SAN DIEGO LEGION LOSE 31-26 NAIL BITER IN HOUSTON
In a match that was competitive the entire game, the Legion fall in closing minutes.
MARCH 5 2023 | HOUSTON, TEXAS
The San Diego Legion fell to 2-1 on Sunday, losing to the Houston Sabercats in heartbreaking fashion. In a game that the Legion led most of the way, they fell 31-26 in the closing minutes. Despite losing the match, the Legion will still earn a bonus point for scoring four tries as well as an additional point for losing by less than seven.
Starting off strong, flanker Christian Poidevin scored the first of four tries for the Legion in the second minute. This score marked the Legion's 250th try, becoming the first franchise in the MLR to reach that milestone. Not long after, scrum-half Richard Judd scored a try at the 9th minute from a line break and assist by center Marcel Brache. Richard received '1st XV' All-MLR honors for Round 3.
Shortly after, Houston was able to get on the board via a Christian Dyer try out of a maul. Before halftime, Houston was awarded a penalty and chose to kick for points. That made the score 14-10 in favor of the Legion headed into halftime.
The first score of the second half was a Sabercats try, by winger Gerrie Labuschagne, who intercepted an errand Legion pass and ran it back 80 meters for a try. This brought the score to 17-14 and marked the first time the Legion have trailed in 2023.
Then, at the 56th minute, in a beautiful phase of rugby, an Isaac Ross line break and off-load to Dan Pryor led to a Nate Augspurger try to put the Legion back on top, 21-17. This was Augspurger's 4th try in three games, leading the league in that category. Nate was also named to the league's '1st XV' for the third consecutive week as a winger.
Less than ten minutes later, the Legion scored again from a Ben Grant try. The conversion was no good and the Legion took a 26-17 lead with fifteen minutes to play.
A pair of yellow cards for the Legion saw them have to play the opposition down two players. At the 71st minute, the Sabercats scored a try and conversion to cut the lead to 26-24.
The disadvantage in players really showed in the closing minutes of the game as the Sabercats were able to score again, and take the lead for good at the 78th minute.
Down 31-26 with under two minutes to go, the Legion did not give up. They were able to move the ball down the field and nearly scored a miracle try at the 82-minute mark, but a Shilo Klein pass was just inches out of reach of Dan Pryor who would've been in scoring position.
San Diego will play Houston again, on April 30th at Snapdragon Stadium, seeking revenge. The Legion sit at 3rd in the Western Conference behind Houston and Seattle.
Round 4 will be at home, on March 11, 2023 vs the Dallas Jackals as the Legion hope to have a bounce-back game and get back in the winning column.
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