SaberCats Beat Dallas: ‘A Great Win’
Davy Coetzer’s clutch late score seals the match for 6-2 SaberCats
By Aaron Wilson
Davy Coetzer took off on a sprint, tracking the ball on the hop in the open field after a well-placed pass from Zach Pangelinan.
Coetzer raced away from the Dallas Jackals, and he didn’t stop until he scored a game-sealing try as the leading scorer in Major League Rugby helped boost the SaberCats to a 33-21 home victory.
Coetzer celebrated by punching the ball into the air as the SaberCats improved to 6-2 for the season with a win that propelled them into first place in the Western Conference with a five-point match.
“Davy had a hell of a play, hats off to us for winning that scrum, giving us the advantage and Zach Pangelinan putting Davy in amazing position to score,” Christian Dyer said. “That’s a team try right there.”
Tied 14-14 at halftime, the SaberCats ultimately took control.
A try by Vereniki Tikoisolomone gave the SaberCats a 26-21 lead. The score by Coetzer sealed the game on week after a frustrating loss to the Utah Warriors.
“We got that ball, had a go at it, five guys on the left, a good team play by the boys and a great kick by Zach,” Coetzer said. “We were very disappointed with the loss last week. Coming into this week, we were really motivated to get back on track. We set goals along the way. We’re very motivated and we believe we can go all away. It was all about getting back on track and getting back to winning ways.
“The last two weeks, we haven’t played to our potential. When you’re not playing to your full potential, it’s grinding it out and winning games. We’ve got to work hard on getting it right.”
The SaberCats overcame a red card ejection for Gideon van Wyk from a head-to-head contact infaction.
Now, the SaberCats have 31 points and rank ahead of the San Diego Legion (6-1, 30 points) and the Seattle Seawolves (6-2, 29 points) heading into the Legion’s match against the Chicago Hounds.
“We’ve got high standards,” SaberCats director Heyneke Meyer said. “We had opportunities. They’re a difficult side. The message is just to keep composure and keep on hammering. To come away with five points, I’m very happy.
“We’re getting there. We’re a very young team. That’s why I’m so proud of the fact we kept our composure. It was a 50-50 game until the last 15 minutes. The guys who only joined us last week, they made a huge difference. It’s a great win.”
Coetzer continues to have a Major League Rugby all-star caliber season.
He leads all scorers with 83 points, ranks fifth with five tries and first with 27 successful goal kicking.
“Davy is having an unreal season,” team captain and returning second-team all-star Dean Muir said. “He’s playing with so much confidence. You have your playmaker playing with that much confidence, it rubs off on everyone else and they play with confidence, too.”
Although this marks a quality win over the 1-7 Jackals, this was also a closer game than many might have expected.
The past two matches, the SaberCats have been involved in close matches and gotten off to slow starts. They nearly came back to beat the Warriors, but fell short when Dom Akina was tackled shy of the try line as time expired.
“We’re not playing good enough,” Dyer said. “There’s some moments where we’re letting ourselves down. The positive is that we’re putting ourselves in the right situation. We’re not finishing and that’s something we’re really going to work on going forward.
“It absolutely keeps us humble. That’s the story. You see teams win multiple games in a row and they get to postseason and they can’t finish. Right now, we’re being put under pressure in these moments and it’s building resiliency, confidence and a lot of composure within the organization. It’s Houston against everyone.”
The SaberCats’ next game is against the New York Ironworkers, an Eastern Conference opponent.
“I think every game from here on out is going to be right,” Muir said. “We come in with a mindset every game is a championship game, knockout rugby. I think that’s eventually going to prepare us well when we eventually make the playoffs.
“I think as players we’re always going to be hard on ourselves. We’re always going to want to be better. I think it’s an improvement from last week. There are still some mistakes we can improve on. I think New York is going to be a tough game. We’re up for the challenge ahead.”
*Photos by BigShots SnapShots
On the Road to Toronto – Saturday, June 3
Join our watch party at Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. and watch the
MLR Championship Game & Block Party
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | MAY 10, 2023 CONTACT | Tami
SaberCats Defeat Hounds, Snap Losing Streak on van Wyk’s game-winner
Gideon van Wyk's late try seals the game over Chicago By Aaron
Final Score – May 27 vs. Chicago Hounds
The SaberCats rallied and defeated the Hounds 40-33 Saturday night at SaberCats
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