Glendale Raptors Defeat NYAC Rugby 35-22

New York Athletic Club (NYAC) vs. Glendale Raptors

NYAC Rugby hosted the Glendale Raptors on Saturday, April 7 at Travers Island. The Glendale Raptors entered the match with a 2-0 Major League Rugby pre-season record and with the 35-22 win, moved to 3-0. They will begin their MLR regular season on April 21 against Austin Elite Rugby in a nationally televised match on CBSSN.

Prior to playing the Glendale Raptors, NYAC played one MLR team, the Houston SaberCats, losing 39-38 in a hotly contested match. NYAC Rugby Club is one of the finest USA Rugby Division 1 clubs in the country, making it to the 2017 Club 15s National Final.

Preceding the match, the NYAC Rugby B side lost 62-17 to the Fairfield Yankees.

NYAC Rugby has 16 players that have professional contracts with Rugby United New York and were released by the team to play against the Glendale Raptors. There has been a great deal of cooperation between RUNY and the Empire GU clubs. This cooperation provides additional high-performance matches for players from both teams.

Update: April 16 by American Rugby News -“Loosehead prop Luke White appears to have been cleared of a potential suspension after getting sent off at the end of the first half against NYAC last weekend. The red card was brandished based on the advice of the assistant referee for what he thought was a punch. As it turns out it was actually a push in a maul that slid up and made contact with the NYAC player’s face.”

NYAC Rugby vs. Glendale Raptors Recap

The match between NYAC and the Glendale Raptors was closer than the final score of 35-22 indicates. With five minutes remaining in the match, NYAC was within a converted try of taking the lead, prior to Max Statler’s try sealed the win for the Raptors.

The Glendale Raptors took a quick lead on NYAC Scoring tries by John Ryberg and Nick Johnson in the 2nd and 4th minutes. Will Magie slotted both conversions to take a 14-0 lead.

In the 20th minute, NYAC Rugby’s Alex Hodkinson, who played professionally for the Sacramento Express, slotted the posts narrowing the lead to 14-3.

In the closing minute of the half, two events occurred that would impact the match. Luke White was cited with a red card for a punch in a maul following a lineout 10-meters from the line. Glendale would need to play a man down for the rest of the match. More importantly for the Raptors, is the potential loss of his services to begin the opening MLR regular season match in two weeks.

Also in the closing minute before the break, the Raptors counter-attacked with Mika Kruse grounding the ball and Magie adding the conversion for a 21-3 lead at the break.

In the second half, head coach Chris Edwards made team adjustments, which encouraged them to keep possession of the ball and rely on the forwards more in their attack.

This helped the team, with reserve scrumhalf David Snead getting NYAC’s first try, which was converted by Hodgkinson. James Denise then added a try and the lead was narrowed to 21-15.

Glendale and NYAC then traded tries with Will Magie adding a try and a conversion. Chuck Guiraud did the same for NYAC and Hodginson again converted and the Raptors had a 28-22 lead.

Five minutes remained in the match and the next try would likely determine the winner. The Raptors Max Statler, playing in his first match of the season touched down and Magie converted to carry the momentum of an undefeated pre-season into the Major League Rugby regular season in two weeks.

Paraphrasing Chris Edwards post-match comments, he indicated that it is great to go up against a team like Glendale, an MLR team. The NYAC boys turned up for this high caliber match. It will be exciting to see a super strong team like Glendale perform during the Major League Rugby season. We wish them well.

NYAC Rugby: 1 Kirkland Hamilton 2 Anthony Parry 3 Brian McKellar 4 Gethin Davies 5 Nate Brakeley (C) 6 Nick Wooley 7 James Denise 8 Ross Deacon 9 Marcus Walsh 10 Alex Hodgkinson 11 Greg Voigt 12 Quentin Pradere 13 Seamus Kelly 14 Joe Kelly  15 David Haugh 16 John Santiago 17 Adam Zeich 18 Jack Smith 19 Pat Coleman 20 Ryan McTiernan 21 Stu Williamson 22 David Snead 23 Charles Guiraud (Reserves 16-23 are subject to change following the B side match)

Glendale Raptors: 1 Luke White 2 Zach Fenoglio 3 Nick Kwasniewski 4 Grigor Kerdikoshvili  5 Ben Landry 6  Devin Vaughter 7 Brain Wanless 8 John Quill 9 Shaun Davies 10 Will Magie 11 John Ryberg 12 Bryce Campbell 13 Mika Kruse 14 Harley Davidson 15 Nick Johnson 16 James DelBozque 17 Blake Rogers 18 Kelepi Fifita 19 Connor Cook 20 Casey Rock 21 Jake Christmann 22 Ata Malifa 23 Max Statler + Head Coach David Williams

New York Athletic Club (NYAC)

Glendale Raptors Exhibition Season

Glendale Raptors 2018 Major League Rugby Season

  • April 21 vs. Austin Elite 3 pm MST
  • April 28 at Seattle Seawolves 8:30 pm MST, 7:30 pm PST
  • May 5/6 at Utah Warriors
  • May 13 vs. San Diego Legion 6 pm MST
  • May 26 at San Diego Legion 7 pm MST, 6 pm PST
  • June 2/3 at New Orleans Gold
  • June 8 vs. Houston SaberCats 7 pm MST
  • June 16 vs. Seattle Seawolves 7 pm MST

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant