‘It’s a good thing,’ SaberCats earn seventh win in a row, beat RFC Los Angeles

Jun 9, 2024 | Uncategorized

By Aaron Wilson

Wearing their new light blue uniforms, the Houston SaberCats delivered a familiar outcome Saturday night.
Representing “H-Town,” the Western Conference division leaders boosted their league-best winning streak to seven games with a 29-12 home victory over RFC Los Angeles.
Owning the top record in Major League Rugby and having already clinched a playoff spot a week ago, the SaberCats won behind tries from Davy Coetzer and Andre Warner and scored on a pair of penalty kicks to drop RFC Los Angeles to 4-8-1.
Once the SaberCats built a lead, they maintained their advantage and earned a five-point win.


“Coming from our side, we didn’t really start out too strong,” Dominic Akina said. “We were lacking in some areas. We didn’t execute to our full potential, and it showed. It was just a sloppy game from the beginning.
“It kind of picked it up toward the end, but still a lot of  mistakes on our part. As long as we get those five points, we’ll take that.”
Capitalizing on turnovers, the SaberCats’ speed and skill were on display.
Coetzer grabbed the ball on a bounce midway through the field and accelerated away from pursuit for a first-half try that he capped with a conversion kick.
Repeating Akina’s overall sentiment, Coetzer was also not entirely satisfied with how the SaberCats played despite the result.
“Yeah, I didn’t think it was the best performance,” Coetzer said. “We’re still not taking advantage. It’s too many errors we’re making in the game, but when you’re making errors and not playing to your full potential and still winning, it’s a good thing . It’s week by week and working to still improve. That’s a big thing.
“I think I made quite a few unforced errors still. I was trying to play my game and stick to the plan of what we’re doing. At the end of the day, we’ll take the win. Those penalty tries, that was the difference, forcing them back so we can continue dominating out there. A lot of kudos to the forwards.”
Warner scored his try after pitches from Seimou Smith and Drew Wild freed him up for a score six minutes into the match. RFC Los Angeles answered with a try and a conversion for a brief 7-5 lead. It was short-lived, though.
The SaberCats led 19-12 at halftime as both teams battled through sweltering conditions with players dealing with muscle cramps.
“I cramped bad, real bad,” Ezekiel Lindenmuth said. “It’s real hot.”
Coetzer hit a penalty kick in the second half after an RFC Los Angeles red card was assessed.
The SaberCats return to action next Saturday against the Seattle Seawolves. They defeated Seattle earlier this season.
This match will have playoff seeding implications as the SaberCats pursue the top seed in Major League Rugby.
“Yeah, it’s going to be another tough matchup,” Akina said. “Especially because we’re getting to the end of the season. People are trying to really pick up those playoff spots.
“Playing the same team twice and three times, it puts a lot of pressure on us and we just got to execute. Championship games is when your best is needed and that’s when we need to perform as we go into the playoffs.”