The Toronto Arrows drew 29-29 with Old Glory at York Lions Stadium on Thursday, May 18. It was the second consecutive draw for the Arrows, and DC gained three points in the standings to move into second place in the MLR Eastern Conference.
Old Glory DC kicked to begin the match and a quick knock-on turnover gave DC an attacking opportunity just outside the Toronto 22 meters, and after over ten phases, Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz barrelled over for a try with Gradyn Bowd slotting the extras, 0-7.
A Shane O’Leary chip and chase had Old Glory under pressure deep inside their own territory. They cleared and Toronto after going through a few phases had O’Leary pushing a penalty goal wide right after a DC infraction.
Toronto then had a line break by Lolani Faleiva led to the Arrows attacking to near in goal before a penalty allowed DC to clear. Momentum had swung to the Arrows and after a sustained attack, Ciaran Breen took an offload down the wide channel for a try with Bowd adding the extras to level the match at 7 all.
The resuing restart was muffed by D’Shawn Bowen and Peni Lasaqa picked up the ball and scored a try in the right corner with Bowd’s conversion short, 7-12.
After some back and forth, both teams had scoring opportunities thwarted by penalties inside their opponent’s 22 meters.
The Arrows attacking scrum at Old Glory’s 22 meters, led to a Ross Braude try with O’Leary slotting the extras for Toronto’s first lead of the match, 14-12, going into the break.
During the first half, the Arrows continued to experience player attrition. They began the match with 13 players unavailable due to injury. Lolani Faleiva and Mitch Richardson departed due to injury and Adrian Wadden went out for an HIA.
For the Arrows, the players are playing for contracts, and to excite their fan base at home. Canadian National Team Head Coach Kinsley Jones is in attendance and is closely watching players under national team consideration.
For Old Glory DC, it is an important match in the closely contested MLR Eastern Conference playoff race, likely for the second and third spots. DC entered the match 2 points behind Rugby New York, with a game in hand, and 3 points ahead of Rugby ATL.
An overthrow from a DC attacking lineout had Toronto going through multiple picks meters from in-goal. After two DC penalties, O’Leary slotted a penalty goal to increase Toronto’s lead to 17-12.
A counterattack by Owen Sheehy had DC attacking within the Arrows 22 meters. Fa’anana-Schultz lost the ball when grounding under the posts, however, an Arrows penalty led to James O’Neill being sent to the bin. Old Glory attacked from a 5-meter scrum with Tito Diaz Bonilla scoring in the right corner to level the match at 17 all after Bowd’s conversion was wide.
Old Glory went through multiple phases with Marcos Young scoring the team’s fourth try in the right corner, for a bonus point in the standings and a 17-22 lead after Diaz Bonilla’s conversion was wide.
The Arrows then had a sustained attack after a Nelson crosskick to Bowen. After an attacking lineout, Liam Bowman scored from close range and Peter Nelson’s successful conversion gave Toronto a 24-22 lead.
Old Glory struck right back with a multiple-phase attack with John Lefevre scoring a try under the posts to reclaim the lead, 24-29.
A break by Toronto’s Ciaran Breen and an attacking lineout by the Arrows moved Toronto within Old Glory’s 22 meters and D’Shawn Bowen scored a try to knot the match 29 all in the 79th minute. That left it in Peter Nelson’s hands to win the match, but the conversion was pushed to the left and the Arrows draw for the second consecutive week.
Old Glory picks up 3 points in the standings to move into second place with 33 points to Rugby New York’s 32.
In other Eastern Conference matches this weekend, Rugby ATL with 27 points will face the Dallas Jackals on Saturday and New England faces NOLA Gold on Sunday.
Next Saturday, May 27, the Toronto Arrows will travel to face the New England Free jacks, while Old Glory is at home that same day against the Seattle Seawolves.
TORONTO ARROWS 1 Lolani Faleiva 2 Tyler Wong 3 Tyler Rowland 4 Mason Flesch 5 Adrian Wadden 6 Owain Ruttan 7 James O’Neill 8 Travis Larsen 9 Ross Braude (C) 10 Peter Nelson 11 D’Shawn Bowen 12 Mitch Richardson 13 Tautalatasi Tasi 14 Ciaran Breen 15 Shane O’Leary 16 Ramón Ayarza 17 Connor Grindal 18 Conan O’Donnell 19 Hank Stevenson 20 Lucas Rumball 21 Will Grant 22 Liam Bowman 23 Kobe Faust
OLD GLORY DC 1 Jack Iscaro 2 Nic Souchon 3 Kyle Stewart 4 Collin Grosse 5 Kyle Baillie 6 Lautaro Bavaro 7 Niko Jones 8 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (C) 9 Danny Tusitala 10 Gradyn Bowd 11 Junior Sa’u 12 Thretton Palamo 13 William Talataina 14 Peni Lasaqa 15 Owen Sheehy 16 Facundo Gattas 17 Quentin Newcomer 18 Ramiro Herrera 19 Alejo Daireaux 20 Langilangi Haupeakui 21 John LeFevre 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla 23 Marcos Young
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