The Glendale Raptors will host the Toronto Arrows in their 2019 Major League Rugby home opener on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 7 pm MST (9 pm EST) at Infinity Park. Tickets are still available and the match will be broadcast locally on our new local broadcast partner KTVD Channel 20 or Comcast Channel 657 HD. To view outside of the local Colorado market, the match will be streamed on 9News.com.
The Glendale Raptors have a 1-2-1 record, while the Toronto Arrows record is 2-2. The Raptors came back to draw with the Utah Warriors last week, while the Arrows beat the Houston SaberCats two weeks ago.
The Glendale Raptors have their home opener against the Toronto Arrows and hope that last week’s second half momentum will carry into this match. The Raptors are missing three Eagles in Shaun Davies, Will Magie, and Hanco Germishuys.
Raptors Head Coach David Williams has made three changes to his starters from the draw against the Utah Warriors. Chad Gough, who set a MLR record for a front row player with a 100 meter try, and Marco Fepulea’i return to the front row at hooker and tighthead prop and are joined by Blake Rogers at loosehead. Brendan Daly shifts from flanker to lock and pairs with captain Luke White. Connor Cook re-joins the starters at flanker with Peter Dahl and William Munro rounding out the back row. There are no changes in the backs.
Three changes were made in the reserves with Casey Rock, Malon Al-Jiboori, and Nick Johnson availalbe at lock, back row, and the back three, respectively. Rock could be an important addition in the second half with the Raptors seeking to add try from controlling lineouts.
The match show be a physical one, that utilizes tactical kicking and with the teams expecting to exploit linebreaks. The Raptors will need to minimize penalties as the Arrows have an outstanding kicker in Sam Malcolm. Both Carlo de Nysschen and Robbie Petzer are also quite capable of slotting the ball from touch.
The Raptors have the MLR leading try scorer in John Ryberg with four tries and the leading assist leader in Dylan Taikato-Simpson.
Toronto Arrows Director of Rugby has made three changes in his starters with Morgan Mitchell, Mike Sheppard, and Shawn Windsor returning to start after being unavailable against the SaberCats. The Arrows field a squad with seven Canadian internationals, despite missing five Canadian and two Uruguay internationals.
Try scorers to watch for the Arrows include Kolby Francis, Dan Moor, and Avery Oitomen, who are tied for second in the MLR in tries scored with three. Sam Malcolm is second in the League in points scored with 46. The Arrows are also second in the MLR in total tries scored with 16.
Squads with Player Article Links
Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 Chad Gough 3 Marco Fepulea’i 4 Brendan Daly 5 Luke White (C) 6 Connor Cook 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 Zach Fenoglio 17 Max Lum 18 Kelepi Fifita 19 Casey Rock 20 Malon Al-Jiboori 21 Mickey Bateman 22 Chad London 23 Nick Johnson
Toronto Arrows: 1 Rob Brouwer 2 AJ Quattrin 3 Morgan Mitchell 4 Mike Sheppard 5 Paul Ciulini 6 Peter Milazzo 7 Marcello Wainwright 8 Kolby Francis 9 Andrew Ferguson 10 Sam Malcolm 11 Johnny Sheridan 12 Spencer Jones 13 Dan Moor (C) 14 Avery Oitomen 15 Shawn Windsor16 Steven Ng 17 Pat Lynott 18 Tom Dolezel 19 Josh Van Horne 20 Andrew Wilson 21 Riley DiNardo 22Jamie Leveridge 23 Jack Evans+ Director of Rugby, Chris Silverthorn