Rugby United New York scored the opening try but lost 53-12 to the Toronto Arrows on Sunday, April 25 at Cochrane Stadium in Jersey City, N.J. The match was broadcast on MSG, TSN 2, and streamed on The Rugby Network.
Toronto moved to the top of the very competitive Eastern Conference standings with the point differential separating Rugby ATL who also has a 3-3 record and 16 points. Rugby United New York has a 3-2 record with 15 points with total wins separating them from NOLA Gold’s 2-2-1 record and 15 points. Old Glory DC also has a 2-2-1 record with 13 points, while the New England Free Jacks are 2-3 with 11 points.
Next week, the Toronto Arrows travel to New Orleans to face NOLA Gold on Sunday, May 2 in a 1 pm ET match at the Gold Mine. Rugby United New York travels cross country to Seattle for a Sunday night match against the Seattle Seawolves at 8 pm ET.
Rugby United New York used a Toronto penalty at midfield to attack from a couple of lineouts 5 meters from in-goal and moved the ball wide right for a try by Luke Hume in the corner for a 5-0 lead in the third minute.
Following an Arrows scrum, Argentine international fullback, Joaquin Tuculet, exploited a gap in the RUNY defense for a try under the posts, 5-7. It was also the 100th Toronto Arrows try in the team’s history.
An offside call on New York had Tayler Adams kicking for points, however, the missed kick resulted in a 22-meter drop.
A RUNY lineout at midfield that was thrown too long, had the Arrows chipping ahead with Ben Foden taking, but he was isolated and then penalized for not releasing. Tayler Adams quick tapped and cross-kicked to Manuel Montero on the left-wing for a try, as New York was caught off-guard, 5-12.
Dylan Fawsitt placed the Arrows under pressure by kicking a loose ball near the Arrows’ in-goal, however, Gaston Mieres counter-attacked, instead of clearing, and the team advanced the ball to midfield.
Late in the half, Tayler Adams’ penalty goal attempt after a RUNY no-wrap tackle ricocheted off the posts and Ben Foden cleared to Gaston Mieres. After several phases, a New York penalty had the Arrows attacking from a 5-meter lineout. Montero evaded a tackle attempt by Quinn Ngwati for Toronto’s third try, with Adams adding the extras, 5-19.
RUNY threatened in the closing minute from a lineout after an Arrow’s penalty. Nick Civetta gathered the throw, Dyan Fawsitt broke near in-goal and was stopped by Lucas Rumball. Ben Bonasso advanced closed and Fawsitt was pinged for not releasing to end the half. Unfortunately, this could have been a momentum swing for New York.
During the first half, the RUNY set-pieces were creating an attacking platform. New York created scrum penalties and often the lineout was uncontested by the Arrows. Nick Civetta was a key target in the lineouts.
The Arrows Lucas Rumball showed what a breakdown thief he could be, as well as disrupting plays through his tackles. The hit on the day went to Samu Tawake, who drilled Tayler Adams as he was ducking. He was penalized and the Arrows took exception, referee Derek Summers brought team actions under control.
Five minutes into the second half, the Arrows had RUNY under pressure near in-goal. A Conor McManus clearance kick was blocked by Mike Sheppard, with Sheppard scoring in the left corner. That resulted in a bonus point try, with Adams adding the extras, 5-26. This was likely knocked on by Sheppard, but without a TMO, the decision stood.
After the Arrows secured the restart, Adams blasted a kick downfield through the dead ball line and was brought back to midfield for a RUNY scrum. Kyle Sumsion showed what a powerful runner he can be, and Evan Mintern added another strong effort. Another RUNY scrum had Sumsion advancing to within a meter of in-goal before Andy Ellis finished with a try, the team’s 100th in its history. Dan Hollinshead then converted to cut the lead, 12-26.
After this, the floodgates opened with the Arrows back picking the pocket of RUNY’s defense. After Toronto went through multiple phased, Gaston Mieres, grounded in the right corner with Adams slotting from touch, 12-33.
Penalties and handling errors thwarted New York attacks but with the match seemingly in hand for Toronto, in the 66th minute, the Arrows elected to kick for goal by Adams. The kick was successful, 12-39. Kicks like this take time off the clock but are infuriating for the other team. This happened again in the 71st minutes, 12-39.
Toronto added a hat trick try by ‘La Panter’ Manuel Montero in the 75th minutes, with Adams converting, 12-46. They added a final try by Jason Higgins after a strong run by Ben LeSage, with Adams slotting again, 12-53.
A Troy Lockyear intercept had the Arrows off their feet at the breakdown in the 80th minute. RUNY attacked from a 5-meter lineout, mauled, and executed a pop pass to Quinn Ngwati, who lost the ball forward as he was cross the line. Toronto gathered and kicked it out to claim the win.
Team penalties, shifts later in controlling scrums, and the high ball pressure were factors in RUNY’s loss. Credit the Arrows for their back-line attack. Once the momentum swung, it was difficult for New York to get back in the match.
Luckily, it is early in the season, and both teams will be contending for the Eastern Conference playoff spots. Only 5 points separate all teams, with the first four teams within 1 point of each other. It is a long season, and standing will likely change.
Next Sunday, Toronto has an early match away against NOLA Gold, while RUNY makes a trip out to the Pacific Northwest to play the Seawolves that night.
Post Match RUNY Comments
Toronto’s first try against RUNY by Joaquin Tuculet was the 100th try in Arrows’s history. Similarly, Rugby United New York waited until the second half for their 100th team try by Andy Ellis, after a try by Luke Hume to open the match.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
Rugby United New York: 1 James Rochford 2 Dylan Fawsitt (c) 3 Samu Tawake 4 Charlie Hewitt 5 Nick Civetta 6 Nate Brakeley 7 Ben 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 2 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