5-0 SaberCats triumph in ‘good Texas battle’ over Jackals

Mar 30, 2024 | Uncategorized

By Aaron Wilson

Another narrow victory. Another rivalry triumph. Another week for the SaberCats maintaining their status as the lone undefeated team in Major League Rugby.
By virtue of a tense 30-27 win over the Dallas Jackals, their Texas rivals, the SaberCats improved to 5-0 heading into an open week.
A penalty goal from Davy Coetzer late in the match spelled the difference for the SaberCats after trailing 15-14 at halftime in Arlington.
Pita Anae-Ah Sue, the hooker, was named Man of the Match for the surging SaberCats.
“It was a hard-fought battle up in Dallas,” Anae-Ah Sue said. “It was very close. It could have gone another way. We expected a good Texas battle, and that’s exactly what we got. It was physical up front. We knew they would attack us. We managed it well. At times, they capitalized on our mistakes. The Jackals have beaten some good teams. It was not an easy side, and we knew it would be a tough battle.”
A pair of tries from Emmanuel Albert and key contributions from Christian Dyer boosted the SaberCats in this back-and-forth match.
It all goes back to the SaberCats’ superior chemistry, culture and conditioning.
“Something that’s been brewing on our team is a will to fight to the end, and we fought to the last minute, the last second of the game,” Anae-Ah Sue said. “That’s making the difference in our games. We get ourselves into a wee pickle and we get ourselves out of it. We’re learning to grind to the end.”
The close match was something that the fans enjoyed in a match broadcast on The Rugby Network and observed by SaberCats fans at a Watch Party at Platypus Brewery, the official partner of the Western Conference division franchise.
“100 percent, it was definitely a spectacle,” Anae Ah-Sue said. “We’ve definitely built something from the get-go: our culture. We have a great group of guys, including ones who haven’t played much. We have showcased our depth and everyone is supporting each other.”
Tomiwa Agbongbon recently rejoined the SaberCats for his second season in Houston.
Agbongbon (6-foot-3, 250 pounds), a 22-year-old back rower born in New Jersey and raised in England in Essex and London, had a big role in the win.
“Going to Dallas, especially with us being undefeated, they wanted to make a mark,” Agbongbon said. “That’s that Texas rivalry. We spoke about it. It was always going to be a tough game. I think we showed a willingness to fight for each other. We understood the first half wasn’t good enough.
“We knew the second half needed to be better. We needed to hunt. as SaberCats do. That’s in our DNA. Much credit to the boys. We spoke about how much a difference it makes in lifting the team and bringing energy. It’s a privilege to boost the boys.”
The SaberCats have an open week before returning home for an April 13 match against the New England Free Jacks as they look to improve to 6-0.
“As the season goes on, especially if we stay undefeated, it will be harder and harder to keep that streak going,” Agbongbon said. “It’s always the hardest at the top. We’ve always got a target on our back. It’s a great thing about that group. We embrace that challenge. We embrace going out and fighting for each other and express ourselves and play for our families and loved ones. I look forward to what the season has to bring.”