Toronto played host to Houston SaberCats this week having had their game against AER postponed last week due to weather conditions in Texas.
Toronto dominated the opening 20 minutes prior to the hydration break. Toronto scored on the 4th minute, gathering the lineout and mauling over the line for Kolby Francis to touch down in the corner. Sam Malcolm who has been so impressive from the boot all season, nailed the conversion from close to the touch line.
Toronto kept the pressure on and dominated the possession and territory, pinning the SaberCats in their own half for much of the opening 20 minutes. Right before the hydration break, on the 19th minute the Arrows crossed the line again to make the score14-0. From the attacking scrum, full back Theo Sauder stood up the Houston defence with a stuttering shimmy and glided in for an easy conversion right before the hydration break.
The Toronto Arrows score again on the 30 minute mark through an excellently structured maul. A.J. Quattrin was the man to touch the ball down, however it was truly a forwards try with every forward involved in the maul. Malcolm nailed the conversion which was not a gimme to maintain his 100% record for the game and leave the score at 21-0 to Toronto.
The SaberCats finally got on the scoreboard as they ran the ball through the hands from a scrum. Zach Pangelinan was the man to touch down as the SaberCats as he wrestled his way over to touch down. Sam Windsor split the posts to make the score 21-7 with 6 minutes until half time.
Houston Center Osea Kolinisau looked to be going nowhere as he was running laterally across the field until he popped a pass to hooker Pat O’Toole who straightened the line and showed great pace to finish off a try which Sam Windsor nailed to bring the deficit back a single converted try. The score going in at half time was 21-14 which put a different reflection on the game going into the dressing room with Houston having trailed by 21-0 just 10 minutes earlier.
Four minutes, right before half time the influential Sam Malcolm went off injured for the Toronto Arrows.
Houston emerged from the dressing room with an increased intensity. Houston found themselves camped down in the Toronto danger area and when they managed to wheel the scrum, the referee was not giving Toronto the benefit of the doubt and awarded quite a soft penalty try to make the score all level at 21-21.
Toronto bounced back and scored their first try of the second half. A loose SaberCats pass was pounced upon which led to the Arrows being able to navigate to a striking position. After a couple of pick and drives, Second row Mike Sheppard picked up from the base of the ruck and touched down to make the score 28-21 to the Arrows.
Canadian international Kainoa Lloyd who was brought on off the bench pounced onto a stray SaberCats pass and ran the length of the half to run in unopposed for a seven pointer, leaving the score at 35-21 to Toronto with just over ten minutes to play.
The SabcerCats knocked at the Arrows door particularly through the pacy and impressive Pat O’Toole but were unable to close the two score deficit.
The game ended 35-21 to Toronto Arrows for their first ever home victory. The Arrows picked up the winning bonus point however they remain in sixth position in the standings, whilst the SaberCats also do not move from seventh.