The Colorado Raptors host the Eastern Conference leaders, the Toronto Arrows, on Friday, March 6 at Infinity Park at Glendale. Kickoff is at 8 pm ET and the match will be broadcast on Eleven Sports, FTF, and TSN Direct (TSN.ca) / TSN App. International viewers that are not in Canada may view the match on the Toronto Arrows Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/TorontoArrows/).
Colorado Raptors Head Coach Peter Borlase has kept his starters intact since last week’s win over the Utah Warriors. Three changes were made in the reserves with Michael Stewart, Tomas Quinlan, and Ryan James replacing Aladdin Schirmer, Sean Yacoubian, and Chad London on the matchday squad.
The Colorado Raptors are a difficult team to beat in their home field and beat the Toronto Arrows last year during a snow storm. The Toronto Arrows are undefeated and top the Eastern Conference standings and will be a formidable team to beat.
Colorado (1-3-0) is fifth in the Western Conference with five points. After three consecutive losses to kick off their 2020 season, the Raptors rebounded to collect their first win against Utah last weekend, dispatching the Warriors 22-14.
Last week saw Mason Emerson and Rene Ranger being named to the Major League Rugby First XV.
Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn has made four changes since last week’s win over Rugby ATL. Rob Brouwer gains his first start of the season at loosehead prop with Andrew Quattrin, Lucas Rumball, and Gaston Mieres returning as starters at hooker, flanker, and at wing, respectively.
There are also two changes in the reserves with Josh Van Horne replacing his brother Tom and Will Kelly returning to the matchday squad.
Captain Dan Moor is out of the squad with a lower-body injury suffered against Rugby ATL with vice-captain Lucas Rumball assuming captain duties.
The Arrows (4-0-0) enter the match coming off a bonus-point 28-18 victory over expansion side Rugby ATL last Sunday. Riding a four-game winning streak, Toronto sits first in the Eastern Conference standings with 18 points.
“Colorado has a very strong track record at home, having only lost at Infinity Park a handful of times over the past three years, so we know it’ll be a tough matchup,” added Silverthorn.
The Arrows have nine squad members that are full Canadian internationals: Brouwer (11 caps), Ciulini (8 caps), du Toit (14 caps), Ferguson (10 caps), Keith (16 caps), Kelly (1 cap), LeSage (16 caps), Quattrin (5 caps), Rumball (35 caps). There are three squad members who are full Uruguayan internationals: Diana (25 caps), Leivas (76 caps), Meires (70 caps), and one squad member is a full Argentinian international: de la Vega (12 caps).
The Arrows in their match preview have also included the following player statistics:
- Malcolm leads the league in made goals (19), ranks second in points scored (46), ranks fifth in goal kicking accuracy among players with 5+ attempts (90.5%)
- de la Vega is tied for the league lead in carries (49), ranks second in made tackles (58), tied for third in lineout takes (24), tied for sixth in offloads (5)
- Diana is tied for the league lead in carries (49), tied for ninth in tries scored (2)
- Rumball ranks ninth in the league in made tackles (51), tied for third in breakdown steals (3)
- Toronto leads the league in fewest points conceded (67), second in total points scored (132), fourth in tries scored (15)
Colorado Raptors vs Toronto Arrows Squads with Player Article Links
Colorado Raptors: 1 Sakaria Taulafo 2 Chad Gough 3 Marco Fepulea’i 4 Luke White (C) 5Dakota O’Neil 6 Michael Curry 7 Connor Cook 8 Sam Slade 9 Carlo De Nysschen10 Ata Malifa 11 John Ryberg 12 Robbie Petzer 13 Rene Ranger 14 Mika Kruse 15 Mason Emerson 16 Jay Finau 17 Xendy Tatibouet 18 Kelepi Fifita 19 Brendan Daly 20 Michael Stewart 21 Tomas Quinlan 22 Ryan James 23 Nick Boyer
Toronto Arrows: 1 Rob Brouwer 2 Andrew Quattrin 3 Richie Asiata 4 Kolby Francis 5 Paul Ciulini 6 Tomas de la Vega 7 Lucas Rumball (C) 8 Manuel Diana 9 Andrew Ferguson 10 Taylor Adams 11 Leandro Leivas 12 Guiseppe du Toit 13 Ben LaSage14 Gaston Mieres 15 Sam Malcolm 16 Steven Ng 17 Pat Lynott 18 Cole Keith 19 Josh Van Horne 20 Peter Milazzo 21 Riley DiNardo 22 Mitch Richardson 23 Will Kelly