Warriors On The Road For Rematch vs. Houston
Herriman, Utah — The Utah Warriors are back on the road this Saturday, June 26, to take on the Houston Sabercats at AVEVA Stadium in a Week 15 matchup.
Saturday’s match will mark the sixth time that Utah and Houston have faced off, with the Warriors holding the series lead 3-2 after a 50-43 victory in Week Six this season.
Coming off a 33-15 loss in Week 14, Houston enters the game with a record of 2-11 as the Sabercats currently sit in last-place in Major League Rugby’s Western Division with 13 table points.
“Houston is going to be a huge match for us,” said Warriors Head Coach Shawn Pittman. “They’ve been very unlucky in a few of their matches, so we can’t sleep on them this weekend. They pose some unique challenges for us when it comes to the style of rugby they like to play, as they are a set-piece and kick-heavy team that is going to try and play in the right areas around the park.”
Utah enters the match in second-place in MLR’s Western Conference with an 8-5 record and 46 table points. The Warriors hope they can see a similar offensive output as their first match against Houston earlier in the season, in which they scored a season-high 50 points.
“The last time we played Houston we were able to put 50 points on the board, but this is going to be a very different game playing in Houston with the humidity and heat,” said Assistant Coach Shaun Davies. “We are going to have to limit our turnovers while still playing our brand of fast, physical rugby in the right areas. We know if we’re able to hold onto the ball and break down the opposition, then good things will happen for us on offense.”
While Pittman was pleased with the Warriors’ performance on the offensive side of the ball in the two teams’ first meeting, he would like to see a better showing on defense after giving up 43 points to the Sabercats in Week Six.
“Defense is our biggest area that we need to work on,” said Pittman. “We’ve created structures in preparation for this match that will hopefully get us defending better on the pitch and not giving up as many points this time around.”
The game will be the final match for the six members of the Utah Warriors who have been called up to their respective national teams before they leave for Summer Tours, which will force them to miss Utah’s July 10 match against Atlanta. Davies hopes that Utah can send them off to international duties on the right foot with a victory this weekend.
“We’re looking for the boys who are leaving for the international window to really take control of this game,” said Davies. We want them to leave with as much confidence as possible and in order to do so they’re going to need to leave their mark on the game.”
UTAH WARRIORS VS. HOUSTON SABERCATS
Date: June 26, 2021
Time: 6:00 PM MT
Where: AVEVA Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Broadcast: KSL Sports & The Rugby Network
Radio: ESPN 700 and ESPN 960
UTAH WARRIORS GAME DAY ROSTER
1 Olive Kilifi
2 Ratu Vugakoto
3 Angus MacLellan
4 Aston Fortuin
5 Matt Jensen
6 Lance Williams
7 Bailey Wilson
8 Jurie Van Vuren
9 Michael Baska
10 Cliven Loubser
11 Josh Whippy
12 Calvin Whiting
13 Tyler Fisher
14 Mika Kruse
15 Mikey Te’o
16 Sama Malolo
17 Franco van den Berg
18 Paul Mullen
19 Saia ‘Uhila
20 Thomas Tu’avao
21 Danny Christenson
22 Hagen Schulte
23 James Vaifale
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