Rugby United New York Edges Utah Warriors

Rugby United New York defeated the Utah Warriors 24-22 on April 20. RUNY picked up a valuable bonus point and with 37 points, move into third place in the MLR standings, pending the outcome of the Seattle Seawolves vs NOLA Gold Rugby match on April 21.

Preceding the MLR match, the Gotham Knights overcame a 21-10 deficit at the break to win 27-26 over the Washington Scandals. See match recap below.

Rugby United New York vs Utah Warriors Match Recap

Rugby United New York edged the Utah Warriors 24-22 in a hard fought game. New York moves to 8-2 on the season and is currently ranked third in the league with 37 points. The Warriors lost their second match of the season to RUNY and are 1-8-1 on the season with 11points.

The first quarter of the match was a defensive standoff with scoring opportunities by both teams. The chance went to RUNY with Dylan Fawsitt flipping the ball to Alex MacDonald. Anthony Parry then went into contact and after another pick, the ball was turned over for an Utah 5-meter scrum.

A RUNY penalty resulted in an Utah lineout and a maul, a Gannon Moore break with Don pati advancing to within RUNY’s 22-meters. After another penalty by RUNY, the Warriors advanced to within 5-meters of the tryline before a turnover. RUNY then foiled another Warriors attack as the Roosters attacked the breakdown and won a turnover 5-meters from the tryline.

The first points of the match came in the 26th minute as RUNY’s Ben Foden offloaded to Connor Wallace-Sims for a try in the corner to lead 5-0. The Utah Warriors answered back three minutes later with a try by Gannon Moore, which was converted by Tim O’Malley to lead 7-5.

Then it was RUNY’s turn to attack after a Warriors penalty. Dylan Fawsitt tapped quickly and offloaded to Luke Hume, who grubbed ahead and gather the kick. The offload, however was ruled forward and an apparent try was disallowed. Soon after RUNY’s Mike Petri executed a pop pass to Fawsitt for a try under the posts making for an easy Chris Mattina conversion.

The ensuing restart was snared out of RUNY hands by Matt Jensen. From a Warriors scrum, quick ball went wide left with Don Pati scoring in the left corner to level the match at 12 all at the break.

The teams then traded tries in the final five minutes with Dylan Fawsiit scoring first with Chris Mattina converting. Don Pati then answered for the Warriors to level the match at 12 all at the break.

The Warriors opened the scoring in the second half with a quick try by Johnny Ika, which was converted by O’Malley to lead 19-12. RUNY answered back with a second try by Connor Wallace-Sims to cut the lead to 19-17, after Mattina’s  conversion was wide. A Tim O’Malley penalty kick then extended the lead to 22-17.

RUNY answered back from a lineout and mauled over the line with Anthony Parry scoring. Chris Mattina slotted the conversion to lead 24-22. The try was the team’s fourth of the match and earned a bonus point in the standings.

In the 68th minute, Lance Williams was sent to the bin when he tackled a man without the ball. A high tackle on Mattina by Josh Whippy resulted in a lineout 5-meters from in-goal. The Warriors stole the ball from a tap and cleared.

Saia Uhila and Franco Van den Berg had breaks with Don Pati moving the ball to within 5-meters on the tryline. Fets Vainikola then crawled forward, a double move, which negated an apparent score.

The final three minutes of the match saw RUNY on the attack. After a high tackle on John Quill 6-meters from in-goal, RUNY kicked to touch. Anthony Parry crossed the tryline, but was held up by Uhila. A minute later, another forward was held up again. With one minute remaining, RUNY attacked from a 5-meter scrum and after multiple picks, Ben Foden kicked the ball into touch for a 24-22 win.

With the win, Rugby United New York’s record is 8-2 and moves into third place with 37 points. They travel to Glendale to meet the Raptors on April 26.

With the loss, the Warriors record falls to 1-8-1 and the team has 11 points in the standings. On April 27 Utah will host Austin Elite Rugby, their lone victory of the season.

Man of the Match honors goes to Dylan Fawsitt, who was all over the pitch, if I had any say. For the Warriors, a case could be made for Don Pati with his counterattacks.

Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview

Rugby United New York: 1 Anthony Parry 2 Callum Mackintosh 3 James Rochford 4 Alex MacDonald 5 Nate Brakeley 6 Kyle Sumsion 7 John Quill 8 Dylan Fawsitt 9 Mike Petri (C) 10 Cathal Marsh 11 Connor Wallace-Sims 12 Chris Mattina 13 Mark O’Keeffe 14 Luke Hume15 Ben Foden16 Mike Brown 17 Kirkland Hamilton 18 Chris Sullivan 19 Matt Wirken 20 Matt Hughston 21 Marcus Walsh 22 Harry Bennett 23 Mike St. Claire + Head Coach Mike Tolkin

Utah Warriors: 1 Franco Van den Berg 2 Jeremy Leber 3 Angus Maclellan 4 Saia Uhila (VC) 5 Matt Jensen 6 Arthur Bergo 7 Ara Elkington 8 Lance Williams 9 Johnny Ika 10 Josh Reeves 11 Tonata Lauti 12 Tim O’Malley (C) 13 Gannon Moore 14 Don Pati15 James Semple 16 Metai Tuimoala 17 Tom Kacor 18 Frederik De Beer 19 Kenny Scott 20 Alex Tucci 21 Fetu’u Vanikolo 22 Josh Whippy 23 Ian Luciano + Head Coach Alf Daniels

Gotham Knights vs Washington Scandals

Rugby United New York hosted their Inaugural Pride Night prior to the Major League Rugby match with the Gotham Knights defeating the Washington Scandals 27-26 the DC Scandals. Both teams belong to IGR (International Gay Rugby). Nigel Owens wished the Gotham Knights ggod luck prior to the match.

The Scandals took a 7-0 lead from a MJ Sewell try. Gotham Knights answered back with a try by Michael ‘Trixie’ Kengmana to cut the lead to 7-5. A try by Luke Hogue extended the Scandals lead to 14-5. Gotham responded again with a try by Max Kraus, 14-10, before Derek Dufresne added a third Scandals try to lead 21-10 at the break. Mike Johnson was successful on the three conversions.

The Gotham Knights opened the second half with a try by Max Kraus to cut the lead to 21-15. Then Brandan McGee added a fourth try for the Scandals to push the lead to 26-15. That lead turned out to not be safe, as Gotham struck back with two tries by Kevin Tallon and Rocky Cortez, with Ash Khayami converting to win 27-26.

Photo: Gotham Knights RFC

Inclusiveness has the support in the rugby community and any attempts to discriminate is challenged. Based on actions in Australia, a letter was written by James Kennedy, Majority owner of RUNY, who indicates that “We want to send a message to all biased communities around the world that the excuse of traditions as a means to discriminate against members of our rugby family will no longer be tolerated.

Gotham Knights & Washington Scandals Squads

Gotham Knights: 1 Camilo Minotta Aguilera 2 Raul Huezo 3 Aaron Ayala 4 Kevin Tallon 5 Mark Power 6 Craig Donahue 7 David Wang 8 Ian Butler 9 Michael Kengmana 10 Ash Khayami 11 Richard Suarez 12 Max Kraus 13 Mike Villalobos 14 Alex Orban 15 Rochester Cortez 16 Rob Benedetto 17 Terrell Gillespie 18 Adam Kopchian 19 David Clarke 20 Ernesto Garcia 21 Chinedu Azinge 22 Nuno Santos 23 Colin Walker + Coaching Staff: Jacqueline Sinclair, Steve Eames, Jon Morgan

Washington Scandals: 1 Rashad DeMesme 2  Shane Hickey 3 Arjun Kumar 4 Tim Kilbride 5 Dustin Keller 6 Mike Arnone 7 John Simmons 8 Brandon McGee 9 Derek Dufresne 10 Mike Johnson 11Devin McCue 12 Juan Alvarez 13 MJ Sewell 14 Luke Hogue 15 Tinker Patrick Replacements: Barton Liang, Delan “Blue” Ellington, Dan Buckingham, JB Bridgeman, Dillon Lappe, Jim “Jimbo” Barrett, Andrew “Bullet” Chiscul, Matt Melikian, Charles Elliot, Bryan Rippeom, Ryan Haynes + Head Coach Brendan Raden & Assistant Coach, Valerie Vuyovich-Connelly

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