Rugby New York Raises Shield to Repel Arrows

Rugby New York Ironworkers beat the Toronto Arrows 39-3 at Memorial Stadium in Mount Vernon, New York on Sunday, February 26. The match replay may be viewed on The Rugby Network.

Match Recap

The Toronto Arrows made several backline changes after they had their third flyhalf become unavailable due to injury. Mitch Richardson was selected for the position and other backline changes followed.

Before the match, commentators mentioned would the Ironworkers maintain discipline, and that the Arrows thought New York might be vulnerable in the lineouts. New York conceded 13 penalties to 10 for Toronto, Each team did lose 4 lineouts, mainly when the ball went to the ground, but the Ironworkers did win 11 lineouts and the Arrows 8.

What was noticeable was even though scrums were relatively even, New York often had the Arrows on their back foot while driving. Although possession was relatively even, the Ironworkers dominated time in their opponent’s territory, 68% to 32%, created more turnovers 6 to 4 and had 7 linebreaks to 2 for the Arrows.

After New York led 13-0 at the break, the floodgates opened as the Ironworkers scored often for a 39-3 win.

First Half

New York had the first scoring opportunity from a 5-meter lineout, but a knock-on gave the Arrows a defensive 5-meter scrum and allowed them to clear. 

A Toronto penalty at the breakdown led to another New York 5-meter lineout, with Dylan Fawsitt scoring a try from the ensuing maul. Sam Windsor’s conversion from near touch was wide, 5-0.

In the 11th minute, the match was halted after Windsor’s high ball led to a head collision between Toronto wing Cole Davis and fullback Ciaran Breen. Davis was carted off the pitch and taken to the hospital, and Toronto reported his status below later in the evening below.

Avery Oitomen replaced Cole Davis and the match resumed 10+ minutes later, after another ambulance arrived at the field, as required.

Toronto seized a New York lineout and after a strong run by Tasi and an Ironworkers penalty, had a 5-meter attacking lineout. A counter ruck by Chance Wenglewski allowed Andrew Coe to clear.

New York attacked after Richardson’s kick went directly into touch with the Ironworkers attacking just outside the Arrows’ 22-meters. After the lineout, the Arrows’ poach attempt resulted in a New York knock-on, resulting in a scrum. New York turned the ball over with a drive and seven phases later, Brendon O’Connor grounded the ball for an apparent try. However, after the play was reviewed, the referee ruled no try, as Nic Mayhew had obstructed during the play.

New York would score soon after a Toronto lineout was tapped for a Dylan Fawsitt steal and Brendon O’Connor try, 10-0.

A New York penalty with 5 minutes left in the half, led to a penalty goal attempt by Kobe Faust which was wide.

An Arrows turnover had Kara Pryor advancing with a strong run and after another run by jack Heighton, Toronto hooker Gene Syminton was sent to the bin for a high tackle with a minute remaining in the half, Sam Windsor slotted a penalty goal and New York lead 13-0 at the break.

Second Half

New York opened the half with a try in the 41st minute after a quick tap penalty by Connor Buckley and runs by Bonasso and O’Connor, and then Nate Brakeley for the score with Windsor converting to push the lead to 20-0.

Toronto got on the board with their only score three minutes later with Kobe Faust slotting a penalty goal to cut the lead to 20-3.

The Ironworkers substituted Kaleb Geiger for a lineout throw inside Toronto’s 22-meters and the team mauled with Geiger peeling off the back for a try with Windsor converting, 27-3.

After a Kara Pryor break near in-goal, the Arrows were penalized and Fasi Fuatai added a try after a lineout, with Windsor adding the extras, 34-3.

A lower leg injury to Ben Bonasso had Fasi Fuatai moving to blindside flanker from the backs, and following a break by Ed Fidow, Eamonn Matthews dove over for a try from close range, 39-3.

Toronto had the next scoring opportunity but Brad Tucker dislodged the ball before Kobe Faust’s grounding attempt.

New York had one final scoring chance from close range, but an Arrows lineout steal thwarted this and the match ended with a New York 39-3 win to open their new stadium.

The win moved New York into first place based on point differential over Old Glory DC, which has a game in hand. The Free jacks and Rugby ATL follow, with all four teams having 5 points in the standings.

Prior matches between the clubs were generally close, with one dominant Arrows win, before today’s dominant New York one.

Next Sunday New York will face Old Glory DC at home, while Toronto will regroup during a bye week before meeting the Chicago Hounds away on Saturday, March 11.

Squads With DJCoil Rugby Player Article Links & Match Preview

Rugby New York Ironworkers: 1 Chance Wenglewski 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Nic Mayhew 4 Nate Brakeley (C) 5 Hamish DalzellBen BonassoBrendon O’ConnorKara Pryor  9  Connor Buckley 10 Sam Windsor 11 Ed Fidow 12 Jason Emery 13 Fa’asiu Fuatai 14 Andrew Coe 15 Jack Heighton16  Kaleb Geiger 17 Tevita Langi 18 Sam Davies 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Brad Tucker 21 Eamonn Matthews 22 Teihorangi Walden 23 John Powers

Toronto Arrows: 1 Conan O’Donnell 2 Gene Syminton 3 Isaac Salmon 4 Mason FleschMiciah Torrance-Read 6 Travis Larsen 7 Lucas Rumball (C) 8 Mitch Eadie 9 Ross Braude 10 Mitch Richardson 11 Kobe Faust 12 Fabian Goodhall 13 Tautalatasi Tasi 14 Cole Davis 15 Ciaran Breen 16 Jack McRogers 17 Ramón Ayarza 18  Nik Hildebrand 19 Adriaan Wadden 20 Mike Sheppard 21 James O’Neill  22 Cole Brown 23 Avery Oitomen

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