The Glendale Raptors edged NOLA Gold Rugby 34-33 on Saturday, March 30 at Infinity Park.
The Raptors continue their undefeated streak at home and moved to third place with a 4-2-3 record and 28 points, while NOLA Gold remains in 1st place with a 6-2 record and 33 points.
Next week the Raptors host the Houston SaberCAts on April 6, while NOLA Gold travels to Toronto for the Arrows home opener on Åpril 7.
Prior to the match, NOLA Gold Rugby Club substituted Kane Thompson at #19, replacing Kevin O’Connor on the match day roster.
The Glendale Raptors struck first with a penalty goal by Will Magie. Chad Gough then added a try and after Magie’s conversion, the score was 10-0.
The Raptors attacked again with Robbie Petzer offloading to Mika Kruse to John Ryberg, cutting inside NOLA Gold defenders and offloading to Shaun Davies for a try under the posts. Magie slotted the kick to lead 17-0.
NOLA Gold proved that they were the top MLR scoring team in the league with a try from a lineout by Nikola Bursic. Eloff then added a kick to cut the lead to 17-7. Gold added another try from a lineout by Eric Howard and after Eloff’s kick, the score was 17-14. Tim Maupin then added a third try with Eloff converting to take a 21-17 lead.
Just prior to the break, NOLA Gold had a lineout 5-meters from the tryline. A dummy throw, however, turned the ball over to the Raptors and Shaun Davies kicked the ball into touch to end the first half.
The Raptors struck first in the second half with a try by Luke White under the posts, Magie slotted the kick to reclaim the lead 24-21. The team added another try after a Davies break and Malon Al-Jiboori finished. Robbie Fetzer then slotted the kick to lead 31-21.
NOLA Gold answered back with a try by Cam Falcon after a lineout to cut the lead to 31-26.
In the 76th minute, Zach Fenoglio was sent to the bin and NOLA Gold capitalized with an Eric Howard try with Eloff bouncing the ball over the posts after hitting the left post to lead 33-31 with a minute remaining on the clock.
The ensuing restart went to NOLA Gold and after 9 forward picks the ball was turnover on a knock on. Glendale attacked from the scrum after the 80th minute. NOLA Gold was penalized, but instead of kicking a penalty, Chad Gough took a quick tap. The ball went wide to Kruse and White went into contact. Fifita and Rogers then followed with NOLA Gold being penalised again. This time, Robbie Petzer slotted the kick for a 34-33 win.
Man of the Match honors went to Shaun Davies for the Glendale Raptors.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
Glendale Raptors: 1 Noah Barker 2 Chad Gough 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 William Munro 5 Kody O’Neil 6 Brendan Daly 7 Peter Dahl 8 Hanco Germishuys 9 Shaun Davies (C) 10 Will Magie 11 Harley Davidson 12 Robbie Petzer13 Mika Kruse 14 John Ryberg 15 Dylan Taikato-Simpson 16 Zach Fenoglio 17 Blake Rogers 18 Max Lum 19 Luke White 20 Malon Al-Jiboori 21 Mickey Bateman 22 Ata Malifa 23 Campbell Johnstone
NOLA Gold: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Eric Howard (C) 3 Ben Tarr 4 Billy Stewart 5 Ignacio Dotti 6 Nikola Bursic 7 Zack Stryffeler 8 Kyle Baille 9 Holden Yungert 10 Scott Gale 11 Nick Feakes 12 Con Foley 13 Tristan Blewett 14 Tim Maupin 15 JP Eloff (C) 16 Kavika Peniata 17 Cam Falcon 18 James ‘Doc’ Irey 19 Moni Tongauiha 20 John Sullivan 21 Kane Thompson 22 Michael Baska 23 JoJo Tikoisuva + Head Coach Nate Osborne