The Houston SaberCats scored a try in the 13th minute and gradually increased their lead in the first half before pulling away in the second half to beat the James Bay Athletic Club last Saturday in a pre-season rugby match at Constellation Field.
The turning point in the game was the first 15 minutes of the second half as James Bay was constantly threatening to score but the SaberCats would only give up a penalty goal that made the score 20-13. After that it was all SaberCats as they went on to score three trys and a penalty goal, making the final score 42-13.
“We knew we could play better than we did in the first half,” SaberCats’ hooker Diego Maquieira said. “At halftime we talked about communicating better and playing together. The second half we played like we should be playing all of the time.”
Connor Murphy put the SaberCats on the scoreboard when he scored a try in he 13th minute. Three minutes later, Zach Pangelinan scored a try to increase the SaberCats lead to 10-0. Sam Windsor kicked a drop goal from 40 meters out in the 25th minute to give the SaberCats a 13-0 lead.
James Bay then responded with a try in the 29th minute cutting the lead to 13-5, and after the SaberCats’ Sam Windsor was given a yellow card and sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes, James Bay scored another try, and the score was 13-10.
The SaberCats ended the first half on a high note as Josua Vici scored a try and Pangelinan kicked the conversion as the half ended with the SaberCats leading 20-10.
James Bay scored a penalty goal in the 52nd minute, but the SaberCats responded with their penalty kick to make the score 23-13 after 54 minutes. From then on it was all SaberCats as Vici, Kenneth Hepburn and Osea Kolinisau scored trys, and Windsor made two conversion kicks. The final score was 42-13.
“We played much better in the second half,” Jeremy Turner, Director of Team and League Affairs, said. “James Bay is the best club team in Canada and we were able to beat them. We were really strong though out the second half. We played like we should.”
The SaberCats are 2-2 in pre-season play. They host the Capital Selects on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Constellation Field.