Rugby New York lost 38-3 to Rugby ATL in their final regular-season home match on Sunday, May 22 at JFK Stadium in Hoboken, New Jersey. The match was streamed internationally on The Rugby Network.
Preceding the match at noon, the New York City Fire Department lost 48-29 to the New York City Police Department. The teams last played in 2019 before RUNY at MCU Park.
On Sunday, May 29, Rugby New York travels to Virginia to play Old Glory DC at 2:30 pm, while Rugby ATL hosts the Toronto Arrows at 3 pm ET.
Both Rugby New York and Rugby ATL are tied with 47 points, with ATL in second place in the Eastern Conference based on point differential. They will likely meet in the playoffs, although the Toronto Arrows are close behind with 40 points with two matches remaining for these three teams.
Rugby ATL took a 19-3 lead into the break, then added a try before the second half hydration break before scoring two late tries when the match was already decided in the last six minutes.
For Rugby New York, it was a question of what if Ed Fidow was awarded a try for grounding in the left corner (see featured photo). What if Heighton’s penalty goal attempt was made! What if Bonasso was not held up in-goal after the referee needed to go around the forwards’ pack and what if John Powers did not step into touch prior to grounding on the left in-goal post, for example.
New York also had several opportunities to score from scrums and lineouts near in-goal, but ATL’s defense or handling errors did not result in points.
Rugby ATL swarming defense and capitalizing on handling errors were factors in gaining the win.
The Ratlers struck first with Te Rangatira Waitokia picking up a loose ball and offloading it to Ryan Rees for a try with Kurt Coleman adding the extras, 0-7.
New York appeared to answer back with an Ed Fidow try in the left corner, but after a TMO, he was ruled to have stepped into touch before grounding. A penalty advantage, a 5-meter lineout, and a couple of scrums later, Ben Bonasso barrelled over in-goal but was ruled to be held up, and an in-goal drop out to ARL resulted.
Soon after, Rugby New York’s Will Tucker was red-carded in the 16th minute for a forearm to the head of Ryan Rees and would be down a man for the next 20 minutes. Rugby ATL would capitalize with a try by Daemon Torres and a conversion by Coleman, 0-14.
New York lost their second lock when Nick Civetta left the field for an HIA and did not return. Charlie Hewitt replaced him and paired with captain Ben Bonasso, who had started the match at blindside flanker.
After a penalty advantage, New York flyhalf Jack Heighton cut the lead after slotting a penalty goal, which turned out to be the hosts’ only points of the match, 3-14. Heighton had another attempt later in the half, but it was wide.
Rugby ATL added a third try in the 36th minute with Alex Maughan scoring from close range, and Coleman’s conversion bouncing off the left upright, 3-19.
New York appeared to be on the verge of scoring right before the break, but a knock-on by Brendon O’Connor ended the half with ATL having a 19-3 lead.
Rugby New York had the first scoring chance of the half after a Nic Mayhew break, which was followed by another by Heighton before a knock-on thwarted this effort.
Instead, ATL would add a bonus point try by Austin White in the right corner with Joaquin de la Vega Mendia slotting the conversion, 3-26.
New York had another scoring chance with a lineout 5-meters from in-goal with ATL’s Will Burke sent to the bin. A New York 5-meter scrum and an ATL penalty did not produce a try, and a New York penalty allowed ATL to clear.
New York used a wide ball left to offload to john Powers who grounded the ball on the left corner flag. He was ruled to have stepped into touch prior to grounding.
ATL would add a try by Johan Momsen after a line-out 5-meters from in-goal with Coleman slotting again, 3-33, and another by Will Helu in the 80th minute with Duncan Van Schalkwyk’s conversion wide, 3-38.
With the win, Rugby ATL’s record improved to 9-5 and 47 points, both the same as Rugby New York. ATL moved into second place in the Eastern Conference over New York-based on point differential.
Rugby New York will play their final two regular-season matches on the road on May 29 at Old Glory DC and on June 3 against the Free Jacks. Rugby ATL hosts Toronto on May 29 and then NOLA Gold on June 3.
Squads with Player Article Links
Rugby New York: 1 Nic Mayhew 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Sak Taulafo 4 Nick Civetta 5 Will Tucker 6 Ben Bonasso (C) 7 Brendon O’Connor 8 Antonio Kiri Kiri 9 Connor Buckley 10 Jack Heighton 11 Ed Fidow 12 Quinn Ngawati 13 Faasiu Fuatai 14 Andrew Coe 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder16 Kaleb Geiger 17 Chance Wenglewski 18 Wilton Rebolo 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Joe Basser 21Conor McManus 22 Sam Windsor 23 John Powers
Rugby ATL: 1 Alex Maughan 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg 3 John-Roy Jenkinson 4 Justin Basson 5 Johan Momsen 6 Connor Cook 7 Matt Heaton (C.) 8 Daemon Torres 9 Ryan Rees 10 Kurt Coleman 11 Austin White 12 George Barton 13 Te Rangatira Waitokia 14 Cole Davis 15 Joaquín de la Vega Mendía 16 Tiaan Erasmus 17 Will Burke 18 John Sullivan 19 Evan Mintern 20 Vili Helu 21Rowan Gouws 22 Duncan van Schalkwyk 23 Ryan Nell
Rugby New York: Record 9-5, 47 points, 3rd place
- 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 10-14 Toronto Arrows Match Preview
- Rugby New York 35-31 Old Glory DC Match Preview
- LA Giltinis 43-0 Rugby New York Match Preview
- Rugby New York 26-29 New England Free Jacks Match Preview
- Rugby New York 36-28 NOLA Gold Match Preview
- Toronto Arrows 17-41 Rugby New York Match Preview
- Rugby New York 30-22 Seattle Seawolves Match Preview
- Rugby New York 3-38 Rugby ATL Match Preview
- Old Glory vs Rugby New York (May 29)
- New England Free Jacks vs Rugby New York (June 3)
Rugby ATL: Record 9-5, 47 points, 2nd place
- Rugby ATL 55-22 Old Glory DC
- NOLA Gold 9-14 Rugby ATL
- Rugby ATL 31-36 Rugby New York
- Rugby ATL 29-22 Houston SaberCats
- Rugby ATL 29-14 Austin Gilronis
- Old Glory DC 13-27 Rugby ATL
- Rugby ATL 27-41 New England Free jacks
- Toronto Arrows 14-20 Rugby ATL
- NOLA Gold 17-34 Rugby ATL
- San Diego Legion 17-30 Rugby ATL
- Rugby ATL 19-31 LA Giltinis
- Utah Warriors 44-26 Rugby ATL
- New England Free jacks 15-10 Rugby ATL
- Rugby New York 3-38 Rugby ATL May 22
- Rugby ATL vs Toronto Arrows May 28
- Rugby ATL vs NOLA Gold June 3