NOLA Gold Rugby defeated the Dallas Reds 72-0 on Saturday, January 12 at Gold Stadium, Marrero, Louisiana. Gift-time Rugby Network streamed the match on their Facebook Page. Ahead of that match, NOLA Gold Academy lost 12-10 to the Memphis inner City All-Stars.
NOLA Gold entered the match against the Dallas Reds with a 3-0 record in the preseason, with wins over USA Rugby South, Stars Rugby, and the Midwest Selects. With the win against Dallas, the team ends the preseason 4-0. The team opens their Major League Rugby season on January 26 at home against the Toronto Arrows.
Dallas RFC played the Houston SaberCats on December 8 and competed well in the match. The Reds will host Austin Elite Rugby at 3:30 pm on January 19. The fixtures against MLR clubs will help the club prepare for their club season and at a run for the USA Rugby Club Nationals later in the year.
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It took less than a minute for Cam Dolan to score after consecutive Dallas Reds kicks were blocked. JP Eloff then slotted the conversation for a 7-0 lead. Gold pushed the lead to 14-0 as Tristan Blewett evaded defenders for a try and a Scott Gale conversion. Gold added a third try with a forward grounding the ball from a maul. The conversion by Eloff was wide right (19-0).
Dallas then advanced the ball within a meter of the line, but a not release call from the breakdown allowed Gold to clear. Then it was Gold’s turn to lose a scoring opportunity after a 5-meter scrum penalty.
Gold would get one more try in the half as the forwards executive several picks-n-goes and swung the ball right for a Cam Dolan try under the posts. Eloff slotted the kick for a 26-0 lead at the break.
NOLA Gold began the second half like the first with Tristan Blewett intercepting a pass and Kane Thompson scoring his first try with the team. Scott Gale slotted the kick, 33-0.
Dallas Alex Alali weaved his way through defenders and after a penalty advantage, Kevin Heron advanced the ball to within 15-meters. Dallas then mishandled the ball allowing Gold to kick ahead, thwarting a potential score.
NOLA Gold then added a try from a 6-meter lineout, with Ignacio Dotti diving in from a maul. After Eloff’s conversion, the lead was 40-0. Gold increased their lead after swinging the ball wide left with JP Eloff entering the wide channel for a try in the left corner.
NOLA Gold struck again from a penalty advantage with Cam Dolan getting a hat trick, pushing the lead to 50-0 as Eloff’s kick was wide. Taylor Howden then got in the scoring column as he broke tackles in adding a try. Scott Gale then converted for a 57-0 lead.
NOLA Gold added three more tries with John Sullivan picking up a loose ball to score. Zack Stryffeler then set up a try with a strong run near the line. Blewett handled the offload and Matt Harmon scored from close range. Blewett added another try in the left corner with the conversions missed by Gale.
NOLA Gold ended their preseason with a 72-0 victory over a strong Dallas Reds Club side. The team will hope that the momentum continues into the regular season.
NOLA Gold had standout performances by Cam Dolan, Tristan Blewett, and by Scott Gale with his leadership. Credit the strong forward play in the scrums and lineouts. The team has depth and has continued to play expansive rugby.
The Dallas Reds had some bright spots during the match. They easily could have had two tries. Early in the match, the team had Gold on their back foot in a couple scrums, but after that Gold put the Reds under pressure. Dale Russ, Jonny Heron, Blake Boulton, and Michael Kenealy played well.
Dallas faced a very good professional team and will dissect the match after looking at the video. The team faces their third MLR team of the season next Saturday when they host Austin Elite Rugby.
Get to know the NOLA Gold Rugby players! Links for articles are below.
NOLA Gold: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Eric Howard 3 Ben Tarr 4 Kane Thompson 55 Ignacio Dotti 6 Nikola Bursic (VC) 7 Kyle Baille 8 Cam Dolan 9 Holden Yungert 10 Scott Gale 11 JoJo Tikoisuva 12 Cam Foley 13 Tristan Blewett 14 Tim Maupin 15 JP Eloff 16 Matt Harmon 17 Cam Falcon 18 Kevin Sullivan 19 Mason Briant 20 William Waguespack 21 John Sullivan 22 Vince Jobo 23 Zack Stryffeler 24 Taylor Howden 25 Bobby Johns 26 Cam Troxler
Dallas RFC: 1 Simba Massarurwa 2 Jeff Robertson 3 Ross Davies 4 Kevin Harrell 5 Jonny Heron 6 Richard Stevens 7 Chad Joseph 8 Dale Ross (C) 9 Tyler Miller 10 Blake Boulton 11 Zack Klump 12 Jake Campey 13 Rob McDermott 14 Zee Ngwenya 15 Michael Kenealy 16 Javier Davila-Lopez 17 Chris Hopkins 18 Kuda Makuvire 19 Bentley Alsup 20 Alek Hernandez 21 Jake Bacon 22 Kelly Kolberg 23 Alex Elali