THE MEN'S D2 AND D4 SIDES WIN AGAIN!
Many things were stacked up against the HARC Men's sides coming into the match in San Marcos on February 9, 2019. The D2 side was looking up at San Marcos in the standings, but feeling good after a dominating 86-0 victory two weekends before against San Antonio RFC. There was certainly some concern though, as The Men were traveling west 170 miles and missing two starters from the San Antonio match, Julian Nunn & Tom Sargeant. The conditions were cold and drizzly on a pitch of dubious quality, but the games must go on.
In spite of the roster shuffle and travel, The Men came out to a hot start. Great ball movement through the backline netted two quick tries by wing, Dee Paul, and fullback, Mitch Pedler. Fifteen minutes in, HARC 10 – San Marcos 0. The great start wouldn't last long, with San Marcos picking up a try and a conversion 22 minutes in. Half time, HARC 10-7
Nine minutes into the second half, San Marcos took the lead making it 10-12, San Marcos. Going back to what worked, The Men gave the ball back to the backline which led to a try at the 57th minute by Stefan Marr, with subsequent conversion by Rory Gleeson to give The Men the lead again, 17-12. HARC wasn’t done just yet. In his first action of the year for the The Men, second half sub Justin Reed, coming in at inside center, hit a fantastic line for a long score. The conversion by Rory Gleeson made it 24-12 with just 10 minutes to play.
San Marcos started to mount a strong comeback, moving the ball very well to their outside flanker, Jeff Easthagen, and their fullback, Gareth Pritchard, scoring in the 73rd minute, and making the conversion to make it 24-19. San Marcos continued to attack strong in the last ten minutes, nearly tying the game in the 80th minute with another strong line, but the two ex-Denver Harlequin teammates, Stefan Marr & Justin Reed, pressured their fullback into a rushed pass, causing a knock, which sealed the game for HARC, 24-19.
A tough, physical match, cold conditions, and the lack of a deep roster away from Houston led to a depleted roster against San Marcos’ D4 side. With only 21 players rostered, two of those being emergency use only subs, even Coach Rob Newton, who hadn’t played in 4 years, threw off his bucket hat, storage clipboard, and khakis, and made himself available as a sub. Abe Blanco, unavailable for the D4 match, took over as game manager.
The start of the D4 game mirrored the D2 game, with two quick tries by HARC; by Mitch Pedler, starting at fly half, and Frank Buchanan, starting at wing. A conversion by scrumhalf Glen Fontenot, then an answer try & conversion by San Marcos made the score 12-7, HARC, after 20. Good defense by both sides held that score to half-time.
The second half was all HARC, with tries by John Wesley, Jesse Dominguez, and two by Dee Paul, along with three conversions by Mackie Hirsch gave The Men 38 points. San Marcos did manage another try and conversion, with the final score being HARC 38, San Marco 14.
Always a good social team, San Marcos hosted us at Zelick’s Ice House, with good beer and good barbecue. San Marcos named, for their D2 Man of the Match, lock Kent Motamedi, who had strong runs all day and good, low tackles, and was an intimidating presence all over the pitch. Unfortunately, he was unable to come to the social, so Mackie Hirsch was named MotM instead. D4 man of the match, after scoring two tries after coming in as a sub, was Dee Paul. Once again, he was unable to come to the social, with hooker Phil Gonzalez named MotM instead.
HARC D2 improves to 2-3-0 on the season and plays 4-1-0 HURT at home on Sunday, February 17. HARC D4 improves to 3-1-0, and doesn’t have a match until March 23rd, at home against West Houston. San Marcos comes back to play HARC at home in the last match of the regular season on April 13.
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