NOLA Gold Rugby will host the Utah Warriors at Gold Stadium in Marrero, LA, on April 13. Kickoff is at 2 pm CT (3 pm ET) and tickets are available. The match will be broadcast on Cox Sports TV and on ESPN+.
It is teacher appreciation day, so show an ID and get 20% off the price of admission.
NOLA Gold enters the match in first-place with a 7-2 record and 38 points, while the Utah Warriors are in eighth-place with a 1-6-1 record and 10 points.
NOLA Gold Head Coach Nate Osborne has made four changes in his starters with Cam Falcon gaining a start at tighthead prop, and Ignacio Dotti and Zach Stryffeler returning at lock and at flanker, respectively. Nick Feakes also returns at wing.
There are a number of changes in the reserves with Matt Harmon returning from injury at hooker, Kavika Peniata at prop, Billy Stewart at lock, John Sullivan at flanker and Taylor Howden at center.
Utah Warriors Head Coach Alf Daniels has made five changes in his starters with Huluhola Moungaloa gaining a start at loosehead prop, Ara Elkington at flanker, and Les Soloai making his 2019 debut at No.8. In the backs, Josh Anderson and James Semple are at wing and fullback, respectively.
In the reserves, Salt Lake City Spartans Metai Tuimoala will debut at hooker along with former Western Michigan, Chicago Lions, and UL Bohemians Tom Kacor at either lock or at flanker. Kenny Scott returns to the matchday squad at flanker.
NOLA Gold Rugby Club is the first ranked MLR team in the attack. While possession, territory, and attack minutes are similar between the teams, Gold has scored more tries per match than the Warriors. Both teams can strike quickly with Gold using a quick ball to move the ball wide and the Warriors having a dynamic counterattack.
Set pieces favor NOLA Gold as they win their own scrum 91% of the time to 84% for the Warriors. Gold also wins their own lineouts 89% to 84% for the Warriors. Utah averages one fewer penalty than NOLA Gold.
The Utah Warriors will need to control possession and minimize errors. Early on is the time for penalty goals, but tries are what will win this match. Look for both teams to kick for territory and to try to utilize lineouts inside the opponents 22-meters to score tires.
Squads with Player Links
NOLA Gold: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Eric Howard (C) 3 Cam Falcon 4 Ignacio Dotti 5 Kane Thompson 6 Nikola Bursic 7 Zack Stryffeler 8 Cam Dolan 9 Holden Yungert 10 Scott Gale 11 Nick Feakes 12 Con Foley 13 Tristan Blewett 14 Tim Maupin 15 JP Eloff (VC) 16 Matt Harmon 17 Kavika Peniata 18 Kevin Sullivan 19 Billy Stewart 20 Moni Tongauiha 21 John Sullivan 22 Michael Baska 23 Taylor Howden + Head Coach Nate Osborne
Utah Warriors: 1 Huluhola Moungaloa 2 Jeremy Leber 3 Angus Maclellan 4 Saia Uhila 5 Matt Jensen 6 Lance Williams 7 Ara Elkington 8 Les Soloai 9 Johnny Ika 10 Josh Reeves 11 Josh Anderson 12 Tim O’Malley (C) 13 Gannon Moore 14 Tonata Lauti 15 James Semple 16 Metai Tuimoala 17 Franco Van den Berg 18 Tom Kacor19 Kenny Scott 20 Alex Tucci 21 Nolan Tuamoheloa 22 Josh Whippy 23 Joseph Nicholls + Head Coach Alf Daniels