The Houston SaberCats took on first-year team Rugby United New York Saturday night at Constellation Field only to be crushed 35-8.
RUNY (3-1), used a five-try performance against the SaberCats (1-3), led by flanker James Denise’s two tries, which led all scorers in the match.
The five tries that RUNY scored on Saturday night earned their first bonus point of the season and moved them into fifth place in the standings with 13 points on the season. Houston’s six points of the season leaves them in eighth place in the nine-team league.
The SaberCats were playing without flanker Chris Coyle, whose wife gave birth to their son just before kick-off.
“As excuses go for not being available for rugby, this one was as good as any,” said coach Justin M. Fitzpatrick. “With Chris Coyle out of the mix, I looked to Chris Parker to step up in the backrow, and boy did he! In 51 minutes of play time, he made 17 tackles, and three carries. The big fella was laying some wood out there!”
RUNY scored first at the 12:40 mark, taking a 7-0 lead. Sam Windsor got the SaberCats onto the scoreboard with a kick in the 26th minute. From there it was all RUNY until the SaberCats scored a try as time was running out.
For the first time this year, Sam Windsor, Josua Vici, and Osea Kolinisau all took the pitch at the same time. They are one of the most formidable sets of attackers to be found in MLR. Despite that, the RUNY defense held Houston outside the try line until the game was out of reach.
“I’m a great believer in processes and for the second week on the trot we had the majority of the key performance indicators go in our favor, but with no reward on the scoreboard to show for it,” Fitzpatrick said. “The mistakes we made were punished by a very good New York side. Luck is not in our hands, but what we do, and how we react to bad luck and misfortune is what counts. We know what we need to work on, and the boys are focused to attack our next opportunity, which is a road trip to Seattle.”
The SaberCats travel to Seattle to take on the reigning Major League Rugby champions, the Seattle Seawolves (3-2), on Sunday night.