The Glendale Raptors defeated the Toronto Arrows 22-0 in their 2019 Major League Rugby home opener on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Infinity Park. The match was played in a snowstorm and in frigid conditions.
With the win, the Glendale Raptors record improved to 2-2-1 record, while the Toronto Arrows record fell to 2-3. The Raptors are in 4th place with 15 points, while the Arrows are in 6th with 12. The Raptors will host Austin Elite Rugby on March 9, while the Arrows will travel to San Diego to face the Legion on March 10.
Infinity Park has an outstanding grounds crew and did the best they could with the match being played in a snowstorm. Both teams surprisingly had very few handling errors.
The Toronto Arrows had the first chance for points, but the usually accurate Sam Malcolm penalty kick was wide under the adverse conditions. The Arrows were also not able to take advantage of the Raptors playing down a man due to a Connor Cook tip tackle.
Chad Gough, who man headlines last week with his 100-meter try, scored the first try of the night from an offload by Ata Malifa. They then pushed the lead to 10-0 after a Malifa offload to Dylan Taikato-Simpson for a try in the right corner.
After the break, Harley Davidson scored after the team attacked from a lineout close to the tryline. Zach Fenoglio then added the team’s bonus try with Carlo Nyscchen converting to a 22-0 win.
The match proved to be a warning to rugby pundits that the matches still to be played and with the increased caliber of MLR teams, that all it takes is for a team to gain momentum during a match.
Man of the Match honors went to the Raptors John Ryberg. Read the Toronto Arrows recap of their play during the adverse conditions.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
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