The SaberCats, 1-1 in preseason play, dominated play in the first half and for most of the second half, but they could not put the Ravens away. Vancouver kept chipping away at the lead and eventually earned the win.
The SaberCats scored twice in the first 11 minutes as Zach Pangelinan and Josua Vici both scored trys. Both conversions failed and the SaberCats led 10-0.
The SaberCats increased their lead to 17-0 when Justin Allen scored a try and Pangelinan successfully kicked the conversion, and the 2,427 fans in attendance were thinking blow-out.
In the 29th minute, however, Pago Hiani was given a yellow card and was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes, leaving the SaberCats down a man. The Ravens quickly used their advantage to score a try and a conversion, making the score 17-7 in favor of the SaberCats. Then, in the 36th minute, the SaberCats gave up a penalty and the Ravens choose to kick for goal and were successful, making the score 17-10.
In the 37th minute, Jamie Dever was given a yellow card and sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes, and for two minutes the SaberCats are down two men. Hiani returned from the sin bin just before halftime, and the SaberCats maintained their 17-10 lead at halftime.
As the second half began, the SaberCats earned a penalty kick, and Pangelinan kicked it through the uprights for a 20-10 SaberCats lead. The Ravens then used their man advantage to score a try just before Dever returned from the sin bin. The conversion was good and the SaberCats lead fell to 20-17.
In the 60th minute, the Ravens’ Adam McQueen was good with a penalty and the score tied at 20. Six minutes later, the SaberCats got a penalty kick at midfield and Pangelinan was successful getting the lead back for the SaberCats at 23-20.
Just when it looked like the SaberCats would grab the victory, the Ravens were successful with a penalty kick to tie the score at 23 in the 75th minute. Another Ravens’ penalty kick two minutes later, give the Ravens a 26-23 lead and the game. The SaberCats made a last-minute effort to score a try, but fell just short of the goal line.
“We started fast, scoring two trys in the first 11 minutes,” Diego Maquieira, a forward for the SaberCats who was inactive for the game, said. “You have to give Vancouver credit. Their attack was consistent, and their game play and kicking were better than ours. We also had two yellow cards and had to play a man short for 20 minutes.”
The SaberCats play the Uruguay national team on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Constellation Field.