Glendale Raptors Charge Back to Beat Houston SaberCats

The Glendale Raptors survived a 32-0 deficit to the Houston SaberCats and came back to win 52-44 on Saturday, April 6 at Infinity Park at Glendale.

The Glendale Raptors are in second place with a 5-2-3 record with 33 points. The Houston SaberCats are in 7th place with a 2–6 record with 11 points.

The Glendale Raptors enter a bye week before traveling to San Diego to face the Legion on April 20. The Houston SaberCats will open their new rugby dedicated stadium, Aveeva Stadium, on April 13 against the Seattle Seawolves.

Match Recap

The Houston SaberCats have been playing very competitively, but have had some defensive concerns late in some of their matches that have resulted in losses instead of wins.

The SaberCats went into Infinity Park and played inspired rugby against the Glendale Raptors, a team which was undefeated at home. They struck quickly with 32 unanswered points early in the match, before the Raptors staged a comeback.

Houston’s scrum created problems early for Glendale and resulted in two penalty tries. The team added a penalty goal and after a scrum collapse sent Kelepi Fifita to the bin, Sam Windsor slotted another kick to push the lead to 20-0.

The SaberCats then added tries by Malacchi Esdale and by Kelly Kolberg, who picked up a loose ball turnover and raced in for a try. Windsor was successful for the first conversion/

In the 35th minutes, John Ryberg scored from midfield and another try in the final minute with Will Magie slotting both conversions to cut the lead to 32-14 at the break. Prior to the last try, Diego Magno received a yellow card during the attack.

Second Half

Glendale struck quickly at the beginning of the half with a run by Murphy Taramai and an offload to Peter Dahl for a try. From the ensuing restart, Luke White offloaded to Robbie Petzer to cut the lead to 32-28 after the second Magie conversion of the half.

With the SaberCats at full strength, Deion Mikesell took a Connor Murphy offload in for a try in the right corner to push the lead to 37-28.

Will Magie then slotted a penalty goal and Malon Al-Jiboori scored from a lineout. After Magie’s conversion, the Raptors led for the first time in the match, 38-37.

Sam Windsor then executed a chip and chase, claiming the ball after the bounce for a try and a conversion to reclaim the lead, 44-38.

Glendale answered back in the 75th minute with a third try by Ryberg and a conversion by Petzer for a 45-44 lead and another try by Harley Davidson in the final minute for a 52-44 win after Petzer’s conversion.

Man of the Match honors went to John Ryberg and Sam Windsor.

Squads with Player Article Links & Match Review

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 GarberAlejandro 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

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