Match Report: SaberCats vs Toronto Arrows
SaberCats – 27
By Liam Poach
The Houston SaberCats opened their 2019 home schedule on Friday, but it was to be a bittersweet event. While the atmosphere within the crowd was fun and exciting, the SaberCats ultimately fell short on the field, losing to the Toronto Arrows 44-27.
Throughout the game, the ‘Cats were clearly looking to control possession through their passing game, with Connor Murphy calmly and efficiently distributing the ball to his teammates, rather than employing many high–risk passes or box kicks. The results of this game plan were mixed, as they were only able to break through the gain line at a 53% success rate, with only a 46% possession advantage throughout.
On the bright side, this approach allowed fans the chance to see some truly remarkable instances of rugby from the home side. For instance, Sam Windsor enticed a roar from the crowd thanks to some incredible footwork deep inside Toronto territory, sidestepping defender after defender on his way to putting the ball down between the posts.
Meanwhile, Zach Pangelinan continues to show why he is one of the most impactful players on the field week in and week out. On the night, Pangelinan carried the ball a total of 7 times for 67 meters, averaging an astounding 9.57 meters per carry! His presence and performance in the backline continues to be one of the most consistent on the team.
However, one would be remiss to discuss the SaberCats and not mention the boys up front in the scrum. According to the official league statistics, The ‘Cats ended the night winning 75% of their own scrums, as opposed to just a 67% mark for the Arrows.
This high level of production from the pack can be attributed to the individuals within it. One standout as of late has been Australian native Luke Beauchamp, who for the second game in a row now has led the team in tackles (15), as well as tackles behind the Gain Line.
Despite another disappointing result, those following the ‘Cats cannot help but feel as if something big and bright is about to happen. This team holds so much potential in all aspects of the game, it will just be a matter of putting it all together.
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