By Liam Poach
For a minute there (40 of them actually), it looked as if it were possible that the Houston SaberCats could pull of the ultimate upset over the Seattle Seawolves in route to an even more improbable playoff push. Unfortunately, by the games 80th minute, it was clear that neither of those things were going to happen.
The hope for what could have been was spurred by the Houston faithful after a grueling first half ended with a score of 6-0 in favor of Seattle, but in which Coach Fitzpatrick’s squad made every one of those points hell to earn for the visiting side. The thinking was, I guess, that the humid Texas air would take its toll on the Seawolves faster than it would on the ‘Cats, giving them a shot at overcoming their season long second half woes.
Again, that didn’t happen. In fact, it was quite the reverse actually...quite…quite. That’s a funny word isn’t it? Quite. I’m sorry, Mystic River just won the D1 Championship and I’m consuming tequila as I’m writing this…quite.
Here’s what I saw:
>> Houston was at its most ‘efficient’ when they were employing a short ball passing scheme that aimed to get their runners into the first available gap at a high rate of speed. Not quite picking and driving, but it was essentially the same affect; for although it helped Houston win the overall TOP battle in the first half, the Seattle defense was able to limit their average meters gained per pass to around 2-3.
>> Speaking of Seattle’s defense, what a game from them! While the North Western visitors may have seen their most productive success come from spreading the ball out wide, they held it down by being able to quell the powerful surges from Houston players like Malachi Esdale and Josua Vici, who normally come through with at least one or two clutch tries a game. Speaking of which…
>> In another universe not far off from this one, Vici and Esdale are sharing co-Men of the Match honors for some truly spectacular runs and near tries. Vici in particular has been a not-so-unsung hero of this team, but I’m afraid he doesn’t get enough love league wide for how much this guy means to this team’s ability to move the ball far and fast. He’s still got his issues, but overall a total potential game breaker every time he steps on the field.
>>However, one of Vici’s issues in penalties. Second half infractions sank this SaberCats team’s chances of a comeback time and again, and it just seemed to go along with this image I conjure of a SaberBoat full of holes, and every time you fix one leak, another one spring right behind you.
>> This was by far Connor Murphy’s worst game of the season. His insistence on keeping the ball short even when down by two converted tries late in the second had me reeling. However, the kicker was two back to back miscues that included being late to a breakdown when his squad had a numbers advantage, and a bad bass pass out of the scrum right after that hit the dirt at his teammate’s feet.
>>Two guys who deserve a decent night on the town following this victory are Man of the Match Phil Mack and back liner Peter Tiberio. Mack was everywhere on the field tonight, creating turnovers as well as point and opportunities for his team. Tiberio, meanwhile, continues his streak of pulling off at least one or two game breaking runs a match.
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Penguin Tundra Sports Blog was created in 2016 by a very bored college student who was obsessed with Rugby and Football. That same college student knew how to write pseudo-intelligently, so what better way to show off than to create a blog. Along your journey though the Tundra's domain, you may come across outlandish opinions, horrible spelling errors, and some shit that is just outright wrong. Well then, you should comment, give my blog more attention, and we will have our day in internet court. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy talking about sports as much as I do.
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