Ontario Arrows – Glendale Raptors
The Ontario Arrows went into the match against the Glendale Raptors with head coach Chris Silverthorn selecting a squad that included eight Canadian internationals and four Canada Sevens internationals. For the Arrows, it was important to gain a win and to show that the team could be a contender for the 2019 Major League Rugby season.
The Glendale Raptors took a different approach to the match. The Fall exhibition season is designed to provide opportunities for many newer and Academy players to demonstrate that they should be part of the 2019 Raptors squad.
Both teams left the match with what they were looking for with the Arrows taking a 21-18 lead at the break and expanding the lead to 40-18 and gain the win. The arrows are pleased with the six-try performance over the Raptors who were the 2018 MLR regular season title winners and who finished second to the Seattle Seawolves in the Championship.
The 2018 MLR season ended the first week in July for the Raptors. The Arrows last match was against Canada Selects in May, however, most of the all Canadian team was fresh off the Canadian Rugby Championship after playing for the Ontario Blues.
Ontario Arrows vs. Glendale Raptors Match Recap
Ten minutes into the match, Arrows’ hooker Andrew Quattrin dove over the line for a try and after Andrew Ferguson’s conversion the score was 7-0.
Several minutes later, Blake Rogers found a gap in the defense and offloaded to Harley Davidson, who moved the ball to the wing, resulting in a try by Nic Johnson. The conversion by Will Magie from touch was wide, but the Raptors cut the lead to 7-5. Glendale then added another try from a 5-meter lineout with Kelepi Fifita grounding the ball from a maul. Magie then converted giving the Raptors their only lead 12-7.
The Arrows then answered back with a try from blood-sub Kolby Francis with Ferguson converting to reclaim a 14-12 lead. The team extended the lead to 21-12 after a line break by Lucas Hammond for a try with Ferguson again converting.
The Raptors would add two penalty kicks by Magie to cut the lead to 21-18 at the break.
The Arrows used three tries in the second half and some good defense when they played a man down due to a yellow card by captain Mike Sheppard, to secure a 40-18 win.
Marcello Wainwright received the ball in the wide channel in the early part of the second half for a try, which was not converted by Ferguson, giving the Arrows a 26-18 lead.
A penalty try and a try by Kainoa Lloyd in the closing minutes, with Mitch Richardson adding the conversion, broke open an otherwise close match.
Ontario Arrows Comments – Release
“Our guys put in a full effort this afternoon, and did well in the 37-degree heat,” said Arrows head coach Chris Silverthorn, following the match. “We played better as the match went on, and were rewarded with a very strong second-half performance. All 23 of our players made meaningful contributions against a strong Glendale side, and the hard work put into training ahead of this match really showed on the pitch today.”
“We’ve made great strides this year, and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to consistently give our home fans plenty to cheer about,” added Silverthorn. “The support we’ve received from our fans has been fantastic, and we want to see this great momentum continue. We’ve shown that we can hold our own, and then some, against MLR opponents, and we’re eager to continue this journey. There’s a lot of positivity around our side right now, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.”
“Seven Arrows made their club debuts in the victory: Andrew Coe, Riley Di Nardo, Hammond, Cole Keith, Matt Mullins, Steven Ng, and Djustice Sears-Duru. Silverthorn’s all-Canadian squad also featured eight full Canadian internationals, as well as four Canada Sevens internationals.”
Tries: A. Quattrin (11), K. Francis (28), L. Hammond (32), M. Wainwright (53), Penalty Try (78), K. Lloyd (80)
Conversions: A. Ferguson 3 (12, 29, 33), M. Richardson (80′)
Yellow cards – M. Sheppard (58’)
Tries: N. Johnson (18), K. Fifita (21)
Conversions: W. Magie (22)
Penalty Goals: W. Magie 2 (37, 40)
Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 James Delbozque 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 Luke White 5 Dakota O’Neil 6 Jason Damm 7 Matt (Sione) Masoe 8 Connor Cook 9 Shaun Davies 10 Will Magie 11 Harley Davidson 12 Ata Malifa 13 Mika Kruse 14 John Ryberg 15 Colin Gregory 16 Max Lum 17 Monte Gaddis 18 Ray Henley 19 Thomas Kacor 20 Johnny Layne 21 Carlo DeNysschen 22 Campbell Johnstone 23 Siale Maka