Article Update March 9
The Houston SaberCats hosted Austin Gilgronis for the Texas Cup on Saturday, March 7 at AVEVA Stadium in Houston. The Gilgronis came back in the second half to snatch a 24-20 victory, their first since 2018. Match recaps are on ESPN+and will be on the Major League YouTube Channel later in the week.
Houston SaberCats vs Austin Gilgronis Match Recap
After some back and forth by both teams, Zach Pangelinan had a strong run down the right wide channel and attacked from a 5-meter lineout after a Gilgronis penalty. After another penalty and a driving maul resulted in a penalty try for a 7-0 lead. All this followed after Austin’s Rodrick Waters was sent to the bin.
Austin Gilgronis attacked deep into SaberCats territory, but a turnover allowed Houston to clear.
The SaberCats pushed the lead to 14-0 with Sam Windsor and Dewet Roos grub kicks ahead with Windsor grounding and converting.
The SaberCats came right back to drive over in-goal but were held up for a 5-meter scrum. Boyd Wiggins was penalized and Austin relieved pressure on a clearance kick.
Austin charged to within 7-meters of in-goal with strong runs by Rodrick Waters and Frank Halai. A Houston penalty resulted in a Gilgronis scrum, but Austin was not able to maintain possession.
Following a penalty advantage, a Sam Windsor kick bounced off the inside right and left posts for a 17-0 lead.
Austin attacked on the restart with Diego Magno sent to the bin for a side entry. Kurt Morath kicked to touch to attack from a 5-meter lineout and after the maul, the ball was held up. The Gilgronis had a 5-meter scrum with Tiaan Strauss Erasmus scoring a try after a few forward picks. Morath then added the extras to cut the lead to 17-7.
In the final minute, after a Zach Pangelinan break, he appeared to ground the ball, but the ball was not grounded and would have resulted in a 5-meter scrum. Since time had expired, the half ended. Thanks, Kevin Cousins for your insight.
The Austin Gigronis came out of the break on fire scoring two tries. The first was from Mason Petersen from close range with Rodrigo Silva slotting the conversion after Morath left with an injury. Will Magie then made his debut for Austin at flyhalf. The second was a brace by Tiaan Strauss Erasmus from a maul with Will Magie converting. This gave Austin a 21-17 lead.
The teams traded penalty goals, first by SaberCats Sam Windsor and then by the Gilgronis Will Magie to keep the 24-20 lead in Austin’s favor.
In the final 25 minutes, neither teams scored and the Austin Gilgronis secured the Texas Cup and their first win of the season.
The SaberCats had one late opportunity, but an obstruction thwarted Houston’s attack and allowed Austin to close out the match.
Houston will travel to Weymouth, MA for a Saturday home opener for the New England Free jacks, while the Austin Gilgronis host the San Diego Legion as Bold Stadium at COTA on Sunday.
Austin moved to 1-3-1 with the win and have 7 points for 5th place. They are 2 points behind 3rd place Colorado Raptors and 1 point behind the Seattle Seawolves. Houston has a 1-4 record and is in 6th place in the Western Conference with 6 points.
Houston SaberCats & Austin Gilgronis Squads & Match Preview
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