Match Preview: Rugby United New York vs Toronto Arrows

Rugby United New York hosts the Toronto Arrows on Sunday, April 25 at Cochrane Stadium in Jersey City, N.J. at 2 pm ET. The match will be broadcast on MSG, TSN, and streamed on The Rugby Network.

There will be a limited number of tickets available for the match. Tickets may be purchased on Eventbrite. Attendees will be expected to socially distant and wear masks.

A win for Rugby United New York will mean being able to distance themselves from some of their competitors, while for the Arrows, it means getting back into the race for the two conference playoff spots.

The Arrows 52-7 win over the Seattle Seawolves last week was the largest winning margin in MLR history at 45, which surpassed the previous record of 42. Both teams have been among the leading try scorers in the league and both could surpass the 100 try mark for regular and playoff games this week. The Arrows have 99, while New York has 98.

Dan Hollinshead has been named the MLR Player of the Week already and scored 18 points in last week’s 38-34 win over Old Glory, the most points ever scored by a RUNY player in a single game. He is also the second leading MLR point scorer with 45 points, which is second to the Arrows Tayler Adams with 48.

Rugby United New York Coach Marty Veale has made five changes in the starters with Samu Tawake swapping with Sak Taulafo at tighthead prop, Both Will Leonard and Fa’asiu Fuati are not in the roster, and are Quinn Ngwati shifts from wing to the inside center with Troy Lockyear shifting from fullback to the outside center. Apensia Cakaubalavu, Luke Hume, and Ben Foden are in the back three. Probably, the biggest change is Conor McManus getting his first MLR start, with Andy Ellis moving to the reserves. Ellis has been a team leader and it will be interesting to see McManus in action right away.

RUNY has had a dominant scrum and will try to test the Arrows right away. The team also utilizes attacking lineouts to score tries. New York has played a game utilizing a quick ball and if that continues, it should open gaps in the Arrows defense.

Toronto Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn has made one change in the starters from last week’s dominant win over the Seattle Seawolves. Mike Sheppard is approved to play and returns at lock, with Mason Flesch going into the reserves. Adrian Wadden was omitted from the roster this week.

The Arrows like to employ a decoy runner in their attack and try to create gaps. The Arrows will score tries and it will be up to RUNY to play stronger defense, minimize penalties and take the points when the opportunities exist.

The two matches between these clubs were decided in the closing minutes with an Arrows drop goal and by a late RUNY try in 2019.

In an Eastern Conference match held on April 24, Rugby ATL defeated NOLA Gold 38-28. This gave Rugby ATL a bonus point with NOLA Gold adding one, as well. ATL has a 3-3 record with 16 points in the standings, RUNY enters Sunday’s match 3-1 with 15 points, NOLA Gold has a 2-2-1 record with 15 points. Toronto comes into the match 2-3 with 11 points. New England 2-2 (11 points) faces Old Glory 1-2-1 (8 points) in the Eastern Conference match on Sunday.

Player Recognition

Last week’s RUNY Player of the Match was Troy Lockyear, who also received the Clonakilty Distillery Captain’s Bottle with Old Glory’s co-captain Mungo Mason. Toronto Arrows Pat Parfrey was named MLR Player of the Week for the Toronto Arrows.

Rugby United New York RUNY lock Nick Civetta was named to the Geico XV 1st team for week five. The Toronto Arrows had three players on the list, including captain and flanker Lucas Rumball, Ross Braude at scrumhalf, and Pat Parfrey, who usually plays fullback at inside center.

Squads with Player Article Links

Rugby United New York: 1 James Rochford 2 Dylan Fawsitt (c) 3 Samu Tawake 4 Charlie Hewitt 5 Nick Civetta 6 Nate BrakeleyBen Bonasso 8 Kyra Pryor 9 Conor McManus10 Dan Hollinshead 11 Apensia Cakaubalavu 12 Quinn Ngawati 13 Troy Lockyear 14 Luke Hume 15 Ben Foden 16 Wilton Rebolo 17 Anthony Parry 18 Sak Taulafo19 Evan Mintern 20 Kyle Sumsion 21Andy Ellis 22 Harry Bennett 23 Joel Miranda

Toronto Arrows: 1 Cole Keith Jack McRogers 3 Tyler Rowland 4 Mike Sheppard 5 Paul Ciulini 6 Tomás de la Vega 7 Lucas Rumball (cc) 8 Manuel Diana 9 Ross Braude10 Tayler Adams 11 Manuel Montero 12 Patrick Parfrey 13 Ben LeSage (cc) 14 Gastón Mieres 15 Joaquin Tuclet 16 Pat Lynott 17 Andrew Quattrin18  Gastón Cortes 19 Mason Flesch 20 Marcello Wainwright 21 Jason Higgins 22 Leandro Leivas 23 Spencer Jones

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant