Game number six at Constellation Field for the SaberCats proved to be a fruitful one with nine tries in all for the home team against just one for the visitors. The Chicago side were flying under the Lions banner though also drawing players from other clubs such as the Griffins and the Blaze. After holding out for the opening quarter the class of their professional opposition proved too much to overcome.
Houston did not suffer from a slow start. Justin Allen piled over in the opening moments and scoring machine Josua Vici made it five tries in three games for the Fijian winger not long after. Chicago replied via flanker Jamie Bache who was driven over from close range. The extras came from former Eagles center Andrew Suniula and made is a five-point game through the opening quarter.
Just when it seemed the Lions would reach the line a second time a turnover sparked by Malacchi Esdale’s cover tackle ended with Osea Kolinisau touching down at the opposite end of the pitch. Suniula responded with a penalty goal but Lindsey Stevens and Sam Windsor found the try line in quick succession to make the halftime score 33-10 for the SaberCats.
The second half started just the same as the first, Connor Murphy scoring just moments after the restart. Windsor grabbed his second and as the replacements streamed into the match there was time for two late scores from Houston. The first was a highlight-reel effort from Esdale, showing his athleticism with some aerial acrobatics, with the final say going to flanker Cecil Garber.
Next up for the SaberCats is a date with the esteemed New York Athletic Club, the last club fixture before the big guns roll into town in the form of Major League Rugby franchise NOLA Gold and the Ontario Arrows, a high performance unit out of Canada.
Tries – J. Allen (2′), J. Vici (14′), O. Kolinisau (25′), L. Stevens (30′), S. Windsor 2 (33′, 56′), C. Murphy (41′), M. Esdale (71′), C. Garber (77′)
Cons – Z. Pangelinan 8/9 (15′, 26′, 31′, 34′, 42′, 57′, 72′, 78′)
Yellow cards – C. Jackson (59′)
Tries – J. Brache (19′)
Cons – A. Suniula 1/1 (20′)
Pens – A. Suniula 1/1 (28′)
Yellow cards – S. Adjei (32′)
1 Adam Macklin, 2 Lindsey Stevens, 3 Paul Mullen, 4 Charlie Hewitt, 5 Justin Allen, 6 Chris Parker, 7 Kyle Sumsion (capt.), 8 Matt Trouville, 9 Connor Murphy, 10 Sam Windsor, 11 Josua Vici, 12 Conor Mills, 13 Osea Kolinisau, 14 Malacchi Esdale, 15 Zach Pangelinan
Replacements: 16 Diego Maquieira, 17 Estevan Florez, 18 Chauntez Jackson, 19 Robert Meeson, 20 Cecil Garber, 21 Chris Slater, 22 Kieran Farmer, 23 Art Reyes, 24 Chris Milledge
1 John Luhrsen, 2 Chris Gehring, 3 Eli Phillips, 4 Scott Weber, 5 Erik Jacobson, 6 Sean Mahon, 7 Jamie Bache, 8 Andrew Rose (capt.), 9 Brady Gent, 10 Alex Dorrier, 11 Jake Hidalgo, 12 Andrew Suniula, 13 Josh Allan, 14 Brian Rooney, 15 Sondai Adjei
Replacements: 16 Manny Aranda, 17 Spencer Krueger, 18 Phil Sagnolo, 19 Dave Whitney, 20 Quinn Maccali, 21 Kevin Lydon, 22 Alex Binetti, 23 Dan Coci