NOLA Gold Rugby defeated the Utah Warriors 28-19 at Gold Stadium in Marrero, LA, on April 13.
NOLA Gold retains first-place with the win with an 8-2 record and 43 points, while the Utah Warriors are in eighth-place with a 1-7-1 record and 10 points.
NOLA Gold will travel to Seattle on April 21 to face the Seawolves, while the Utah Warriors travel to Brooklyn to face Rugby United New York on April 20.
Prior to the match, the Utah Warriors replaced Gannon Moore at outside center with Josh Whippy with Jeremy Misailegalu joining the reserves at #22.
NOLA Gold scored in the 4th minute as Tristan Blewett intercepted a Johnny Ika pass with JP Eloff adding the conversion to lead 7-0. The team waited another 20 minutes for Cam Dolan to score from close range. Eloff then slotted the conversion into the wind to lead 14-0.
The Utah Warriors had one of their best attacks on the day with multiple phases. Hubert Buydens was sent to the bin for a professional foul near the try line. From the ensuing scrum, Les Soloai picked and offloaded to Johnny Ika for a try. O’Malley’s conversion then bounced off the posts and NOLA Gold took a 14-5 lead into the break.
The Warriors struck first in the second half with Josh Whippy breaking a Maupin tackle for a try and Tim O’Malley slotting the conversion to cut the lead to 14-12. On the restart, an offload by Ara Elkington to Matt Jensen appeared to have Jensen on his way for a try, but the referee called the pass forward.
NOLA Gold then used quick hands with an offload by Blewett resulting in an Eloff try and conversion to lead 21-12.
The Utah Warriors took advantage of a NOLA Gold penalty with the team mauling from inside Gold’s 22-meters and Lance Williams finishing with a try for a 21-19 lead after O’Malley’s conversion.
NOLA Gold attacked from a scrum with Scott Gale passing inside to Michael Baska and then outside to Taylor Howden for a try with Eloff converting to lead 28-19. That was Gold’s 4th try and gave a team a bonus point.
The result held up with NOLA Gold Rugby taking the win and maintained first place in the MLR with an 8-2 record and 43 points.
Squads with Player Links & Match Preview
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 Josh Whippy 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 Jeremy Misailegalu 23 Joseph Nicholls + Head Coach Alf Daniels