New Orleans Gold & Glendale Raptors
The New Orleans Gold Rugby Club will face the Glendale Raptors in a rematch of one held during the pre-season. The stakes are higher for NOLA GOLD as the team is in fifth place with 12 points in the Major League Rugby standings with Austin Elite Rugby in third place with 17 points and the Utah Warriors in fourth with 15. Meanwhile, the Glendale Raptors after back-to-back bye weeks, are in second place with the Seattle Seawolves the top-ranked team. The Raptors, however, remain the only undefeated squad.
It is First Responders Night for NOLA Gold with first responders showing id admitted free at Archbishop Shaw Stadium,1000 Salesian Ln, Marrero, LA. Kickoff is at 3 pm CT (4 pm ET). Tickets for other fans are still available. Live music before and after the game brought to you by the band, Burger, and Fries.
For those who can’t attend, the match is being broadcast regionally on AT&T SportsNet and on Cox, nationally on ESPN+, and internationally on the Major League Rugby Facebook page.
New Orleans Gold
Head Coach Nate Osborne has made four changes in his starters from last week’s loss to the Seattle Seawolves. Cameron Falcon, JP Eloff, Joey Sok, and Cameron Troxler will start at hooker, flyhalf, wing, and fullback, respectively.
For both Sok and Troxler, it is their first start. Troxler and LSU teammate Brennan Falcon is part of the squad. JP Eloff also returns from an illness that caused him to miss several matches. It is good to see him healthy and a bonus is the contributions that he will be able to make to the team.
The team has also added Anthony Parry to the team at prop. He recently played for both Rugby United New York and for NYAC and will be a reserve. Alec Janotka also rejoins the 23-man squad for this match.
For the rest of the regular season, the team will be without hooker Eric Howard, who will be playing for Canada. Zach Styffeler also will miss the match after sustaining an injury.
The Major League Rugby playoff picture has become clearer with Austin Elite Rugby defeating the Utah Warriors and the Seattle Seawolves winning against the Houston SaberCats in earlier weekend matches. NOLA Gold Rugby enters the match in fifth place with 12 points and is within striking distance of the fourth place Utah Warriors (15 points) with a win. A loss will keep the team in fifth place with two games remaining in the regular season against the San Diego Legion and the Utah Warriors.
Head Coach David Williams will have his complete side available for the first week. That will change after this weekend with six of the Raptors (Dylan Fawsitt, Ben Landry, John Quill, Shaun Davies, Will Magie, and Bryce Campbell) being unavailable for the remaining three regular-season matches while playing for the Eagles against Russia, Scotland, and Canada. The Raptors will likely be either the top or second seed, so the six Eagles should return for playoffs.
Both Connor Cook and Ben Landry return from red cards sustained from the opening regular season match against Austin Elite Rugby. Maximo de Achaval gets the week off while Luke White and Zach Fenoglio, who have been playing lock and flanker instead of their normal loosehead prop and hooker positions, will be reserves.
Asked about preparation during the long break, Williams said that his side worked primarily on fundamentals: “We went back to basics in our preparation, allowing some players to get rehab on injuries so that we have a full squad available for selection against NOLA.”
New Orleans Gold & Glendale Raptors Squads
New Orleans Gold: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Cameron Falcon 3 Ben Tarr 4 Nikola Bursic (VC) 5 John Sullivan 6 Tesimoni Tongauiha 7 Matt Hughston 8 Chad Joseph 9 Holden Yungert 10 JP Eloff 11Joeli Tikoisuva 12 Taylor Howden (C) 13 Tim Maupin 14 Joey Sok 15 Cameron Troxler 16 Alec Janotka 17 Derrek Van Klein 18 Anthony Parry 19 Myles McQuone 20 Brennan Falcon 21 Tevita Makasini 22 Ratu Rinakama 23 Michael Baska + Head Coach Nate Osborne
Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 Dakota ‘Kody’ O’Neil 5 Luke White 6 Zach Fenoglio 7 Peter Dahl 8 Samuel Figg 9 Shaun Davies 10 Will Magie 11 Seth Halliman 12 Ata Malifa 13 Bryce Campbell 14 Mika Kruse 15 Maximo De Achaval 16 Devin Vaughter 17 Nick Kwasniewski 18 James DelBozque19 John Quill 20 Brain Wanless 21 Kevin Lynch 22 Chad London 23 Nic Johnson + Head Coach David Williams
New Orleans Gold Pre-Season
- Jan. 3 Open Training Camp
- Jan. 20 vs. Capital Rugby Union Selects (W 68-15) Preview
- Feb. 24 at Houston SaberCats (L 30-12) Preview
- March 10 at Glendale Raptors (L 38-14) Preview
- March 24 vs Houston SaberCats (D 32-32) Preview
- March 31 vs Austin Elite (W 48-17) Preview
- April 7 at Austin Elite (W 38-10) Preview with March 31 recap
New Orleans Gold 2018 Major League Rugby Season
- April 21 At Houston Sabercats (W 35-26) Preview
- May 3 At Austin Elite (L30-17) Preview
- May 12 Home vs. Seattle Seawolves (L 31-29) Preview
- May 19 Home vs. Houston SaberCats (W 24-20) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 27 At Seattle Seawolves (L 55-26) Preview Cox/AT&T
- June 3 Home vs. Glendale Raptors Preview 3 pm CDT Network: Cox/AT&T
- June 9 Home vs. San Diego Legion 3 pm CDT Network: COX
- June 16 At Utah Warriors 3 pm CDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
Glendale Raptors Exhibition Season
- March 10 vs. New Orleans Gold (W 38-14) Preview
- March 30 at Utah Warriors (W 42-15) Preview
- April 7 at New York Athletic Club (W 35-22) Preview with March 30 recap against Utah Warriors
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 AT&T SportsNet
- May 13 vs. San Diego Legion (W 31-27) Preview Cox/AT&T SportsNet
- June 3 at New Orleans Gold Preview 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
- June 23 at San Diego Legion 8 pm MT CBSSN