SaberCats Meet Gilgronis is Rugby Battle of Texas
The Houston SaberCats face Austin Gilgronis is a Texas rivalry match on Saturday, March 7 at AVEVA Stadium in Houston. Kickoff is at 8 pm ET and will be streamed on ESPN+. International fans may view the match on Major League Rugby Facebook Watch Live.
SaberCats head Coach Paul Healy has made five changes in the starters with Boyd Wiggins at tighthead prop, Rob Meeson at lock, Diego Magno at openside flanker, Tiaan Loots at inside center, and Osea Kolinisau at fullback. Matias Freyre switched from fullback to the outside center.
There are also two changes in the reserves with Gabe Romero and Malacchi Esdale available at hooker and wing, respectively.
The SaberCats are a possession team and look to take points by Sam Windsor when penalties occur inside their opponents half. The team has an excellent scrum and the Gilgronis have improved with the arrival of Jamie Macintosh.
The battle of Texas is more than about the BBQ that the fans will enjoy. The team will need to find gaps in the defense and try to take an early lead.
The Houston SaberCats will want to show who is the Champions of Texas, especially on their home field. The team needs to show that they can play consistent rugby over 80-minutes and to launch a winning streak to try to gain separation in the Western Conference standings.
The Gilgronis reinforcements have arrived and they made an impression entrance from the tower, a superhero entrance if only they could fly.
The visa situation in the league has been more challenging this season, but the addition of Kurt Morath at flyhalf and Pele Cowley at scrumhalf paired with Eagle fullback/flyhalf Will Magie will immediately make the team better.
Austin has made two changes in the starters with Samoa scrum-half Pele Cowley and Tonga flyhalf Kurt Morath making their team debut as starters. USA National Team Will Magie should make his debut as a reserve.
Tiaan Strauss Erasmus was selected the 1st Team MLR at hooker for his performance in week 4.
The Gilgronis are serious about providing a quality team for its fans to watch. They need to attack from the start instead of trying to mount second-half comebacks. Will they win the Texas Derby and gain their first win since 2018?
Houston SaberCats & Austin Gilgronis Squads
Houston SaberCats: 1 Valdemar Lee-Lo 2 Diego Fortuny 3 Boyd Wiggins 4 Kyle Breytenbach 5 Rob Meeson 6 Luke Beauchamp 7 Diego Magno 8 Adriaan Booysen 9 Dewet Roos (C) 10 Sam Windsor 11Tim Stanfill 12 Tiaan Loots13 Matias Freyre 14 Zach Pangelinan15 Osea Kolinisau 16 Gabe Romero 17 Nicolas Solveyra 18 Tim Cadwallader 19 Van Stewart 20 Cecil Garber21 Taylor Howden 22 Zachary Short 23 Malacchi Esdale Head Coach Paul Healy
Austin Gilgronis: 1 Jamie Mackintosh 2 Tiaan Strauss Erasmus 3 Mason Pedersen 4 Potu Leavasa 5 Maikeli Naramaitonga 6 Dominic Akina 7 Moe Abdelmonem 8 Lino Saunitoga 9 Pele Cowley 10 Kurt Morath (C) 11 Roderick Waters 12 Gabe Farley 13 Frank Halai 14 Corey Jones 15 Rodrigo Silva 16 Brendan Rams 17 Juan Echeverria 18 LaRome White19 Luca Tani 20 Stewart Morris 21 Marcelo Torrealba 22 Will Magie 23 Sione Fangaiuiha