Week 3 | Match Reports
Colorado Raptors 20 – 27 NOLA Gold
Early on the New Orleans Gold elected to kick to the corner following a Raptors penalty. The choice was perfect as Eric Howard threw the Gold lineout and drove the maul through the Raptor’s defense and set down for a try. Carl Meyer kicked the conversion putting the Gold up early 0-7.
Shortly following the restart Julian Dominguez took an offload from Dolan to cut through the Raptors defense for a try. Gold early a quality start up 0-14.
A Gold scrum penalty gave the Raptors an early choice, they elected for the corner as well. After the lineout collapsed, Nick Boyer took the ball out of the breakdown and hit the gap in the defense for a try bringing the score 7-14.
Tomas Quinlan scored a penalty following a Gold infringement cutting the lead 10-14. Repeated infringements from the Gold gave Quinlan another penalty attempt which he used to cut into the Gold lead to 13-14.
Taking the dish out of the ruck from Holden Yungert, Tim Maupin spied an angle and pushed through the Glendale defense. He found contact, but with Meyer in support, Maupin made an offload that yielded a try in the corner putting the Gold up 13-19.
Chad Gough failed to roll away giving Meyer a clear penalty conversion, Meyer kicked through the middle of the sticks to extend the Gold lead 13-22. After the restart, the ball was pushed wide to Meyer who broke a tackle to put the blinders on and score a try.
Off a stolen Gold lineout, Carlo De Nysschen passed the ball out of a ruck to John Ryberg who saw daylight for a try bringing the Raptors back in it 20-27.
The Raptors drove down the field but the ball would be passed forward giving the Gold a scrum to finish the match.
Austin Gilgronis 20 – 20 Utah Warriors
Austin took the lead early in this game at Bold Stadium. Kicking a penalty through scrum-half Marcelo Torrealba, it would be Utah who would score the first try. Coming from the Warriors own scrum-half, Dwayne Polataivao, the Samoan international jetted through the Gilgronis defense, allowing Hagen Schulte to kick his first two points of the game.
A penalty from Schulte would end the first half. A low scoring half, all hell would break loose in the second, with Austin playing much the better rugby and will likely be upset not to have secured four points.
The introduction of former All Black, Frank Halai to the team was a big part of this. Nicknamed ‘The Tank’ due to his size and playing style, the New Zealander drove his team upfield, resulting in a try from hooker Tiaan Erasmus and a conversion that would level the scores.
Halai did score his first try in the burnt orange as well after Zinzan Elan-Puttick, Lino Saunitoga and Corey Jones combined to allow their new teammate an opportunity to score. Torrealba converted the score to give his side a seven point lead.
Utah would begin their come back with a Schulte penalty, taking them within four points of their hosts. Making the difference seven points again with another Torrealba penalty, it took until after the 80 minute mark for Warriors to level the scores. Driving Kalolo Tuiloma over the line, Schulte’s conversion meant that the game finished as a rare, but enthralling draw.
Houston SaberCats 13 – 22 Old Glory DC
After their historic win over Seattle last weekend, Old Glory DC have secured their second win of the regular season, beating Houston at the AVEVA Stadium. DC took the early lead, fly-half Jason Robertson kicking a penalty, starting off a good individual day for the New Zealander.
Houston would take the lead shortly after, Tiaan Loots breaking two tackles to cross the try line. Sam Windsor reliably converted the try before another Robertson penalty made sure that Old Glory were just a hairs breadth away from their hosts.
DC would score a try before half-time, Mungo Mason latching onto the back of a driving maul, giving Jason Robertson another two points from the boot. The score would be 13 all at half-time after two more Sam Windsor penalties.
The SaberCats did not score any points in the second half, Old Glory building up their score with thanks to Houston ill-discipline in kickable positions. Jason Robertson kicked all of the points, meaning that he finished with a personal tally of 17 points.
Seattle Seawolves 17 – 39 Toronto Arrows
With back to back penalties early, the Seawolves gave Sam Malcolm an early conversion to push the Arrows ahead 0-3.
Jeremy Lenaerts seized the opportunity to shift the momentum with a hard counter ruck, this achieved possession for the Seawolves. With a cut by Shalom Suniula, the Seawolves knocked at the door.
