Houston SaberCats Win Texas Derby Over Austin Elite Rugby

The Houston SaberCats beat Austin Elite Rugby 36-15 on May 25 at AVEVA Stadium and moved into seventh place in the Major League Rugby standings.

With their second consecutive win, the Houston SaberCats are 4-10 with 20 points. They play a makeup game home on May 29 against the Glendale Raptors and conclude their season on June 1 away against the Utah Warriors.

Austin Elite Rugby has had an injury-plagued season are 0-15. The team finishes their season on June 2 in Seattle against the Seawolves.

Match Recap

Update: Andres Vilaseca was a last minute replacement for JP Aguirre.

After sustained pressure by the Houston SaberCats, Andres Vilaseca went into contact and the SaberCats poached the ball at the breakdown with Jameson Fa’anana-Schultz with finishing with a try. Sam Windsor then slotted the kick to lead 7-0.

The SaberCats attacked from their 22-meters on the restart and Thretton Palamo finished with a try near the right corner, 12-0.

Austin Elite got on the board after Andres Vilaseca slotted a penalty goal on a offsides call on Houston, 12-3. Another attempt at goal by Vilaseca went right of the posts in the windy conditions.

After a fifth consecutive Houston penalty at the breakdown, Pat O’Toole was sent to the bin in the 28th minute. Despite being down a player, a pass by Pangelinan to Jameson Fa’anana-Schultz, ended in a try after a dummy isolated a defender. Winsor then slotted the conversion, 19-3.

After a run by Reece Czarnecki, the ball was lost into contact. The SaberCats counterattack then resulted in a bonus point try by Cecil Garber, 24-3. That was the second try despite being down a man.

Second Half

Austin Elite Rugby had their best attack of the match with Elan-Puttick advancing within the SaberCats 22-meters before losing the ball forward into contact. A scrum penalty for an early push, however, allowed Austin Elite to attack close to in-goal. Another penalty gave Austin a lineout 5 meters out. LaRome White then barrelled over for a try to cut the lead to 24-8.

After some back and forth play, Malacchi Esdale gathered the ball after a breakdown and motored 65 meters for a try to push the lead to 29-8.

Austin Elite then defended a sustained assault close to in-goal by the SaberCats which resulted in an Austin 5-meter scrum. An infraction then resulted in a turnover for a Houston scrum. That opportunity was lost allowing Austin Elite to clear.

Andres Vilaseca intercepted a SaberCats pass by Farmer for a try and after Jaoudat’s conversion the lead was cut to 29-15. The SaberCats answered right back as Palamo received a pop pass and grounded the ball in-goal. Osea Kolinisau then slotted the kick for a final of 36-15.

Squads with Player Article Links & Preview

Houston SaberCats: 1 Mateo Sanguinetti 2 Pat O’ToolePaul Mullen 4 Diego MagnoMatt Trouville  (C) 6 Luke Beauchamp 7 Cecil Garber 8 Jameson Fa’anana-Schultz 9  Zach Pangelinan 10 Sam Windsor 11 Deion Mikesell12 Thretton Palamo 13 Josua Vici 14 Malacchi Esdale 15 Osea Kolinisau 16 Amro Gouda 17 Jake Turnbull 18 Charlie Connolly 19 Victor Comptat 20 Robert Meeson 21 Chris Saint 22 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz 23 Kieran Farmer + Interim Head Coach Paul Emerick

Austin Elite Rugby: 1 Sunao Takizawa 2 Peter Malcolm 3 Mason Pedersen 4 Ben Mitchell (C) 5 Josh Larsen 6 Travis Larsen 7 Dominique Bailey 8 Rikus Zwart 9 Soheyl Jaoudat 10 Rodrigo Sliva  11 Sione Fangaiuiha 12 Andrew Suniula 13 Andres Vilaseca14 Reece Czarnecki 15 Zinzan Elan-Puttick (VC) 16 Tiaan Strauss Erasmus 17 Juan Echeverria18 LaRome White 19 Dylan Pieterse 20 Kyle Breytenbach21 Moe Abdelmonem 22 Alex Faison Donahoe 23 Aidan McMullan + Head Coach Alain Hyardet

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