SaberCats: Important things to know as season has been put on hold

Houston SaberCats flyhalf Sam Windsor | Houston Sports (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Houston SaberCats flyhalf Sam Windsor | Houston Sports (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

With so many leagues pausing action, what is the latest regarding Major League Rugby and the Houston SaberCats? Feel free to read on.

Houston SaberCats fans, amid multiple professional sports leagues postponing their plans to resume action, Major League Rugby recently announced its intention to suspend the regular season in the midst of the current situation regarding COVID-19. MLR features 11 teams located in the United States, as well as one in Canada.

MLR Commissioner George Killebrew recently commented, “After discussions with all clubs, we have determined that the decision to suspend our season is in the best interest of our community, fans, players, officials, and staff.” The suspension, as it stands, is set to last for 30 days.

The Houston SaberCats have completed roughly one-third of their 16-game regular-season schedule. After five games, Houston holds a 1-4 record.

Entering the hiatus, Houston ranks 11th out of 12th in the league in scored points, as well as last place in scored tries. In their four losses, Houston fell by five-, nine-, eight-, and four-point margins. Such close deficits suggest that the Houston SaberCats might be a key contributor or two away from reversing their fortunes.

Houston ranks a respectable sixth in the league in time of possession within an opponent’s territory, as well as sixth in percentage of scrums won. Winning a scrum requires a group of forwards from each team binding together with their bodies and pushing opponents backward, all while attempting to work as a team to move a ball with their feet behind them to a player eligible to pick it up and play it.

Perhaps the best showing for any team statistic regarding the SaberCats is that Houston is tied for third place in lineouts won. Securing a lineout means gaining possession of the ball when it is thrown back in bounds to resume play after it has become a deadball by crossing a touchline.

In regard to breaking tackles, the Houston SaberCats currently rank in a tie for seventh in the league. Similar to American football, breaking tackles allows for additional ground to be gained by an offensive player and increases the likelihood for a team to score.

From an individual player perspective, Houston SaberCats fly-half/outside half, Sam Windsor,

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ranks in third place in the league for points scored on penalty kicks, as well as third place for total points scored—regardless of scoring method—at 57. The 32-year-old Australian has scored three tries over five games for Houston, ranking him in the Top 10 for most tries scored in the league through this point of the season.

While action at AVEVA Stadium is stalled for now, the city of Houston will receive quite a treat this summer. USA Rugby recently announced that the United States Men’s National Rugby Team will return to Houston to face Uruguay at the SaberCats’ home, AVEVA Stadium, likely tentatively scheduled for Aug. 29. Moreover, for interested fans in the Texas area, the US Men’s National Team will face Chile (Aug. 21) in Austin, in the week preceding the match set to occur in Houston.

Next. Houston Sports: Gauging the latest effects of COVID-19. dark

What’s been your favorite SaberCats moment so far?  Feel free to comment in the section below.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s Web site or the Web site for your state’s Department of Health.