developing into a fine hooker, while we still need to work on some basics. He's a player I can depend on to win scrums be there if the ball carrier comes at him. Scott, is beginning to separate himself from these other hookers, because of his fitness, he's running with flankers in practice, but as he learns more and more of the little things. He'll turn into a hooker, I'll be gladly to turn the forwards over to.
Locks (second row) - David, Jimmy both did very good work in the scrums and around the pitch. Jimmy was recently moved from prop to second row and is quickly learning the game. He has already learned two positions and is able to fill the slots we need at a moments notice. This was David's very first game after attending 2 practices and time will make him good. He's got good size, and as he learns the game like our first XV second rows he'll be able to do damage to the opposition.
Another new second row player who played in the Sam Houston match, Conner Spencer, he came to the final two practices of last fall and he's back and show good skills. Like David and Jimmy, he'll be a good addition to this team giving John and Weston well deserved breaks when needed.
Scrum Half - Luke, played his usually good game, he's beginning to take charge of the forwards by directing them to where he wants them and this was big.
Fly Half - Stephen, played better than I've seen before, he ran the ball better, had more confidence in himself and his team-mates and his tackling was much better.
Centers - Chad, Brandon, both ran hard, tackled harder and are becoming better, I have no doubt that either can't step in and play with the first XV if needed.
As far as the results of the Plano match, Plano won 20 to 0, but as I told the lads, I didn't care about any score. This was their time to go out in UT Dallas colors, play as a unit and learn from it. And that's what they did and I am proud of each and every one of them.
The Sam Houston St. match began a little behind schedule, and as I found out later Sam was missing some of their first XV because of either work or ROTC committments, but it was a match that they wanted to play and they were ready for the challenge.
The match kicked off about 2:20pm and it didn't take long for UTD to put up the first points of the game. Roughly 1 minute into the match Sam Houston mishandled the ball and UTD secured it and gave it to the backs and Vince took care of the rest scoring the first try of the match and making the conversion, making it 7 to 0 - UT Dallas. Then about 15 minutes later Vince got the chance to put up another 3 points with a penalty kick and he slotted it, making the score 10 to 0 - UT Dallas.
Sam Houston wasn't going to just let us run away with this match, they came out and scored a try and conversion, bringing the score 10 - 7, UT Dallas. Just before the half ended, Cameron dazzled the spectators and opponents with a run to score another try for UTD, but Sam wasn't going to be left out of half ending scores as they managed a try also. The first half ended UTD 17, Sam Houston 12.
The second half was pretty much like the first, both sides going back and forth on the pitch, but it was UTD putting up two more trys and one conversion. Scoring the trys was Anthony and Alejandro with Vince making the conversion. Sam also scored a try in this half, making the score 32 - 17, UT Dallas.
The final 20 minutes, I made a number of substitutions, not really worried about the final score, but to give a number of players rest in preparations for next weeks league match, so as time ticked down reserves were brought in. Sam scored 2 more trys in the final minutes. The final score was UT Dallas 32, Sam Houston St. 27.
Below is the starting line up for the Sam Houston match
1. Sean Harris 9. Cameron Broussard
2 Anthony Paradowski 10. Vince Dutton
3. Erbold Uran 11. Marc Hudak
4. John Bradshaw 12. Dominic Prestia
5. Weston Hearne 13. Nathan Sohadasenci
6. Ben Bales 14. Alejandro Chinchilla
7. Zach Ussery 15. Ross Chan
8. Steven Hale
Next weeks match will be in San Antonio against UT San Antonio, the match is set to kick off at 2pm and as soon as I have verified directions I'll post it on our web site. I've also had discussions with UTSA's coach and there is a strong possibility that we'll get at least an extra 20 minutes for everyone to have a run. What that means is not only will our first XV play as well as the reserves, but our second team will get a chance to play against their peers of UTSA.
This still needs to be verified by not only our UT Dallas club, but UTSA as well, but it does look good. Basic scouting is that UTSA beat us the two previous times we've played them in the past two round robin tournaments and they are a fine club and very well coached. We match up with them evenly and currently they are ranked second in Texas Collegiate Division III behind us, so this match will be yet another test for our team and I do feel we're up to the challenge as long as we don't get over confident (which I'm going to do my best to keep them grounded, at practice).
With 2 league matches left before playoffs, each match is important for home field advantage and these will be even bigger tests for us.