Match Report: SaberCats vs. San Diego Legion 4.28.19
San Diego Legion -40
SaberCats – 19
The SaberCat’s return to Dyer Stadium ended on a sour note, as they fell to the San Diego Legion with a final score of 40-19. Diego Magno was named the team’s Man of the Match.
As has been the case for much of this season, the game started out competitively with the score tied 7-all through the first 20 minutes with Deion Mikesell putting-up the team’s first try of the game. The ‘Cats were looking good as they forced penalties on San Diego, while also allowing their ball-in-hand play to make the most of the opportunities afforded. Unfortunately, despite some solid play across the course of the day, mistakes and miscues were the undoing of the hometown team, as a host of turnovers while in scoring range allowed the Legion to gradually pull away, leading to a halftime score of 28-7
As the second half began, it was evident the ‘Cats were attempting to ramp up the intensity in a hurry, even forcing San Diego to commit a handling error on the opening kickoff to take the first possession of the frame. However, while the energy and tenacity were all there, instances of poor decision making and a just-as-haughty counter attack from the Legion made the production of actual points that much more difficult. Again, an inability to protect the ball and keep possession was a challenge.
While the game seemed to be out of reach before the 80th minute, the ‘Cats certainly sent the fans home with a reason to be excited for better results in the future, finishing the match with a flourish, and some points. Newcomer, Thretton Palamo, scored his second try in as many games by forcing his way through the San Diego defense off a hard charging run from the scrum. Then, Charlie Connolly delivered the team’s final points of the game, oddly enough by finding himself as a prop on the outside in a fabulous display of line speed and handling from our offense.
While the end result was not optimal, the ‘Cats can find many positives in defeat. The aforementioned pair of Mikesell and Palamo have proven to be excellent additions to the squad, with the pair putting up a total of four tries in five games. And, while he wasn’t ultimately able to find the in-goal, Malacchi Esdale racked over 120 meters rushing, constantly putting the Legion on their back heel and forcing a bit of extra attention on himself.
Plus, we still got the scrum. Need I say more?
As the season moves to the final 5 matches, the ‘Cats will be looking to add some additional marks in the win column and plan to play spoiler to a few teams hoping for a shot at the post-season. The team’s next game will be away on May 5th against Rugby United New York and then we return to Houston for the Grand Opening of AVEVA Stadium on May 11. We’ll see you there.
By Liam Poach
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