The Houston SaberCats opened their new rugby dedicated Aveva Stadium on April 13 against the Seattle Seawolves. The result was not want the SaberCats nor their fans wanted with the Seawolves departing with a 52-10 win.
Houston has a 2-7 record and is in seventh place with 11 points. Seattle moved to second place with a 7-3 record with 37 points. They are trying to keep pace with the top teams to ensure making the playoffs after the regular season.
Next Sunday the SaberCats will travel to play the Toronto Arrows, while the Seawolves host NOLA Gold on April 21.
The first score began with a Seawolves lineout inside the SaberCats 22-meters and a Seattle maul. Phil Mack took a quick tap and offloaded to Kellen Gordon for a try in the corner to a 5-0 lead. Staller then slotted a penalty goal for a 8-0 lead.
Sam Windsor executed a chip and chase with Luke Beauchamp offloading to Windsor for the team’s first try to cut the lead to 8-5. The team had another opportunity to kick at goal, but opted to kick to touch in an attempt to score a try. Instead, they came away without points when a ball carrier was pushed into touch from in-goal to give the Seawolves a 22-meter drop.
In the final minute before the break, a Phil Mack box kick was gathered by Ben Cima and popped to Nakai Penny, who finished with a try to push the lead to 13-5.
The Seawolves took over the scoring during the second half with Brock Staller adding two penalty goals and then scoring a try and a conversion after intercepting a pass to lead 26-5.
Stephan Coetzee added another from a maul and Brad Tucker a 4th in the right corner for a bonus point and a 38-5 lead after Staller’s conversion.
In the 68th minute, Dan Trieweiler was sent to the bin for a scrum infraction. This resulted in a try by Thretton Palamo under the posts with Windsor converting to cut the lead to 38-10.
Roland Suniula and Mat Turner added two more tries with Staller converting both for a final score of 52-10.
It was not the way that the SaberCats wanted to open Aveva Stadium. It was the first time the team set foot in the stadium to play, with the delays and late minute preparation for the match.
With the win, the Seattle Seawolves moves into second place with 37 points. Their record improves to 7-3. The Houston SaberCats record fell to 2-7 and left them in seventh place with 11 points.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
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 Deion Mikesell 15 Zach Pangelinan 16 Amro Gouda 17 Jamie Dever 18 Paul Mullen 19 Victor Comptat 20 Robert Meeson 21 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz 22 Thretton Palamo 23 Joe Kelly + Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick
Seattle Seawolves: 1 Kellen Gordon 2 Stephan Coetzee 3 Tim Metcher 4 Jérémy Lenaerts 5 Apisai Naikatini 6 Brad Tucker 7 Nakai Penny 8 Riekert Hattingh 9 Phil Mack 10 Ben Cima 11 Sequoyah Burke-Combs 12 Shalom Suniula (C) 13 George Barton 14 Brock Staller 15 Mat Turner 16 Dan Trierweiler 17 Djustice Sears-Duru 18 Ryan Youngman19 Taylor Krumrei 20 Eric Duechle 21 JP Smith 22 Roland Suniula 23 Dion Crowder + Head Coach Richie Walker