Seattle Seawolves vs Houston SaberCats: MLR 2019

The Seattle Seawolves host the Houston SaberCats on Sunday, March 10 at 5 pm PDT (8 pm EDT) The match will be broadcast on ESPN+, Root Sports and KUBE. Standing room tickets are limited but available. The match pits the 3-2 Seawolves against the 1-3 Houston SaberCats.

Match Comments

Seattle Seawolves Head Coach Richie Walker has made five changes to his starters with Kellen Gordon and Dan Trierweller in at loosehead prop and at hooker, respectively. In the backs, JP Smith takes over at scrumhalf, as Phil Mack played for Canada on Friday. Sequoyah Burke-Combs moves to wing, William Rasileka returns at outside center, while Peter Tiberio shifts to fullback in Mat Turner’s absence.

In the reserves, Oli Kilifi is a surprise after playing for the USA against Canada on Friday. Jeremy Lenaerts, Dio Crowder, and Scott Dean join the matchday 23.

Houston SaberCats Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick has made one change in the starters with Alejandro Nieto returning from international duty with Uruguay at No. 8. Diego Magno also returned is in the reserves.

Both teams are proficient in the set pieces with the Seawolves winning 95% of their scrums to 93% to the SaberCats. Houston has the edge in winning lineouts with 60 in 4 matches to 52 in 5 for the Seawolves. The Seawolves have scored more points and strike quickly as they have had 48.6% of the territory to 51.5% for the SaberCats. The Seawolves also commit more handling errors and penalties than the SaberCats. This could be a factor early as Sam Windsor is one of the best kickers in the League. The same may be said for Brock Staller of the Seawolves.

The SaberCats will need to have an edge in set pieces and score tries, penetrating the Seawall,  from lineouts in close. They will also need to minimize penalties, handling errors, and score early to have momentum on their side.

The Seawolves have sold out another match and their fans are enthusiastic and loud in their support. The team allows their opponents to go through phases, but the Seawall proves to be a formidable challenge to penetrate in close. Still, opponents have scored and that will be the challenge to the SaberCats tonight.

Expect a physical match with the Seawolves looking to place the SaberCats under pressure early. If the SaberCats can meet that challenge, it will be an exciting match to view. The SaberCats are a dangerous team as their talent is not indicative of their record. Seattle however, is one of the toughest places to visit and emerge with a win.

Squads with Player Articles Links

Seattle Seawolves: 1Kellen Gordon 2 Dan Trierweiler Tim MetcherApisai Naikatini Brad Tucker  6 Cam Polson 7 Eric Duechle 8 Riekert Hattingh 9 JP Smith 10 Ben Cima 11 Sequoyah Burke-Combs 12 Shalom Suniula 13 William Rasileka 14 Brock Staller 15 Peter Tiberio 16 Stephan Coetzee  17 Olive Kilifi 18 John Hayden 19 Jérémy Lenaerts 20 Aladdin Schirmer 21 George Barton 22 Dion Crowder 23 Scott Dean

Houston SaberCats: 1 Jamie Dever 2 Pat O’Toole 3 Charlie ConnollyRobert Meeson 5 Matt Trouville (C) 6 Luke Beauchamp 7 Cecil GarberAlejandro Nieto 9 Connor Murphy 10 Sam Windsor 11 Malacchi Esdale 12 Conor Mills 13 Osea Kolinisau 14 Josua Vici 15 Zach Pangelinan 16 Amro Gouda 17 Jake Turnbull 18 Matt Almeida 19 Chris Parker 20 Diego Magno 21 Ayron Schramm 22 Chris Saint 23 Max Tacket + Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant