The San Diego Legion jumped to a 17-3 lead at the break and extended the lead to 20-3, before Toronto Arrows scored 24 unanswered points to win 27-20 on Sunday, March10.
San Diego fell to fourth place in the MLR standings with a 4-2 record and 19 points, 2 points out of the lead. The team will travel to face the Glendale Raptors on March 16.
The Arrows are in sixth place with 1 3-3 record and 16 points. They travel to New York on Friday, March 15 to face Rugby United New York.
Prior to the match, Ryan Matyas was not able to play. The Legion head coach Rob Hoadley had Conor Kearns start at wing, with Dylan Audsley moving to outside center and Nick Lupian joining the match-day 23.
The San Diego Legion controlled the early possession with Jordan Manihera scoring the first try and Pietersen converting for a 7-0 lead. A Sam Malcolm kick then cut the lead to 7-3.
The Legion extended the lead to 14-3 from a lineout as Psalm Wooching barrelled over for a try, with Pietersen slotting the conversion. Pietersen would also add a penalty goal prior to the break to lead 17-3.
San Diego continued their momentum with Pietersen adding a drop goal to lead 20-3. Toronto answered back with two Avery Oitomen tries, the first converted by Malcolm to cut the lead to 20-15.
Mike Sheppard then scored the go ahead try for a 24-20 lead after Malcolm’s conversion. Malcolm also slotted a penalty gooal to push the final score to 27-20.
The Toronto scored 24 unanswered second half points to stun San Diego. Avery Oitomen was named Man of the Match.
“This match came down to resolve,” said Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn. “When our backs were up against the wall, our guys refused to concede. Our players have a lot be proud of following that performance, and showed tremendous character to not only regain the lead against a tough side, but also to secure it.”
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
San Diego Legion: 1 Faka’osi Pifeleti 2 Deon Muir 3 Paddy Ryan (VC) 4 Lou Stanfill 5 Keni Nasoqeqe 6 Psalm Wooching 7 Devin Short 8 Jordan Manihera 9 Nate Augspurger 10 Joe Pietersen (C) 11Conor Kearns 12 JP du Plessis 13 Dylan Audsley 14 Jasa Veremalua 15 Kyle Rogers 16 Kapeli Pifeleti17 Sione Tu’ihalamaka18 Aaron Mitchell 19 Siaosi Mahoni 20 Drew Gaffney 21 Nick Boyer 22 Tai Enosa 23 Nick Lupian+ Head Coach Rob Hoadley )
Toronto Arrows: 1 Rob Brouwer 2 AJ Quattrin 3 Morgan Mitchell 4 Mike Sheppard 5 Paul Ciulini 6 Peter Milazzo 7 Marcello Wainwright 8 Jack Nay 9 Andrew Ferguson 10 Sam Malcolm 11Dan Moor (C) 12 Guiseppe du Toit 13 Spencer Jones 14 Avery Oitomen 15 Shawn Windsor16 Steven Ng 17 Pat Lynott 18 Tom Dolezel 19 Tom Van Horne 20 Kolby Francis 21 Riley DiNardo 22 Jamie Leveridge 23 Johnny Sheridan + Director of Rugby, Chris Silverthorn