Utah Warriors Inches Short of Tying Glendale Raptors

Utah Warriors & Glendale Raptors

In the 80th minute, the Utah Warriors were inches from the try line, but the Glendale Raptors defended the attack to claim a 36-29 win on May 5 at Zion Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.

The match was broadcast locally on AT&T Sports Net, streamed nationally on ESPN+, and streamed internationally on the Major League Rugby Facebook page.

Match Recap

The Utah Warriors had the first scoring opportunity in the 8th minute, however, Kurt Morath’s kick sailed wide. The Glendale Raptors would get on the board first with a penalty kick by Will Magie in the 13th minute to take a 3-0 lead.

The Raptors extended the lead to 10-0 after Luke White went into contact and then Will Magie executed a cross kick to Sam Figg for a try and Magie converted.

Injuries would plaque the Raptors on the day with Casey Rock going down early and being replaced by Kody O’Neil.

The Utah Warriors answered back with a Kurt Morath penalty kick and the by an Angus Maclellan try and a Morath conversion to tie the match at 10 all.

The Raptors appeared to be on the verge of retaking the lead, but Kelepi Fifita knocked on as he went in-goal. The Warriors breathed a sigh of relief as the half ended 10 all.

Second Half

The Raptors struck first in the half after a free kick and a Magie chip was gathered by Bryce Campbell. Peter Dahl finished and Magie converted and it was 24-17.

The Warriors answered back with a break by Fets Vaninikolo and with Tonata Lauti adding a try in the corner to cut the lead to 24-22 after Morath’s kick sailed wide from touch.

Lauti struck again after Joseph Nicholls took a high ball from Maximo De Achaval and scampered for a 65 meter try under the posts. This made for an easy conversion by Morath to reclaim the lead 29-24.

The Glendale Raptors struck back with Bruce Campbell finding a gap for a try and a conversion by Magie as the lead switched to 31-29. Soon after Harley Davidson broke several tackles and then offloaded to Mika Kruse for a try in the right corner extending the lead to 36-29. Magie’s kick went wide, so with 4 minutes remaining the Warriors were within a converted try.

Glendale claimed the restart with Dahl being hit while contesting for the ball. Magie kicked for territory and Dylan Fawsitt went blind near the Utah 22-meters before losing the ball forward. Utah took advantage of the scrum and Paki Auf moved the ball into Fets Vainikolo’s hands picking up significant territory. The Raptors were penalized and the Warriors attacked to within inches of the line with multiple picks before they were penalized, stopping their opportunity to tie the match in the 80th minute.

With the 36-29 win, the Glendale Raptors are 3-0 and top the Major League Rugby standings. The Utah Warriors are 0-2, yet picked up another bonus point for losing by 7 or fewer points.

The Utah Warriors will host Austin Elite Rugby on May 11, while the Glendale Raptors will face the San Diego Legion on May 13.


The match was a costly one for the Raptors, as they lost Casey Rock early, Sam Figg just prior to the break and later Kelefi Fifita. Couple that with an injury to Shaun Davies during the week and the red cards to BEn Landry and to Connor Cook that will make them unavailable to the next match.

The Raptors maintained a will to win and left with the win. The Utah Warriors had their most consistent match of the season and were held off in the end by the Raptors defense.

Paul Lasike proved early to be a dominant player and both Fets Vainikolo and Tonata Lauti thrilled the crowd with long runs for tries. Add the leadership of Kurt Morath and the team is headed in the right direction.

The Man of the Match was Harley Davidson for the Raptors.

Utah Warriors & Glendale Raptors Squads

Utah Warriors: 1 Alex Tucci, 2 Lote Tu’ipulotu, 3 Angus MacLellan, 4 Matt Jensen, 5 Saia Uhila, (VC) 6 Lance Williams, 7 Ara Elkington, 8 Tevita ‘David’ Tameilau, 9 Joseph Nicholls, 10 Kurt Morath, 11 AJ Tu’ineau, 12 Paul Lasike (capt.), 13 Fetu’u Vainikolo, 14 Tonata Lauti 15 Don Pati  16 Ray Forresterr, 17 Maika Hafoka, 18 Peni Pahulu, 19 Kory Olsen, 20 Win Elkington 21 Ben Nicholls, 22 Paki Afu, 23 Josh Anderson, + Head Coach Alf Daniels

Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 Casey Rock 5 Luke White 6 Zach Fenoglio 7 Peter Dahl 8 Samuel Figg 9 Jake Christmann 10 Will Magie 11 Seth Halliman 12 Bryce Campbell 13 Chad London 14 Harley Davidson 15 Maximo De Achaval 16 Devin Vaughter 17 Nick Kwasniewski 18 James DelBozque19 Dakota ‘Kody’ O’Neil 20 Brain Wanless 21 Kevin Lynch 22 Mika Kruse 23 Ata Malifa  + Head Coach David Williams

Utah Warriors Pre-season

Utah Warriors 2018 Major League Rugby Season

  • April 29 at San Diego Legion (L 31-24) Preview Cox/AT&T SportsNet, ESPN+
  • May 5 vs Glendale Raptors (L 36-29) Preview AT&T SportsNet, ESPN+
  • May 11 vs Austin Elite Rugby 7 pm MDT Network: CBSSN, ESPN+
  • May 20 at Seattle Seawolves 6:30 pm MDT Network: ROOT SPORTS, ESPN+
  • May 26 at Houston SaberCats 4 pm MDT Network: AT&T SportsNet, ESPN+
  • June 1 at Austin Elite Rugby 7 pm MDT Network: AT&T SportsNet, ESPN+
  • June 16 vs New Orleans Gold 2 pm MDT Network: CBSSN, ESPN+
  • June 23 vs Houston SaberCats 1 pm Network: AT&T SportsNet, ESPN+

Glendale Raptors Exhibition Season

Glendale Raptors 2018 Major League Rugby Season

  • April 21 vs. Austin Elite (W 41-26) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
  • April 28 at Seattle Seawolves (W 19-15) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
  • May 5 at Utah Warriors (W 36-29) Preview 1:30 MT Network: AT&T SportsNet
  • May 13 vs. San Diego Legion 7 pm MST Network: Cox/AT&T SportsNet
  • May 26 at San Diego Legion 6 pm MST Broadcast: AT&T Sports Net
  • June 3 at New Orleans Gold 2 pm MDT Network: Cox/AT&T SportsNet
  • June 8 vs. Houston SaberCats 7 pm MST Network: AT&T SportsNet
  • June 16 vs. Seattle Seawolves 7 pm MST Network: AT&T SportsNet

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant