Rugby United New York defeated NOLA Gold Rugby Club 24-22 on May 26 at MCU Park in Brooklyn.
With the win, the Roosters record improved to 11-4 record and are in second place in the Major League Rugby standings with 53 points. Toronto, Seattle, and NOLA Gold also have 53 points. They conclude the regular season on June 2 in Toronto and is a critical match for both sides in their bid for the playoffs.
NOLA Gold’s record fell to 9-6 record. They conclude their regular season on June 2 in San Diego against the Legion and need a win or a bonus point with help for a playoff spot.
Both Rugby United New York and NOLA Gold will need to keep the focus on controlling their own playoff destiny. If the teams win, they are in the playoffs. A bonus point win by the Roosters, creates the chance to host a playoff semifinal.
Prior to the match Rugby United New York Academy U20s defeated Brooklyn Rugby Club 22-19.
NOLA Gold struck first as Cam Dolan dotted down after several picks and goes by the forwards. JP Eloff slotted the conversion to lead 7-0. A few minutes later, Eloff slotted a penalty goal to lead 10-0.
The ensuing restart was taken by the Roosters and the ball was held up in-goal. This resulted in consecutive RUNY 5-meter scrums and a penalty try.
NOLA Gold then answered back with a Tim Maupin try and after Eloff’s conversion the lead was 17-7. The Roosters cut the lead after a Matt Houston try and a Cathal Marsh conversion to 17-14.
In the 35th minute, Tristan Blewett was sent to the bin and Rugby United New York capitalized with Dyland Fawsitt scoring from a maul and Marsh slotting the conversion, as the Roosters took their first lead, 21-17.
After some back and forth, NOLA Gold had a sustained attack, but a kick ahead went beyond the dead-ball line. It was then the Roosters turn to attack deep with the attack ending in a 5-meter NOLA Gold scrum.
NOLA Gold took a 22-21 lead in the 55th minute when Nick Feakes scored in the left corner. In the 62nd minute, Cathal Marsh slotted a 40 meter kick to reclaim the lead 24-22.
RUNY spent about 5 minutes attacking from 5-meters out and credit NOLA Gold with not allowing what would have been a bonus point try.
Both defenses took over the second half with Rugby United New York holding on to claim the 24-22 win to move into second place in the MLR. NOLA Gold fell to 4th place and then to 5th later that night, as the Seattle Seawolves and Utah Warriors played to a 27 all draw.
The playoff race just became more compeling as Rugby United New York, the Toronto Arrows, Seattle Seawolves, and NOLA Gold each have 53 points in the standings. Tiebreakers are explained by MLR.
Next Sunday, the regular season ends and the four playoff semifinalists will be known. One quality team will be disappointed as they miss the playoffs. Not only are playoff spots up for grabs, but the top two teams will host a MLR Semifinal on June 8 and 9. The MLR Championship is the following Sunday at the highest seed’s city.
Squads with Player Article Links & Preview
Rugby United New York: 1 James Rochford 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Paddy Ryan 4 Alex MacDonald 5 Nate Brakeley 6 John Quill 7 Matt Hughston 8 Ross Deacon 9 Mike Petri (C) 10 Cathal Marsh 11 Connor Wallace-Sims 12 Will Leonard 13 Mark O’Keeffe 14 Mike St. Claire 15 Ben Foden 16 Sean McNulty 17 Anthony Parry 18 Chris Sullivan 19 Trevor Cassidy 20 Kyle Sumsion 21Harry Bennett 22 Marcus Satavu 23 Luke Hume + Head Coach Mike Tolkin
NOLA Gold: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Eric Howard (C) 3 Alex Maughan 4 Kane Thompson 5 Nikola Bursic 6 Ignacio Dotti 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 Cam Falcon18 Kevin Sullivan 19 John Sullivan 20 Moni Tongauiha 21 Michael Baska 22 Taylor Howden 23 Tadhg Leader + Head Coach Nate Osborne
Rugby United New York Academy U20s vs Brooklyn Rugby Club
The Rugby United New York Rugby Academy defeated Brooklyn Rugby Club 22-19 prior to the match between Rugby United New York and NOLA Gold Rugby.
Flyhalf Liam Harte, No.8 Will Beney, and Godfrey Pollydore scored tires for the Academy, while fullback Phil Duffy slotted two conversions and a penalty kick. Brooklyn RFC tiry scores included hooker Daniel Newcombe, Josiah Ruhland at wing and Phil Pepe at inside center. Scrumhalf Ian Ralls and flyhlaf Taisei Sugi each had a conversion.
Following the match, Rugby United New York Academy U20s Head Coach Phil Terrigno was interviewed about the Academy Program and the potential for an MLR Academy Eastern League. His interview appears below.
Brooklyn Rugby Club: 1 Jahshawn Marconi 2 Daniel Newcombe 3 Justin McDonald 4 Tim Carroll 5 Frank Morgera 6 Matthieu Nerson 7 Mark O’Donnell 8 Toby Tornay 9 Ian Ralls 10 Taisei Sugi 11 Josiah Ruhland 12 Phil Pepe 13 Keith Van Wickler 14 Brett Barbosa 15 Craig MacKenzie 16 Eric James 17 Ben Martin 18 Israel Burns 19 Sean O’Malley 20 Robert Caruso 21 James Telfer 22 Zach Light 23 Parnaoz Kapanadze 24 Anthony Yanni 25 Jessie Fullmer Head Coach – Daniel Newcombe Asst. Coach – Allen Wolfe
Rugby United NY Academy U20s Expanded Training Squad: Props – Yiannis Balis, Wolfgang Mejias, Jan Nunez, Doug Price Hooker – Chris Johnson, Alex Nanai Lock – Jack Brandes, Nick Lapponese, Charlie Overton, Brendan Tomb Flanker – Anthony Cimino, Mike Hay, Maek Kongawad No.8 – Will Beney, Kaiel Blake Scrumhalf – Bryan Calton, Brandon Healy, Luke Persanis Flyhalf – Liam Harte, Anthony McGrath, Hunter Musson Center – Elijah Billips, Tom Treussard Wing – Mario Cimino, Emmett Esposito Fullback – Finbar Doyle, Philip Duffy, Vinny McGuire
DJCoil Rugby Interviews
Tom O’Hara, founder of Xavier High School Rugby Club & Ciaran O’Hara, Co-Captain Rockaway RFC, discuss Xavier’s connection to Rugby United New York and Rockaway Rugby accomplishments.
Phil Terrigno, Rugby United New York U20s Academy Head Coach, discusses the Academy Program.
Ryan Fitzgerald, General Manager NOLA Gold Rugby Club, discusses team changes for 2019 and plans for 2020.
James English, General Manager Rugby United New York, discusses team culture and successes, as well as team plans for 2020.
Eric Howard, NOLA Gold Rugby Captain, discusses changes in team culture and how Major League Rugby has helped to develop him as a player, as well as the Canadian National Team.
Mike Petri, Rugby United New York Captain, reflects on role as captain, discusses balancing teaching, family, and rugby, as well as short term rugby goals.