Austin Elite Rugby hosted the Houston SaberCats at Dell Diamond Stadium in Round Rock, Texas. It wasn’t the outcome they wanted as Sam Windsor slotted seven kicks for a 21-20 win.
Austin Elite Rugby will host the Utah Warriors on Friday, February 1 at 7 pm CT. The Houston SaberCats will have a bye before traveling to San Diego on Saturday, February 9 to play the Legion at 7 pm PT.
Austin Elite Rugby vs Houston SaberCats Match Recap
The first half was a close one with the Houston SaberCats taking a 12-10 lead into the break on the strength of Sam Windsor’s boot. The match has been played in the rain.
Windsor the 2018 MLR scoring leader with 103 points, slotted a penalty kick two minutes into the match for a 3-0 lead. A few minutes later after a Romera miss for Austin, Windsor slotted another kick pushing the lead to 6-0.
Austin Elite Rugby answered back after a 5-meter lineout, with Chris Schade barging over the line for the only try of the half. Michael Romera then slotted the conversion to take a 7-6 lead.
A penalty at the breakdown led to another Windsor kick to reclaim the lead 9-7. He would go 4/4 for the half increasing the lead to 12-7. In the 41st minute Michael Romera returned the favor and cut the lead to 12-10 at the break.
The first half saw the Houston SaberCats having an early edge in the scrums and Austin Elite Rugby with an early edge in the lineouts, using Josh Larsen as a target. Austin Elite had to feel good with a drive in a SaberCats scrum just prior to the half. That being said, neither team has dominated the match. Both teams have gone through phases and are playing well in adverse playing conditions.
After some back and forth early in the second half, Tagive executed a tip tackle on Joe Kelly and was sent to the bin. After another penalty a few minutes later, Windsor slotted another kick to take a 15-10 lead.
Austin Elite Rugby then camped out on within a meter from line for about 4 minutes before Rikus Zwart appeared to go in for a try. Instead a penalty was called and Jamie Dever was sent to the bin. Soon after Josh Larsen went in instead. Guillimin slotted the conversion to take a 17-15 lead.
Houston then took a 18-17 lead after Windsor slotted a kick. Austin Elite answered back in the 74th minute with a 45 meter kick by Guillimin to retake the lead 20-18.
Finally, in the 81st minute, Sam Windsor went 7/7 on the night, kicking the match winner, as the SaberCats claimed a 21-20 victory. Austin Elite Rugby will claim a bonus point for the close loss.
It was no surprise that Sam Windsor was the Man of the Match, scoring all of Houston’s points.
The match was played under a steady rain with handing and was slipping impacting play. It was a match that was slated to go down to the end, as both teams played well, especially as the match progressed.
Squads With Player Article Links
Austin Elite Rugby: 1 Simon Courcoul 2 Chris Schade 3 Juan Echeverria 4 Ben Mitchell (C) 5 Josh Larsen 6 Kyle Breytenbach 7 Rikus Zwart 8 Travis Larsen 9 Mickaël Romera 10 Timothée Guillimin 11 Alex Faison Donahoe 12 Andres Vilaseca 13: Sione Fangaiuiha 14 Peni Tagive 15 Zinzan Elan-Puttick (VC) 16 Tiaan Strauss Erasmus 17 LaRome White 18 Brendan Rams 19 Dominique Bailey 20 Marcelo Torrealba 21 Soheyl Jaoudat 22 Reece Czarnecki 23 Mason Pedersen + Head Coach Alain Hyardet
Houston SaberCats: 1 Jamie Dever 2 Pat O’Toole 3 Charlie Connolly 4 Luke Beauchamp 5 Matt Trouville 6 7 Cecil Garber 8 Ayron Schramm 9 Santiago Arata 10 Sam Windsor 11 Joe Kelly 12 Conor Mills 13 Max Tacket 14 Malacchi Esdale 15 Zach Pangelinan 16 Jack Riley 17 Jake Turnbull 18 Matt Almeida 19 Chris Parker 20 Chris Coyle 21 Connor Murphy 22 Irving Caramo 23 Kelly Kolberg + Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick