Toronto Arrows vs NOLA Gold Rugby: 2019 MLR Preview

The Toronto Arrows opened the MLR season with eight consecutive road matches and are excited to have their home opener against NOLA Gold Rugby on Sunday, April 7 at 2 pm ET at York Alumni Stadium in Toronto. Tickets are still available and the match is being broadcast on ESPN+ and on Game TV.

The Toronto Arrows split the first half of the season with a 4-0-4 record and are in 6th place with 22 points. They face the league-leading NOLA Gold Rugby with 6-0-2 record with 33 points.

The teams met the first week of the season with NOLA Gold winning 36-31.

Match Recap

Toronto Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn has made two changes in his starters with Andrew Quattrin and John Moonlight returning at hooker and flanker, respectively.

NOLA Gold Rugby Head Coach Nate Osborne has made four changes in his starters with Kane Thompson at lock, Kevin O’Connor making his first start at flanker, Cam Dolan returning at No. 8, and Shawn Riley gaining a start at wing. In the reserves, Kevin Sullivan returns after a few week’s absences due to injury.

The match features league-leading NOLA Gold Rugby, who is ranked first in attack, while sixth in defense against the Toronto Arrows, who are second in attack and fifth in defense. When the teams met in the first week of the season, NOLA Gold won 36-31.

Both teams should control their scrums with NOLA Gold having an edge in the lineouts, taking 91% of their throw-ins, while the Arrows take 83%. The Arrows commit fewer penalties per match, averaging 8.1, the league’s best, while NOLA Gold average is 9.9. Both high areas for penalties are on the tackle and then a penalty of two for being offsides.

NOLA Gold plays expansive rugby and uses a quick ball to create linebreaks. They also exploit territory through kicks and use the lineout to maul their way over the line from close range. The Toronto Arrows are at home for the first time this season and the repetitions at practice will facilitate fine-tuning their match plan. Look for the Arrows to attack in the centers to create opportunities wide. They also utilize strategic kicks to attacks from within NOLA Gold territory. Keeping possession through multiple phases will be important against NOLA Gold.

Squads with Player Article Links

Toronto Arrows: 1 Rob Brouwer 2 AJ Quattrin 3 Morgan Mitchell 4 Mike Sheppard 5 Paul Ciulini 6 John Moonlight 7 Peter Milazzo 8 Lucas Rumball 9 Andrew Ferguson 10 Sam Malcolm 11Dan Moor (C) 12 Guiseppe du Toit 13 Spencer Jones 14 Avery Oitomen 15 Gaston Mieres 16 Steven Ng 17 Tom Dolezel 18 Cole Keith 19 Kolby Francis 20 Marcello Wainwright 21 Jamie Mackenzie 22 Kainoa Lloyd 23 Theo Sauder + Director of Rugby, Chris Silverthorn

NOLA Gold: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Eric Howard (C) 3 Ben Tarr 4 Kane Thompson 5 Kyle Baille 6 Nikola Bursic 7 Kevin O’Connor 8 Cam Dolan 9 Holden Yungert 10 Scott Gale 11 Shawn Riley 12 Con Foley 13 Tristan Blewett 14 Tim Maupin 15 JP Eloff (VC) 16 James ‘Doc’ Irey 17 Cam Falcon 18 Kevin Sullivan 19 Ignacio Dotti 20 Moni Tongauiha 21 Zack Stryffeler 22 Michael Baska 23 Cam Troxler + Head Coach Nate Osborne

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