Week 2 | Match Reports
Utah Warriors 39 – 33 New England Free Jacks
Whilst Utah took an early lead thanks to a Hagen Schulte penalty, it was new England who scored the first try of this game. Deion Mikesell benefitted from quick hands to the corner, Guillimin unable to convert the try.
Schulte would strike another penalty to keep Utah ahead, before that lead was extended even more after Fetu’u Vainikolo singlehandedly cut through New England’s defensive line to score a try, Schulte converting the try to make it 13-5.
New England struck back through captain Josh Larsen leaping over a ruck, Guillimin adding the extra two points from the boot. There would be no ore scoring in the first half, but things really broke out in the second period.
Poasa Waqanibau and Mikesell scored a try each in the opening stages of the second half, their fly-half converting each score, giving the Free Jacks a healthy lead with lime to spare. This was time that Utah would take advantage of as they ran in four tries, Dwayne Polataivao, Schulte, Saia Uhila and Michael Baska all registering tries at the Sam Boyd Stadium, with the goalkicker converting three of the scores.
New England would make things tense for Utah in the closing stages, Mitch Wilson dancing arounf Utah defenders, giving Guillimin another conversion. It was too little too late from New England though, with Utah grinding out the 39-33 win in Vegas.
Rugby United New York 49 – 31 Austin Gilgronis
New York and Austin both entered this match with an 0-1 record, each team looking to improve from the week before.
Austin conceded one way traffic to New York at the three-minute mark when Mathieu Bastareaud scored off the back of a driving maul. After the restart following several phases, Cathal Marsh burst through the defensive line for a score, converting his own try to put NY up 14-0.
The visitors found their feet against NY, forcing a turnover at the breakdown. Austin chose to take a lineout, Marcelo Torrealba passed to Dominic Akina who scored a try cutting through the NY transition. After the restart, New York conceded a penalty, Torrealba converting the score to 14-10.
Sione Fangaiuiha conceded a yellow card at the breakdown. This led to one way traffic for a second time when Troy Lockyear scored in the left corner. Immediately following, Dylan Fawsitt directed the NY lineout and driving maul over the line to cap the half at 28-10.
Troy Lockyear got started early in the second half as he took a pass and cut through the Austin defense for a try from 40-meters out extending NY’s lead to 35-10.
Following some key moves by Zinzan Elan-Puttick to get within 5 meters of the line, Torrealba dug the ball out of the ruck and passed to the waiting Mason Pedersen, which brought life back into the Austin side and cut the lead to 35-17.
Then, a loose ball from an Austin lineout led to Julio Cesar Giraldo finding himself deep in the Austin backfield for a try.
Austin showed some life with Elan-Puttick and Gabe Farley each scoring a try each in rapid succession.
Lockyear ended all the hope for Austin as he intercepted Torrealba setting up a try by Kyle Sumsion moments later off a scrum and ending the match at 49-31.
Toronto Arrows 27 – 22 Houston SaberCats
Two unbeaten sides coming into this game, Toronto and Houston played out a superb 27-22 game in Las Vegas, with Toronto eventually taking home the W, despite a late resurgence from the SaberCats.
Sam Malcolm opened the scoring early on, his well-struck penalty putting the Arrows in front. That lead grew further with scores from Guiseppe Dy Toit and Manuel Diana. Both came after some powerful runs and each was converted by Malcolm.
Houston would strike back through captain De Wet Roos, the scrum-half chasing Sam Windsor’s kick through brilliantly. Unable to convert the try, Houston would be made to regret that missed kick when Dan Moor raced over for Toronto, Sam Malcolm converting to make it 24-5 at half time.
After the break Houston came out firing. Replacement hooker Diego Fortuny crossed the whitewash to score a try, Windsor converting and keeping the momentum in Houston’s favor.
Penalties from each side would follow before Wet De Roos seized the opportunity bring Houston further into the game, the Texans just five points short of Toronto in the closing exchanges.
Houston did get deep into the Toronto half with seconds left on the clock, the Arrows reduced to 13 men after a yellow card for Tomy De La Vega and a red card for lock Mike Sheppard. Holding the ball up over the line Toronto held on to keep their 100% winning record.
Old Glory DC 28 – 22 Seattle Seawolves
Getting the ball out of the ruck, Jason Robertson cut diagonally across the pitch through three Seattle defenders scoring a try putting Old Glory up 5-0. Seattle conceded a penalty near mid-field and Robertson converted to make it 8-0.
