When Rugby New York hosts the Toronto Arrows on Sunday, March 27 at JFK Stadium in Hoboken, New Jersey, the other Eastern Conference matches on Saturday between Rugby ATL versus the New England Free Jacks, and the Old Glory DC versus NOLA Gold will already have been decided.
The Free Jacks gave back with 20 unanswered points for a 41-27 win over Rugby ATL to lead the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 record and 28 points. Rugby ATL gained a bonus point and has a 5-2 record and 26 points.
In the other Eastern Conference match, NOLA Gold defeated Old Glory DC 31-22 to improve their record to 3-4 with 16 points, with Old Glory still winless at 0-7, but picked up a bonus point in the loss, which was their first point in the standings.
Meanwhile, Rugby New York, 5-1 with 25 points and the Toronto Arrows 3-3 with 15 points, will focus on the task at hand. A New York bonus-point win will secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference after week 8, making it difficult for Toronto to get itself back into contention for a playoff spot. An Arrows win, would mean that the team would need a winning streak to keep the playoffs in mind.
Tickets for the Rugby New York match this Sunday against Toronto and the following Sunday against Old Glory DC are going fast. There is nothing like attending a live match and the kickoff for both is at 3 pm ET. Those who can’t attend will need to rely on the stream by The Rugby Network, for the international audience, which has been outstanding in providing live streams and replays of MLR matches. Canadian viewers should look for a stream on TSN.ca or on the TSN app.
For Rugby New York fans in Albany, New York, there will be a watch party on Sunday at The Excelsior Pub, beginning at 2:30 pm. For Toronto, there is a watch party at Hemingways Toronto.
Rugby New York – Toronto Arrows 2021 Matches
Last year the teams split the series with both teams winning on the road. The Arrows won the first match in a blowout, 53-12, while New York won the second at Life University 31-24. While Rugby New York’s team has changed significantly since last season, and the Arrows lost three key contributors to their victory, there are a few moments in the first match that would be long remembered for New York players from that match.
New York penalties, missed tackles, and handling errors allowed the match to get out of hand, however, there was a blocked ball by Mike Sheppard, which appeared to be knocked-on in-goal and grounded for a try. In 2021 the TMO was not utilized, and the try stood. This try ultimately led to the floodgates opening, but calls that do not favor a team were not the real concern.
In the 66th and 71st minutes of the match, with a bonus point already secured for the Arrows, unwritten rules of the sport seemed to have been violated. Point differential can be a factor, so it is understood that teams do not let up in adding tries. Attempting penalty kicks with games out of hand, however, while taking time off the clock, could be construed as an attempt to embarrass New York when Tayler Adams slotted the two penalty goals.
Both teams have respected each other in the past and matches have been close, so the kicking tactics seemed out of place.
The Toronto Arrows have developed and retained many of their players who have played together for several years and New York has a core of players that will remember that game. Foremost, the players from both sides are professionals and it is a new season. However, like an elephant, New York will not likely forget and will not take their foot off their attack against Toronto Sunday, especially in a very tight conference race.
The Arrows can’t look past Rugby New York ahead of the team’s first Toronto home opener since 2019, when they play Rugby ATL on April 2. Both will be key challenges!
Rugby New York
Rugby New York enters the match against the Toronto Arrows knowing that they seem to be in a three-way battle between Rugby ATL, New England Free jacks, although if the Arrows and NOLA Gold could string together a winning streak, they could get back into the playoff race.
Otherwise, the rest of the regular season in the Eastern Conference will be played to top the standings to gain a bye in the playoffs, with the second-place team hosting a conference semi-final against the third-place team.
Rugby New York featured expansive rugby at its best last week against NOLA Gold with Andrew Coe breaking his teammate Ed Fidow’s try-scoring team lead. Coe is among the MLR leaders in this category and both will be poised to score again, perhaps as soon as Sunday.
This week is back to JFK Stadium and with the narrower field width, the team will need to do some center crashes, some kicks ahead to open up the wide channel. The expected 18 mph wind and possible rain, could mean shorter offloads, and an attempt at greater ball possession. The forwards will need to continue to have an edge in the set pieces and contend well at the breakdowns for the team to win.
New York had two players on the MLR Week 7 First XV in Will Tucker and Jason Emery, as well as, Dylan Fawsitt and Sam Windsor achieving an MLR milestone, playing in their 50th match.
Head Coach Marty Veale has made one change in the starters with Quinn Ngawati at the inside center and Jason Emery shifting to the reserves. There is also a reserve change with Sak Taulafu on the matchday squad and Nic Mayhew rested.
The Toronto Arrows have surged back with 3 wins in their last 4 matches, after losing their first 2 matches. The team has historically been involved with close matches with New York, splitting the 2019 and 2021 series, and Sunday’s match should be no exception.
Toronto is in 4th place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-3 record and 15 points.
The Arrows have a well-defined pathway in place to facilitate player development and have many Canadian internationals, as well as others from Uruguay and Argentina on the squad. The team also has been a proponent of finding players like Ronan Foley, who is from Ireland, but holds a Canadian passport, and other players from New Zealand, as well.
