The Toronto Arrows opened the MLR season with eight consecutive road matches and were excited to have their home opener against NOLA Gold Rugby on Sunday, April 7 at York Alumni Stadium in Toronto. They did not imagine that NOLA Gold would win the match 35-31 in the closing minute with a try.
With the loss, the Toronto Arrows have a 4-5 record and are in 6th place with 24 points. They will need to regroup and hope for a bonus point win on April 14 against Austin Elite Rugby.
NOLA Gold Rugby maintained first place with the win and have a 7–2 record with 38 points. They will host the Utah Warriors on April 13.
The Toronto Arrows needed to wait until their 9th match for their home opener, but the fans responded with a sell-out crowd of 3,081 at York Alumni Stadium.
The Arrows struck quickly after Spencer Jones found a seam and offloaded to captain Dan Moor for a try and a SAm Malcolm conversion. NOLA Gold answered back with a run and offload by Tristan Blewett to Tim Maupin, who raced down the wide channel before a high tackle by Avery Oitomen resulted in a penalty try and a yellow card.
NOLA Gold took advantage of the Arrows being down a man and added a try and conversion by JP Eloff. An intercepted pass by Tristan Blewett for a try and an Eloff conversion then pushed their lead 21-7.
Then it was the Arrows’ turn with Gaston Mieres scoring from close range to cut the lead to 21-12. Eric Howard countered with a try from close range for a 28-12 lead.
Kyle Baillie was sent to the bin for a high tackle and the Arrows capitalized with a Mieres try and Malcolm conversion to narrow the lead to 28-19 at the break.
The Arrows came out strong in the second half with a try by scrumhalf Andrew Ferguson, which was converted by Malcolm to bring the team to within two points. They then took a 31-28 lead after a Morgan Mitchell try.
Neither team could score until the final minute when Ignacio Dotti scored the winning try. NOLA Gold spoiled the home opener leaving with a 35-31 victory.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
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