Utah Warriors open their home 2019 Major league Rugby season with a 26 all draw against the Glendale Raptors at Zion Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. The Utah Warriors now have a 1-1-1 record, while the Glendale Raptors are 1-2-1.
The Utah Warriors dominated the first half against the Glendale Raptors with a 16-0 lead at the break.
Tim O’Malley slotted two penalty kicks for a 6-0 lead. Ara Elkington scored the first try of the night with O’Malley slotting the conversion for a 13-0 lead. He then added another penalty kick for a 16-0 lead at the break.
Fets Vainikolo had a break out performance and his slicing through the Raptors’ defenders led to a Gannon Moore try to push the lead to 21-0.
Harley Davidson scored a try for the Raptors to cut the lead to 21-5 after Robbie Petzer’s conversion was wide. Glendale then attacked again from a 5-meter lineout and Utah’s Josh Whippy was sent to the bin. Kody O’Neil was then held up in-goal. After three scrums, Gannon Moore then forced a turnover.
The Warriors then attacked with a Tonata Lauti offload to Gannon Moore for his second try and a 26-5 lead. The Raptors answered back with a John Ryberg try under the posts and after Petzer’s conversion, the score was 26-12.
The Warriors then camped within a meter from in-goal before a lost ball resulted in Chad Gough racing 100 meters for a try and a Petzer conversion to cut the lead to 26-17. Gough’s run established a new Major League Record for the longest try by a front row player.
Ryberg struck again slicing inside for a try and after the conversion by Maximo de Achaval, the score was 26 all. Neither team added points and the match ended in the first draw in MLR history.
Glendale moved into 5th place with 9 points, while the Warriors are in 7th with 6 points. Both teams will be in action again on March 2 with Utah hosting NOLA Gold and Glendale hosting the Toronto Arrows.
Man of the Match honors went to Gannon Moore for the Utah Warriors and to Chad Gough for the Glendale Raptors. A case could be made that Fets Vainikolo deserved honors for the Warriors.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
Utah Warriors: 1 Franco Van den Berg 2 Logan Daniels 3 Angus Maclellan 4 Matt Jensen 5 Saia Uhila 6 Lance Williams 7 Ara Elkington 8 John Cullen (VC) 9 Johnny Ika 10 Tim O’Malley (C) 11 Gannon Moore 12 Jeremy Misailegalu 13 Fetu’u Vanikolo 14 Tonata Lauti 15 Josh Whippy 16 Blake Burdette 17 Huluhola Moungaloa 18 Jackson Kaka19 Maikeli Mudu Naromaitoga 20 Alex Tucci 21 Nolan Tuamoheloa 22 Josh Anderson 23 Ian Luciano + Head Coach Alf Daniels
Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 Zach Fenoglio 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 Kody O’Neil 5 Luke White (C) 6 Brendan Daly 7 Peter Dahl 8 William Munro 9 Carlo De Nysschen 10 Ata Malifa 11 Harley Davidson 12 Robbie Petzer 13 Mika Kruse 14 John Ryberg 15 Dylan Taikato-Simpson 16 Chad Gough 17 Max Lum 18 Marco Fepulea’i 19 Connor Cook 20 Jason Damm 21 Mickey Bateman 22 Chad London 23 Maximo de Achaval