Compiled By Joe Southern
Tristan Blewett earned Man of the Match honors for the NOLA (New Orleans) Gold Saturday night, scoring three tries as the visiting team crushed the Houston SaberCats 49-11 in Major League Rugby action at Constellation Field.
The SaberCats (1-5) took an early 6-0 lead off the foot of Sam Windsor with penalty conversions, but it was all NOLA (5-1) after that. Blewett scored his first try in the 19th minute of the match to get the first 5 of 42 unanswered points for NOLA. Blewett now leads the MLR with six tries this season.
“It was an awesome game. Obviously, we came out here – it was a long drive yesterday. We had to hold it together. We had all our international players back, so it’s a new team again, but it was a lot of fun out there and a good evening of rugby,” Blewett said.
Despite the lopsided score, the SaberCats controlled roughly 60 percent of total possession to go along with a 57 percent mark in territory. Josua Vici scored the team’s only try of the night at the 65th minute, but later left the game on a red card.
NOLA’s win propelled them into first place in the league table with 26 points on the season. Houston remains in eighth place with six points, just ahead of the winless Austin Elite in the nine-team league. The Gold (26 match points) are just ahead of the defending champion Seattle Seawolves (5-2, 25 points) and Rugby United New York (23 points) in the standings.
Houston will host the Utah Warriors (1-3-1) on Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. at Constellation Field. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday at the SaberCats’ new home at AVEVA Stadium, but weather has delayed construction. The first match in the new pitch will be Saturday, April 13, against Seattle. The official grand opening of the stadium is set for May 11 against the Glendale Raptors. For more information, visit www.houstonsabercats.com.