The Glendale Raptors host the Houston SaberCats on Saturday, April 6 at 7 pm MT (9 pm ET) at Infinity Park at Glendale. Tickets are still available and the match will be broadcast on KUBE and on 9news.com.
The Glendale Raptors are in 3rd place with a 4-2-3 record with 28 points. The Houston SaberCats have played two fewer matches and are in 7th place with a 2-0-5 record with 10 points.
Glendale Raptors Head Coach David Williams has made five changes in his starters from last week. Changes in the forwards have Blake Rogers at loosehead prop with Noah Barker out, Luke White at lock, and New Zealand Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup back row Murphy Taramai making his MLR debut at No. 8. There are two changes in the backs with Chad London at outside center and Maximo de Achaval at fullback.
Houston SaberCats head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick has made one change in his starters as Osea Kolinisau returns at inside center with Conor Mills shifting to the reserves. Deion Mikesell will make his MLR debut as a replacement.
The Glendale Raptors like to control possession (55%) and generally play more in their opponent’s territory (57%) and spend more time in attacking minutes (44). The Raptors are ranked 4th in the MLR in both attack and defense. They score tries and usually are able to obtain a bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries.
The Houston SaberCats split possession, territory, and attacking /defensive minutes. They score fewer tries and more penalty goals. They have an edge in winning more of their own scrums 93% to 88% for the Raptors and also cause their opponents to commit more penalties on their put in.
The Houston SaberCats have played better rugby in recent weeks and have had early leads and played more in their opponent’s territory. The team will need to continue that pattern and take advantage of their opponent’s mistakes early. The team needs a win if they want to work their way up the standings.
The Glendale Raptors are undefeated at home and want to keep pace with the league leaders. They will be looking for a bonus point win as the league is very congested at the top of the standings.
Squads with Player Article Links
Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 Chad Gough 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 William Munro 5 Luke White 6 Brendan Daly 7 Hanco Germishuys 8 Murphy Taramai 9 Shaun Davies (C) 10 Will Magie 11 Harley Davidson 12 Robbie Petzer 13 Chad London14 John Ryberg 15 Maximo de Achaval 16 Zach Fenoglio 17 Marco Fepulea’i18 Max Lum 19 Peter Dahl 20 Malon Al-Jiboori 21 Carlo De Nysschen 22 Ata Malifa 23 Dylan Taikato-Simpson
Houston SaberCats: 1 Mateo Sanguinetti 2 Pat O’Toole 3 Charlie Connolly 4 Diego Magno 5 Matt Trouville (C) 6 Luke Beauchamp 7 Cecil Garber 8 Alejandro Nieto 9 Connor Murphy 10 Sam Windsor 11 Malacchi Esdale 12 Osea Kolinisau 13 Max Tacket 14 Kelly Kolberg 15 Zach Pangelinan 16 Amro Gouda 17 Jake Turnbull 18 Jamie Dever 19 Victor Comptat 20 Chris Parker 21 Chris Coyle 22 Conor Mills 23 Deion Mikesell + Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick