Rugby ATL hosts Rugby United New York on Sunday, April 11 at Lupo Family Field in Marietta, Georgia with New York claiming a 27-17 win.
The match was broadcast on CBS Sports Network and streamed internationally on The Rugby Network, as well as will be available domestically 24 hours later.
On Saturday, both the Toronto Arrows and NOLA Gold lost, and it was a bye week for the New England Free Jacks and Old Glory DC. With the win, Rugby United New York moved in second place in the Eastern Conference standings after week 4. Rugby ATL holds onto first-place based on point differential, however, RUNY has played one fewer match.
Penalties by Rugby ATL has Rugby United New York taking an early lead after a penalty goal by Dan Hollinshead for a 3-0 lead.
A run by Batista Ezcurra and a penalty by RUNY had Robbie Petzer trying to level the match, but the kick was missed.
Rugby United New York used a lineout with Germishuys offloading to Ellis and back to Quinn Ngwati for the first try of the match. Hollinshead then added the extras to push the lead to 10-0.
Rugby ATL used a huge hit on Will Leonard to attack with a strong run by Daemon Torres. Ezcurra used Manusa Saulo as a blocker and nullified an apparent try and allowed NY to clear.
A break by Cakaubalavu and a dummy by Dan Hollinshead resulted in a try, with Hollinshead’s conversion successful, 17-0.
A RUNY breakdown infraction resulted in an ATL lineout 5-meters from in-goal with Marko Van Rensburg grounding and Petzer adding the extras to cut the lead to 17-7.
RUNY went through multiple phases, but a poach by Jason Damm at the breakdown led to a penalty with ATL clearing for a lineout at midfield. The teams traded possession before Mark O’Keeffe ran down the left channel. A Martini Talapusi kick then gave back possession to NY inside their 22-meters.
A Rugby ATL lineout had Nate Brakeley charging down a Gouws clearance kick and resulted in a 22-meter drop to ATL.
RUNY placed ATL under pressure and poached at the breakdown. A crosskick, however, went into touch, giving ATL a lineout about 11-meters in defense. The ball was turned over with RUNY knocking on just prior to in-goal. This gave a 5-meter scrum to Rugby ATL with Petzer clearing short.
Rugby ATL’s Marno Redelinghuys tapped a RUNY lineout back and ATL escaped the attack with a clearance kick.
ATL had their own attacking opportunities before a penalty had Dan Hollinshead going for goal, but missing. Ben Bonasso had a strong run from the clearance kick, but neither team could add points in the closing minute.
Rugby United New York has come into the Snake Pit and jumped out to a 17-0 lead before Rugby ATL answered back with a converted try, for a NY 17-7 lead at the break.
Rugby ATL attacked from the second half restart with Ezcurra chipping ahead for a NY lineout 5-meters in defense. A clearance kick had ATL mauling and after a couple more phases Batista Ezcurra’s drop goal attempt was wide.
An ATL penalty by Redelinghuys from coming into the side into Andy, resulted in yellow cards to both him and Andy Ellis, after he retaliated.
RUNY used the penalty to go through multiple phases with a strong run by Hollinshead and Samu Tawake barrelling over for a try under the posts, 24-7.
Rugby ATL attacked from two lineouts following penalties by RUNY. That did not deter NY as they created a turnover when the ball went to the ground, giving them a 5-meter scrum on their defensive end, and allowed NY to clear.
Rugby United New York used a lineout to move the ball downfield. A side entry by ATL gave NY another lineout 6-meters out, but an ATL steal and a kick by Ezcurra into touch gave NY an attacking lineout. RUNY answered ATL’s rush defense with a kick behind ATL’s defensive line. A scrum penalty then allowed RUNY’s Dan Hollinshead to slot a penalty goal to push the lead to 27-7.
With a Rugby ATL attack near RUNY’s 22-meter line, the Ratlers were penalized for a late hit and Batista Ezcurra sent to the bin. This allowed NY to kick for territory and a lineout inside ATL’s territory. The ball was overthrown and Ryan Rees knocked the ball on in contact for a NY scrum.
RUNY drove ATL back in the scrum and Luke Hume executed a kick and chase. The referee, playing a penalty advantage, resulted in a NY lineout, who mauled again, but ended with an ATL scrum.
Andy Ellis was pinged for being offsides under the new trial law being utilized this season in MLR. An Ellis poach at the breakdown resulted in an ATL penalty allowing NY to clear and attack from a lineout at midfield.
Jason Damm returned the favor with a poach and ATL attacked to the NY’s 22-meters before NY was penalized. Rugby ATL needs tries to come back and kicked for an attacking lineout, but a knock-on gave RUNY a scrum deep within their territory. A scrum penalty by ATL had RUNY clearing for a lineout. The maul ended and ATL having an attacking scrum.
After O’Keefe was driven into touch, RUNY executed a quick lineout with Ben Foden clearing. A Jason Damm offload to Neethling Gericke was repelled by saving tackles by Ben Foden and Luke Hume. Shortly after ATL was held up. That didn’t deter Rugby ATL with Ross Deacon grounding to cut the lead to 27-12.
RUNY attacked inside ATL’s 22-meters before an errant pass had ATL clearing deep. Strong footwork by Hume, later a break by Fuatai had the team in a position to score, but a loose ball had ATL attacking.
Adriaan Carelse, who recently joined Rugby ATL, had a long break and was chased down by Luke Hume. A Carelse offload to Rory Van Vugt, resulted in a try in the left corner as Luke Hume attempted to hold him up from grounding, 17-27. Robbie Petzer’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful, which if made would have given ATL a losing bonus point.
RUNY’s Dan Hollinshead was named Man of the Match.
With the win, Rugby United New York moved into second place in the Eastern Conference with 10 points, with Rugby ATL retaining first-place based on point differential +9 to -6 for NY. New England and NOLA follow with 9 points, and Old Glory and Toronto have 6. The Conference is a very competitive one and only Rugby ATL and the Toronto Arrows have played four matches, with the others, three.
New week, Rugby ATL travels to Austin for a Saturday night match against the Gilgronis, who are in second place in the Western Conference. Rugby United New York will have their home opener, minus fans, against Old Glory DC at Cochrane Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
Rugby United New York: 1 James Rochford 2 Dylan Fawsitt (c) 3 Zak Taulafo 4 Nate Brakeley 5 Nick Civetta 6 Ben Bonasso7 Hanco Germishuys 8 Kyra Pryor 9 Andy Ellis 10 Dan Hollinshead 11 Apensia Cakaubalavu 12 Will Leonard 13 Fa’asiu Fuatai 14 Quinn Ngawati 15 Ben Foden 16 Wilton Rebolo 17 Anthony Parry 18 Samu Tawake 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Rob Iramescu 21 Conor McManus 22 Harry Bennett 23 Luke Hume
Rugby ATL: 1 Alex Maughan 2 Marko Janse Van Rensburg 3 Manasa Saulo 4 Marno Redinghuys 5 Johan Momsen 6 Daemon Torres 7 Matt Heaton (c) 8 Jason Damm 9 Rowan Gouws 10 Bautista Ezcurra11 Mark O’Keeffe 12 Martini Talapusi 13 Robbie Petzer14 Zander Van Schalkwyk 15 Rory van Vugt 16 Neethling Gericke 17 Jonas Petrakopoulos 18 Will Burke 19 Vili Helu 20 Ross Deacon 21 Ryan Rees 22 Jeremy Misailegalu 23 Adriaan Carelse