The Austin Gilgronis opened the 2020 Major League Rugby season at Bold Stadium at the Circuit of the Americas with a 38-10 loss to the Toronto Arrows on Sunday, February 9. The match was streamed on ESPN+and in Canada on TSN.ca. it was also broadcast in Canada on TSN2, and on the MLR Facebook page for the international non-Canadian audience on Facebook Watch.
The Gilgronis demonstrated that they were fan-friendly in providing buses from Nixon Lane and from Burr Field. They also created a family-friendly atmosphere with admission fees that encouraged families to attend.
The Austin Gilgronis made a lineup change prior to the match beginning with Rikus Zwart exiting the roster and was replaced at lock by JP Novak. Chicago Griffins captain and lock Erik Jacobson was named to the reserves at #19.
The Toronto Arrows opened the match with a fast try by Manuel Diana from close range with Sam Malcolm slotting the conversion to lead 7-0.
The Austin Gilgronis answered back with a penalty goal by Chile scrum-half Marcelo Torrealba to cut the lead to 7-3.
The Arrows showed an early scrum dominance and after a penalty advantage, a penalty try was awarded 14-3. Sam Malcolm added a penalty goal and Tyler Adams passed wide to Dan Moor for a try with Malcolm converting again to lead 24-3 at the break.
The Toronto Arrows added a bonus point try by Jamie MacKenzie to push the lead to 31-3 after Malcolm’s precision kicking.
The Gilgronis thrilled the crowd with a sustained attack near in-goal with Chris Schade scoring the team’s first try under their new name. Torrealba slotted the kick to cut the lead to 31-10.
A final Arrows try came from Peter Milazzo with flyhalf Tyler Adams converting to lead 38-10. Polu Leavasa was also sent to the bin for being caught retaliating from a Milazzo shove.
Next Saturday, Austin Gilgronis will play Rugby United New York at Sam Boyd Stadium, while the Toronto Arrows face the Houston SaberCats on Sunday in Nevada as part of the MLR Vegas Weekend.
Squads With Player Article Links & Match Preview
Austin Gilgronis: 1 LaRome White 2 Chris Schade 3 Juan Echeverria 4 Maikeli Naramaitonga 5 JP Novack 6 Potu Leavasa 7 Dominic Akina 8 Lino Saunitoga 9 Marcelo Torrealba 10 Zinzan Elan-Puttick (C) 11 Alex Faison-Donahoe 12 Sione Fangaiuiha 13 Peni Tagive 14 Corey Jones 15 Rodrigo Silva 16 Tiaan Strauss Erasmus 17 Skyler Adams 18 Mason Pedersen 19 Erik Jacobson 20 Moe Abdelmonem 21 Colby Stevens 22 Alex Rees 23 Gabe Farley
Toronto Arrows: 1 Richie Asiata 2 Andrew Quattrin 3 Cole Keith 4 Mike Sheppard 5 Paul Ciulini 6 Tomas de la Vega7 Lucas Rumball 8 Manuel Diana 9 Jamie Mackenzie 10 Taylor Adams 11 Gaston Mieres 12 Guiseppe du Toit 13 Ben LaSage14 Dan Moor (C) 15 Sam Malcolm 16 Steven Ng 17 Pat Lynott 18 Tyler Rowland 19 Kolby Francis 20 Peter Milazzo 21 Andrew Ferguson 22 Mitch Richardson 23 Leandro Leivas