Dallas Jackals Fight a Heartfelt Battle in Inaugural Opening Day
In front of an impressive Inaugural Opening Day crowd armed with rally towels, the Jackals put on an entertaining, full of heart, performance for the home crowd. Coming up short in post full time, Dallas proved to be a real force to wrecking with against a strong Houston side.
- Inaugural Opening Day at Choctaw Stadium in front of a crowd of over 3,000.
- The First try at home was scored by former local Dallas Harlequin Matt Frings, Hooker.
- 2022 MLR Collegiate Draftee Mike Matarazzo recorded his first-ever MLR try.
- Number 8 Conrado Roura continues his successful campaign with 2 Tries.
Playing in front of the packed home crowd for the first time, the Dallas Jackals started a bit jumpy, but soon settled in putting on a great show for the crowd. After a starting kick off that went into touch, Houston recovered at the 11’ mark with a Leomaka Unufe outside Try followed by a successful conversion kick, 7-0.
After back and forth play, a Houston penalty within meters of the Jackals Try Line led to a Jackals lineout. A strong rolling maul carried Hooker Matt Frings into the Try Zone scoring the first-ever Jackals Try at Choctaw Stadium, 7-7. The occasion was heightened by the fact that Frings, from Nottingham, England, has played locally for the Dallas Harlequins for several years.
Soon after Center Henry Trinder breaks down the pitch with a quick pass to Chad London who takes it to the line. After TMO review, the Try is called back for Obstruction Penalty. The TMO would come into play shortly again and a Houston break is called no go for a foot out of touch.
The back and forth continues with a SaberCat Try by Marcos Moroni and a successful kick, 14-7. At 35’, #1 Draft Pick Eric Naposki goes down with injury leading to Ned Hodson to step in. A Jackals lineout and, once again, a forceful maul gets Capitan Moe Abdelomon into the zone to down the ball, 12-14 Houston.
Before the end of the half, Jackals would be down two separate times after Prop Alex Tucci was yellow carded followed by Abdelmonem similarly. The Pack was able to hold off Houston, going into Halftime down 14-12.
The Houston lead would not last long as after a Houston penalty, a quick tap and go by Number 8 Conraod Roura to Mike Matarazzo with a strong push makes it 17-14. Adrian Carelse’s successful kick increased the lead to 19-14.
Four short minutes later, Dallas almost perfecting the rolling lineout maul gets Roura over the line giving the Jackals a 26-14 lead after the Carelse successful kick.
Houston came back string charging down field before a low shoulder hit penalty allowed Dallas to take several forward phases before kicking to touch for a lineout. The Jackals get with a meters of scoring, but come up with a penalty instead.
Tiring from the battle, a Houston high tackle leads to a Dallas maul. Although the tiring forward pack, the Jackals fight hard to keep the ball moving forward. Scrum Half Carlo de Nysschen gets the ball out to Carlese to Roura for a Try and successful conversion kick, 33-21 Jackals.
Both sides obviously gassed by the hard fought 72’, Houston’s Jacob Hidalgo downs the ball goes back to back Tries tying the game with 3 minutes left on the match clock.
The historic Inaugural Opening Day ended with an impressive downfield passing Try by Houston’s Christian Dyer making the final score 38-33.
Although the late heartbreaker of an ending, the Jackals showed their true heart and grit to the home crowd.
The Pack looks for their first Inaugural Win against Rugby New York at Choctaw Stadium on February 26th at 7pm CT. Tickets can be purchased at dallasjackals.com/tickets.
Tries: Matt Frings, Moe Abdelmonem, Mike Matarazzo, Conrraod Roura (2)
Kicks: Adrian Carelse (4)
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