UTAH WARRIORS

Utah Warriors Drop Tight Contest At Home Against Houston

May 4, 2024, 9:05 PM

Utah Warriors Houston SaberCats Rugby...

(Photo courtesy of Utah Warriors)

(Photo courtesy of Utah Warriors)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Warriors fought hard to keep their win streak alive but fell just short and dropped to the Houston SaberCats, 29-24.

The Warriors will hit the road for their next match against the Miami Sharks on Saturday, May 11.

Warriors SaberCats

The Utah Warriors hosted the Houston SaberCats at Zions Bank Stadium on Saturday, May 4.

Utah fell to 4-5 on the season with the five-point loss to Houston.

First Half

Utah and Houston spent the first few minutes trading possession and looking for weaknesses in the defense.

The first scrum of the game came in the 4th minute. Another scrum followed just two minutes later as the SaberCats slowly moved toward the try-line.

Utah held strong with its back against the wall and took possession on Houston’s half following a kick.

In the 9th minute, the Warriors lost possession for a moment but they quickly got the ball back.

Utah nearly opened up scoring in the 13th minute but failed to place the ball down in the in-goal area.

The strong defense continued on both sides but specifically Houston’s goal-line defense was on point. Utah attempted to break through in multiple spots but the SaberCats wouldn’t budge.

Houston went the other way following the stop and broke the seal after making it into Utah territory. A penalty kick made it 3-0 in the 27th minute.

The SaberCats made their way back into Utah territory almost immediately. In the 32nd minute, a scrum in front of Utah’s try-line resulted in five points for Houston. The conversion kick was made, giving the road club a 10-0 lead.

Utah was able to get on the board before the half with a penalty kick in the 39th minute.

The Warriors went into the break trailing by seven, 10-3.

Second Half

The SaberCats came out of the break with their eyes on the prize.

It took less than three minutes for Houston to make its way down the field and into the in-goal area for the second try of the match.

The conversion kick was missed, leaving the score at 15-3.

But Houston wasn’t done there. They quickly got the ball back and moved into Utah territory once again.

The Cats passed the line for their third try of the game. They made the conversion to take a 22-3 lead.

With all of the momentum on the road team’s side, Utah started to put together a response.

They made their way deep into Houston’s territory until they were just feet from the try-line.

In the 51st minute, the Warriors scored their first try of the match and nailed the conversion kick to make it 22-10.

With the crowd back into it, Utah rode the newfound momentum and closed the lead once again.

In the 59th minute, the Warriors found a gap in the SaberCats defense and punched in their second try of the match. The conversion kick was made to drop the Houston lead to five, 22-17.

The SaberCats slowed the Warriors’ momentum in probably the best way possible. A breakaway intercept try down the right side gave Houston another 12-point lead just a couple of minutes after losing it.

The Warriors looked to respond as they took a methodical march down the field.

A fumbled catch in the 70th minute gave Houston possession on their half. Following the turnover, Utah found a sense of urgency.

They locked down on defense to get the ball back and picked apart the Houston defense to score their third try. Joel Hodgson made the kick from the right side to make it a five-point game, 29-24.

The Warriors got possession with just over three minutes on the clock. Their hope for a late tie or lead was short-lived as Houston forced a turnover in the 78th minute.

The Warriors weren’t left with enough time when they got the ball back in the 80th minute. Utah’s win streak came to an end at the hands of the Houston SaberCats, 29-24.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Utah Warriors Drop Tight Contest At Home Against Houston