With defensive pressure, Seattle forced Old Glory to kick the ball. Riekert Hattingh carried hard up the sideline but was tackled high. Brock Staller then kicked for points to put Seattle on the board 8-3.
Another Old Glory high tackle penalty gave Brock Staller his second conversion, which brought Seattle to 8-6.
Old Glory’s scrum settled in, forcing Seattle to kick the ball away. With a knock on by George Barton Old Glory was able to get down field. Three phases after a DC lineout, the ball passed to Robertson and then to Doug Fraser for a try establishing a more firm lead against Seattle at 13-6.
Although Old Glory’s set piece defense held off Seattle’s drive, they conceded back to back penalties giving Staller two chances to kick for points bringing the score to 13-12.
Seattle’s attack kicked into high gear moving down the pitch across from one side line to the other until Hattingh put Seattle ahead with a try to take the lead 13-19.
Mungo Mason intercepted a Scott Dean pass and gained 50 meters before being tackled high by Nakai Penny. Robertson elected for the penalty to cut into Seattle’s lead 16-19.
Staller answered Robertson with a penalty kick extending the Seattle lead 16-22.
Old Glory chipped the ball deep, David Busby chased but mishandled it giving Old Glory a lineout. The ball passed out wide to Renata Roberts-Tenana who finished it to put Old Glory ahead.
With error after error plaguing Seattle, Robertson was fed the ball and sprinted for a try in the corner to score Old Glory’s final points at 28-22.
NOLA Gold 10 – 22 Rugby ATL
Kevin O’Connor conceded a yellow card for a high tackle early in the match to put the Gold at a man disadvantage. Yet, the home side’s defense held and cut the time off for him to get back on the pitch.
The lineout and drive with three attempts finally got over the line when ‘Skeeter’ Stevens touched it down for the Gold to take the lead. Carl Meyer kicked the conversion putting the Gold up 7-0.
In the same manner as the Gold, the Rugby ATL set piece was put into employment. Rugby ATL elected for the lineout and maul, in space, Jeremy Misailegalu came in at pace and was fed the ball as he burst over the line for a try. The Gold remained ahead 7-5.
Midway through the third quarter of play Tim Maupin conceded a yellow card for a high tackle. Kurt Coleman took Atlanta’s first lead of the match with the conversion up 7-8.
New Orleans conceded another penalty, Atlanta elected for a long shot at goal, and Coleman nailed it down the middle extending their lead 7-11.
After the restart, NOLA gained possession marching down the field. Atlanta conceded a penalty giving Carl Meyer a shot at goal making the match nail-biting close at 10-11.
Kurt Coleman earned another shot at goal when the Gold conceded a penalty in the fourth quarter of play, forcing the home side to score a try to win by leading 10-14.
The Gold’s discipline faltered and gave Coleman another extension to Atlanta’s lead 10-17 when he kicked the penalty.
The Gold would try to march 90 meters down the field, but gave up the ball in the tackle. Rory Van Vugt capped off the victory for the visitors with a try in the corner finishing 10-22 over New Orleans.
San Diego Legion 49 – 22 Colorado Raptors
The final game of the Las Vegas weekend did not disappoint. Within the opening blows, San Diego had a penalty kicked by fly-half Luke Burton and Colorado scored a try through full-back Mason Emerson, Tomas Quinlan unable to convert.
A period of San Diego dominance would follow. Paul Mullen’s efforts at the scrum meant that Legion were awarded a penalty try, before Dylan Audsley leapt onto a pass to score a try, extending his teams lead even more, especially after Burton’s conversion.
Ma’a Nonu then scored his first MLR try, the 103-time All Black stepping through the Raptors defenders to got down, giving Burton an easy conversion. Dean Muir then registered his third try in two weeks, driving over with a maul and giving Burton another simple two points.
Former Legion scrum-half Nick Boyer would deflate his former teammates slightly though. Diving over at the end of the half, the Raptors reduced the half time deficit to 16 points with 40 minutes yet to play.
It was the Raptors that struck first in the second half, Mika Kruse intercepting a Nonu pass to race under the sticks, allowing for an easy conversion. Some ten minutes later, Burton kicked two penalties to keep Legion’s lead healthy.
Their lead would get healthier still, tries from Nate Augsperger and JP Du Plessis took Legion near the fifty-point mark, with Burton missing one of his two conversion attempts. Legion and Colorado threatened some more in the closing stages, but it is San Diego taking five points back with them to California.
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