With two dominant scrums by the Seawolves, the ball was fed wide to Mat Turner who darted into the corner for a try. Brock Staller nailed the conversion for the lead 7-3.
Toronto’s defense responded with the restart, their attack sprung to life in Seattle territory.
Seattle conceded two penalties to give Malcolm an option at goal, he converted his second penalty for the Arrows.
With a pass out wide by LeSage, tipped by George Barton, the ball found the hands of Dan Moor who chugged into the corner through traffic for a try to retake the lead 7-13.
Early in the second half, Toronto conceded a penalty giving Staller an easy conversion bringing Seattle to 10-13.
On three different Toronto possessions, Seattle conceded three kickable penalties. The sure footed Malcolm put all three through the sticks to extend the Arrows lead 10-22.
The Arrows seizing the momentum, grabbed the restart to push to the Seawolves goal line, after multiple phases Lucas Rumball scored a try pushing the visitors ahead 10-29.
The Seawolves committed another penalty, Malcolm kicked through extending the Toronto lead 10-32.
With a Toronto scrum deep in their own half, Seattle surged to win. Riekert Hattingh grabbed the ball and scored a try in the corner on the short side. Scott Dean made the conversion bringing Seattle to 17-32.
Pulling the final curtain on the match Dan Moor grabbed a loose ball for a try in the corner, Toronto wins 17-39.
Rugby ATL 19 – 22 Rugby United New York
Rugby ATL have, arguably, been the story of the season so far. Winning their opening games against Utah and then NOLA, many were backing Scott Lawrence’s side as the favourites going into this one. An exciting game from start to finish, it was ultimately Rugby United New York that won this game.
Despite losing, ATL started much the brighter. Scoring a try through wing Zander Van Schalkwyk, Kurt Coleman’s conversion giving the home side a healthy advantage early on. That advantage was cut in half when Ben Foden benefitted from a well worked try. Scoring in the corner, Cathal March was unable to convert the try.
The next try was just brute force. James Denise powered over to give RUNY the lead and Marsh also collected his first points from the kicking tee. New York would score their third and final try before the half. A kick through from hooker Dylan Fawsitt led to Mark O’Keefe scampering over to score a try, Marsh converting again.
ATL would muster somewhat of a comeback in the second half. A powerful try from replacement Johan Momsen, with a conversion from Coleman, gave home fans hope that they could go three from three. New York added three points that essentially won them the game, a late ATL try giving them a losing bonus point and confidence ahead of next weeks clash against Toronto.
San Diego Legion 30 – 21 New England Free Jacks
After repeated infringements by New England, San Diego elected for the penalty, Luke Burton kicked through the goalposts putting the Legion up 3-0.
Ball fed to Burton out of the scrum, he kicked the ball over the Free Jacks defensive line with the mismatch, Save Totovosau accelerated to collect the ball and surge into the corner to take the 10-0 lead.
A steal at the point of attack put the ball in the hands of Paul Mullen, the ball was cycled all the way to the wing for Tira Patterson to score a try.
After a lineout, the ball went wide to Danny Collins, passed back in to Naulia Dawai who fed to Mitch Wilson. Wilson offloaded to Poasa Waqanibau for the try bringing New England within 15-7.
A harsh exit kick after the restart, New England put the ball ten meters away from their own goal, the Legion ran multiple phases, and Siaosi Mahoni got within inches of the line. Devereux Ferris passed wide to the hands of Dylan Audsley for a try putting the Legion up 20-7.
Early to start the second half, San Diego conceded a penalty, John Poland quick-taped and tucked his shoulder down to score a try bringing the score 20-14.
San Diego conceded a penalty in the fourth quarter of play giving New England a lineout, driving through the defense with Zach Stryffeler scoring a try to take the lead 20-21. The Legion responded with a lineout, the ball fed to Wooching who burst through the Free Jacks offloading to Ferris for a try.
New England conceded scrum penalty to give Burton a penalty conversion pushing San Diego’s lead 30-21. San Diego attempted to put a crescendo on their victor but knocked on the ball on in the final tackle.
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