The Arrows have entered matches knowing that they would be physical ones with their backline looking for seams for their centers to crash and overlaps for wings or their fullback to add tries.
The return of Sam Malcolm has been a significant one as he broke the 250 point scoring barrier last week and has been a force with his boot. He was one of two players on the Week 7 All-MLR First XV along with tighthead prop Isaac Salmon.
The Toronto Arrows have been very transparent with posting players who aren’t available due to injuries, as well as some of their statistical leaders in a number of categories. This week here are 12 players that are unavailable through injury.
For the Arrows, the match against New York is their 1028th day without a home match in Toronto, which dates back to June 2, 2019, when the teams met in Toronto. The team will need to wait another 7 days to host Rugby ATL on April 2.
Head Coach Peter Smith has made one change in the staters and two in the reserves since last week’s win over the Utah Warriors. Johnny Sheridan makes his season debut at the right-wing with Brock Webster shifting from left-wing to fullback for the injured Conor McCann, and Mitch Richardson moves from right to left-wing.
With both Adrian Wadden and Tomas de la Vega joining the injury list, Lolani Faleiva and Guiseppe du Toit joining the matchday squad, with the latter, could make his season debut.
The reserves have an unusual configuration of 3 props, with the usual hooker, flanker, scrumhalf, flyhalf/fullback, and center combination.
The starters have had significant international experience with 104 caps for Canada, and another 34 in the reserves.
Squads with Player Article Links
Rugby New York: 1 Chance Wenglewski 2 Kaleb Geiger 3 Kalolo Tuiloma 4 Nate Brakeley (C) 5 Will Tucker 6 Ben Bonasso 7 Brendon O’Connor 8 Kara Pryor 9 Conor McManus 10 Andy Ellis 11 Ed Fidow 12Quinn Ngawati 13 Faasiu Fuatai 14 Andrew Coe 15 Troy Lockyear 16 Dylan Fawsitt 17 Sak Taulafo 18 Wilton Rebolo 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Joe Basser 21 Connor Buckley 22 Sam Windsor 23 Jason Emery
Toronto Arrows: 1 Cole Keith 2 Andrew Quattrin 3 Isaac Salmon 4 Mike Sheppard (C) 5 Paul Ciulini 6 Lucas Rumball 7. James O’Neill 8 Ronan Foley 9 Ross Braude 10 Sam Malcolm 11Mitch Richardson 12 Ueta Tufuga 13 Dennon Robinson-Bartlett 14 Johnny Sheridan 15 Brock Webster 16 Jack McRogers 17 Rob Brouwer 18 Tyler Rowland 19 Lolani Faleiva 20 Ollie Nott 21 Chris Bell 22 Will Kelly 23 Guiseppe Du Toit
Rugby New York: Record 5-1
- Houston SaberCats 7-10 Rugby New York, Match Preview
- Rugby ATL 31-36 Rugby New York, Match Preview
- Dallas Jackals 5-41 Rugby New York, Match Preview
- Rugby New York 29-38 New England Free Jacks, Match Preview
- Rugby New York 26-23 San Diego Legion, Match Preview
- NOLA Gold 19-30 Rugby New York Match Preview
- Rugby New York vs Toronto Arrows (March 27) Match Preview
- Rugby New York vs Old Glory DC (April 3)
- LA Giltinis vs Rugby New York (April 10)
- Rugby New York vs New England Free Jacks (April 24)
- Rugby New York vs NOLA Gold (May 1)
- Toronto Arrows vs Rugby New York (May 8)
- Rugby New York vs Seattle Seawolves (May 15)
- Rugby New York vs Rugby ATL (May 22)
- Old Glory vs Rugby New York (May 29)
- New England Free Jacks vs Rugby New York (June 3)
Toronto Arrows: Record 3-3
- Seattle Seawolves 21-8 Toronto Arrows
- Toronto Arrows 16-31 LA Giltinis
- NOLA Gold 23-24 Toronto Arrows
- Old Glory DC 5-29 Toronto Arrows
- New England Free Jacks 21-15 Toronto Arrows
- Utah Warriors 24-27 Toronto Arrows
- Rugby New York vs Toronto Arrows
- Toronto Arrows vs Rugby ATL (April 2)
Rugby New York Celebrates Sam Windsor & Dylan Fawsitt 50th MLR Match
Congratulations to both Sam Windsor and Dylan Fawsitt, who became the third and fourth players to play in their 50th MLR match against NOLA Gold on March 19, 2022.
Sam Windsor was the third player to play in his 50th MLR match, just minutes ahead of his teammate, Dylan Fawsitt, both of whom entered the match as reserves.
Sam played his first 45 matches for the Houston SaberCats and then his first four for Rugby New York, before ending his consecutive match playing streak, after a last-minute scratch against the San Diego Legion on March 13th.
Dylan played in a three-match exhibition season for New York and then was loaned to the Colorado Raptors, playing in 8 matches in 2018. Since then, he has played 42 times for New York, with many more to come.
Both players were interviewed after the match on March 13. View below!
DJCoil Rugby Interviews
DJCoil Rugby articles by Doug Coil are also available on Facebook. Other Social Media sites to follow or subscribe to include Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for interviews.