Rugby New York Thrills Fans with Win Over Dallas Jackals

Rugby New York defeated the Dallas  Jackals 43-14 on Sunday, June 4 at Memorial Stadium in Mt. Vernon, New York. The match was broadcast on MSG Networks, as well as streamed on The Rugby Network domestically and internationally.

With the win, the Ironworkers are within a point of clinching an MLR Eastern Conference playoff spot. They will travel to Rugby ATL next Saturday to attempt to clinch that spot and eliminate Rugby ATL in the process. New York will finish their final regular season match at home on June 18 against the Utah Warriors, who are contesting for third place in the Western Conference.

The Jackals finish their regular season at home the next two Saturdays against NOLA Gold and the Chicago Hounds.

Match Recap

The Dallas Jackals opened the scoring from a lineout with Adriaan Booysen offloading to Lui Sitama inside for a try under the posts, 0-7.

Rugby New York had a break by fullback Andrew Coe, which was followed by offloads from Connor Buckley to Fasi Fuatai Fasi and a grub kick by Ed Fidow which was grounded in goal for a goal drop. A short time later, the Ironworkers Pago Haini scored from close range with Jason Emery adding the extras to level the score, 7-7.

Following another Coe break passes by Brooklyn Hardaker to Brad Tucker to Connor Buckley resulted in a try with Emery’s conversion wide, 12-7.

Rugby New York added a third try from a lineout turned into a maul and Connor Buckley offloaded to Ed Fidow, who stepped his way in-goal, 17-7, with Emery’s kick from touch wide.

New York would add a bonus point try after a Dallas Lineout throw went long. Dylan Fawsitt grabbed the ball and kicked ahead and resulting in a Connor Buckley try, 22-7

The Ironworkers almost added another try, but an errant pass went into touch.

Second Half

Rugby New York’s momentum from the first half carried over into the second half with Tevita Langi scoring from close range. Jason Emery slotted the conversion to push the lead to 29-7.

Dallas had an attacking opportunity from a lineout 6 meters from in-goal, and the Ironworkers’ defense prevailed as a Jackals’ player was held up in goal resulting in a goal drop for New York. The Ironworkers seem to lead the MLR in team hold-ups in goal.

Dallas attacked again down the right side with Conrado Roura adding a try and Alejandro Torres the extras, 29-14.

Rugby New York would add two more tries in the match. Charlie Hewitt scored from close range with Sam Windsor slotting the conversion, and Nick Feakes added another with Windsor again adding the extras, 43-14.

In the 78th minute, Nate Brakeley exited the match with an apparent injury and was not replaced. One minute later, Brendon O’Connor was sent to the bin for a professional foul, with the Ironworkers finishing with 13 men.

Dallas appeared to add another try, but after a TMO review, a forward pass negated their effort.

Following the 43-14 win for Rugby New York, Connor Buckley was named Man of the Match. Dyland Fawsitt and Chance Wenglewski were honored for achievements earned last week in playing in 75 and 50 MLR matches, respectively. The Dallas Jackals Alex Tucci also played in his 50th MLR match this week.

When looking at team statistics, the Dallas Jackals had 53% of the possession and Rugby New York had 52% of the territory. New York had the edge with 5 linebreaks to none for the Jackals. Both teams won  12 lineouts, but a telling stat was the 6 lineout losses for the Jackals. Three of them were thrown long to Dylan Fawsitt, who booted the ball ahead to within meters of in-goal and resulted in two tries. New York continues to need to concede fewer penalties as they had 11 to the Jackals’ 5.

Squads with Player Profile Links & Match Preview

Rugby New York Ironworkers: 1 Nic Mayhew 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Kaleb Geiger 4 Nate Brakeley (C) 5 Hamish Dalzell 6 Brad Tucker7 Monate Akuei 8 Pago Haini 9 Connor Buckley10 Jason Emery 11 Ed Fidow 12 Teihorangi Walden 13 Fa’asiu Fuatai 14 Brooklyn Hardaker 15 Andrew Coe 16 Daquan Perry 17 Tevita Langi 18 Sam Davies 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Brendon O’Connor 21 Conor McManus 22 Sam Windsor 23 Nick Feakes

Dallas Jackals (per MLR App): 1 Liam Murray 2 Dewald Kotze 3 Juan Pablo Zeiss 4 Sam Golla 5 Lucas Bur 6 Jerónimo Gómez Vara 7 Conrado Roura 8 Adriaan Booysen 9 Pedro Imhoff 10 Alejandro Torres 11  Lui Sitama 12 Tomas Cubilla 13  Tomas Malanos 14 Campbell Johnstone 15 Marcos Moroni 16 Alex Tucci 17 Connor Robinson 18 Herman Agenbag 19 Carson Shoemaker 20 Jalen Tatum or Nolan Buckley or  21 Danny Christensen 22  Juan Pablo Aguirre 23 James Vaifale

MLR Eastern Conference Playoff Race

On Friday, the first-place 12-2 New England Free Jacks (58 points) beat Rugby ATL 35-14. While the Free Jacks had already clinched home-field advantage in the Conference, Rugby ATL did not pick up a bonus point and remains in fourth place with 27 points. ATL will host the Ironworkers next Saturday and Old Glory DC in two weeks. They will need to win both matches with bonus points and not have New York earn a point to keep their chances alive for the postseason in 2023.

Old Glory DC clinched their first postseason time in their history with a 28-15 bonus point win over NOLA Gold on Saturday. Old Glory has a 6-7-1 record (38 points) and their remaining matches away against Houston and home against Rugby ATL, along with Rugby New York’s results, will determine who will host the Eastern Conference second vs third match in the opening round of the playoffs.

With the win against the Dallas Jackals, the Ironworkers (37 points) are within a point of clinching an MLR Eastern Conference playoff spot. They will travel to Rugby ATL next Saturday to attempt to clinch that spot and eliminate Rugby ATL in the process. They still are in contention for second place with Old Glory, so each point earned in the standings is important. New York will finish their final regular season match at home on June 18 against the Utah Warriors.

Rugby New York Ironworkers Interviews

Rugby New York Ironworkers wing “Ed” Teofilo Fidow discusses his time with New York and playing for Samoa.

Rugby New York Ironworkers “Pago” Pagopagohokma Haini discusses winning the Major League Rugby Shield Championship twice, his time in New York, and being a commentator.

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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.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant