The Toronto Arrows face Rugby United New York at Lamport Stadium on Sunday, June 2 in the final regular season match for both teams. Kickoff is at 1 pm and the match is being broadcast on ESPN+ and on GameTV. Tickets are available for the match that has playoff implications.
The Toronto Arrows are in third place in the Major League Rugby standings with a 10-5 record and 53 points. They are the hottest team in the League with six consecutive wins, all at home. Rugby United New York is in second place in the standings with an 11-4 record and 53 points.
There are five teams in the MLR contending for four spots int he playoffs. San Diego Legion (57 points) has claimed one of the spots, but in addition to Toronto and New York with 53 points, the Seattle Seawolves and NOLA Gold also have 53 points.
Should there be a tie in standings points, the team with the most wins and then point differential are tiebreakers. For a complete picture of tiebreakers see MLR Standings.
Toronto, New York, Seattle, and New Orleans can solve the playoff picture with wins. Either the Toronto Arrows or Rugby United New York can advance with a win, but a tie or obtaining a bonus point could also advance both teams based on the results between San Diego and New Orleans and between Seattle and Austin Elite Rugby. Bryan Ray explained the playoff scenarios in American Rugby News.
In the previous encounter between the teams in New York, Rugby United New York beat the Toronto Arrows 24-21 in the closing minute. The rematch should be a close one between two of the best teams in the MLR.
The Toronto Arrows are the third-ranked team in the League in both attack and defense, while Rugby United New York is ranked second in defense and sixth in the attack. The Arrows average 29 points per match compared to almost 25 for RUNY.
The Roosters are a team that controls possession (55%), spends the majority of the match in their opponents’ territory (54%), and spends 43.7 minutes on the attack. This compares with the Arrows 48%, 45%, and 38.7 minutes on the attack. The Arrows are an explosive team, however, and are capable of mounting an attack anywhere on the pitch.
Set pieces usually give a team an edge, but the scrums are even with Toronto winning 95% of their put-ins, with RUNY right behind at 93%. The lineouts are also even with the Arrows winning 82% to 83% for RUNY. Infractions committed are also even at 8.3 penalties per match. The team that can get an edge in any of these areas will have an edge in the match.
Match strategy has had the Roosters electing to score tries instead of going for penalty goals when infractions occur, except when a penalty kick can make a difference as it did against NOLA Gold last Sunday. The Arrows also score tries but have scored over twice as many penalty goals as New York.
Enough about statistics as the match will be decided on the pitch. Both teams have strong defenses, but both teams will be looking bonus points from scoring four or more tries. A bonus point win could mean a home playoff semifinal match. Both teams could also finish either first or second with a bonus point win. The losing team will want a close match of 7 points or less, as well as scoring four tries to maximize chances for the playoffs. A tie could also advance both teams under the right circumstances.
While it is too early for matchday rosters, the rosters below represent the team’s previous match.
Toronto Arrows vs Glendale Raptors: 1 Rob Brouwer 2 AJ Quattrin 3 Morgan Mitchell 4 Mike Sheppard 5 Paul Ciulini 6 John Moonlight 7 Peter Milazzo 8 Luke Campbell 9 Andrew Ferguson10 Sam Malcolm 11 Leandro Leivas 12 Guiseppe du Toit 13 Spencer Jones 14 Dan Moor (C) 15 Gastón Mieres 16 Steven Ng 17 Pat Lynott 18 Cole Keith 19 Tom Van Horne 20 Marcello Wainwright 21 Riley DiNardo 22 Patrick Parfrey 23 Kainoa Lloyd + Director of Rugby, Chris Silverthorn
Rugby United New York vs NOLA Gold: 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