NOLA Gold closes home regular-season slate Saturday vs. Houston

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NEW ORLEANS – With an opportunity still fully in its grasp to finish atop the Major League Rugby standings table, NOLA Gold Rugby plays its final regular-season home match at 4 p.m. Saturday against the Houston Sabercats at Gold Stadium.

Despite dropping to second place in the league following last week’s 26-19 loss to San Diego, the Gold still controls its destiny for the top seed in next month’s MLR Championship Series.

NOLA (9-4-0) enters the week with 51 points, one point behind San Diego (10-3-1). Both teams are in action Saturday, with San Diego traveling to Utah. The league leaders meet again in two weeks in San Diego.

San Diego and third-place Toronto have just two matches remaining, giving NOLA the opportunity to earn five more points than the Legion and Arrows.

NOLA and Houston will meet for the second time this year. In the first matchup March 11 in Texas, the Gold posted a season-high point total in a 49-11 victory over the Sabercats.

Tristan Blewett, who leads the Gold and is second in MLR with 11 tries on the season, had a hat trick in the first meeting with Houston. Blewett, who had two of NOLA’s three tries last week against San Diego, trails only John Ryberg of Glendale, who has 12 tries.

JP Eloff remains fourth in the league in scoring with 119 points, including 45 conversions.

NOLA continues to lead the lead in scoring (31.6 points per game) and tries (60). Only twice in 13 matches this season has the Gold failed to secure the bonus point for scoring four or more tries.

Houston had an unexpected week off when its match last weekend against Glendale was postponed because of weather. The Sabercats have not played since a 21-0 loss at Rugby United New York on May 5.

Saturday’s match will be broadcast on Cox Sports Television and ESPN+.

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