The Toronto Arrows got an important win to boost morale for next season

Toronto Arrows player Tayler Adams in action against Old Glory DC on April 3, 2021
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The Toronto Arrows won despite missing several players due to an international break. Most of those missing players were playing for Rugby Canada or Uruguay. The Arrows at one point in the first half were trailing 3-14 at their U.S. home at Lupo Stadium @ Life University in Marietta, Georgia.

A strong second-half played a big role in Toronto Arrows beating Old Glory DC

Three keys to the game

Toronto Arrows had a strong second half

The Arrows were trailing 10-14 at the end of the first half. However, after a strong second half, the Arrows were able to win 34-28. Toronto scored three tries within seven minutes of the game.

Andrew Ferguson kicked the ball forward to himself and took the ball to the try zone. His run to get his own kick pass was exceptional as he scored the try. Tayler Adams (pictured above) made a good kick. Then in the 53-minute, Adams made a terrific pass to Joaquin Tuculet. Tuculet made the try and took the 24-21 lead. Then in the 56-minute, Adams really played well. He passed it to Guiseppe Du Toit.

Du Toit was credited with the assist as he passed the ball to Sam Malcolm. Malcolm then made an excellent run and scored another Arrows’ try. In the 69-minute Adams converted on a long penalty goal with a terrific kick that could be seen as the one that won the Arrows the game.

Toronto Arrows was able to close the game

Throughout this season, the Arrows had trouble closing close games. This can be seen against teams like Rugby ATL and the NOLA Gold. However, Sunday was different. They came back from an 11-point deficit to winning the game. New Zealand player Adams helped the Arrows get that lead.

They were winning 31-21 against Washington, D.C. Adams would then add three more points via an excellent penalty conversion to increase the lead to 34-21. Unfortunately for the Arrows though, Joaquin Tuculet got a yellow card in the 70-minute. Then Washington, D.C. scored a try almost immediately. This was Danny Thomas, who scored the try. The conversion was successful and the Arrows lead was cut to six points. Washington D.C. had a one-man advantage and was looking to tie or even win against Toronto. The Arrows did bend, however, they did not break.

A big part of that is the Arrows trying to score more points. Adams for example had another penalty conversion. He however did not convert the penalty. This was his only failed conversion in the game. In the 75-minute, Danny Tusitala of Old Glory DC got a yellow card. This meant that Washington, D.C. did not have the one-man advantage anymore. Simi Moala of Old Glory made a good run in the 79-minute to threaten the Arrows. Toronto did a good job on defence. Mason was forced to make a turnover as Mike Sheppard for the Toronto Arrows played good defence. However, Old Glory was not able to get any offence going.

Toronto Arrows did very well in scrums and lineouts

The announcers were commentating that the Toronto Arrows played very well in the scrums against Old Glory DC. It played a big role in the Arrows coming back into the game.

There are two examples of this:

  • In the 30-minute, with a lineout near Washington, D.C.’s touchline, Andrew Ferguson got a try under the posts. This was an automatic seven points for Toronto who cut Old Glory DC’s lead to four points to end the half.
  • Then in the 56-minute, in a scrum, there was terrific passing from the Arrows. Adams, who orchestrated the play, played really well. He passed it to Guiseppe Du Toit. Du Toit was credited with the assist as he passed the ball to Sam Malcolm. Malcolm then made an excellent run and scored another Arrows try.

This was one of the Arrows’ biggest strengths in this game. It played a big role in them winning the game and ending their five-game losing streak. It also showed the potential depth of the Arrows as many of their players were missing due to international break or were injured.

Toronto Arrows v. Old Glory DC Game Overview

There is really not much to talk about in terms of the playoffs. Both Old Glory DC and the Toronto Arrows are both mathematically eliminated from making the 2021 MLR playoffs. Both teams are also at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. There are however still some talking points in regards to both teams.

Old Glory DC

This loss against the Toronto Arrows means that Washington, D.C. is last in the Eastern Conference with 29 points. It is important to note though that the Arrows only have one point more and have played one more game than Old Glory. Like the Arrows, the highest they can finish is fifth in the Eastern Conference. Everything is also still in their hands to get fifth place. This holds true even if Toronto won their last season game of the 2021 MLR season.

Washington, D.C. will play on Saturday, July. 10 at 5:00 p.m. ET against the San Diego Legion. They will then face the Austin Gilgronis on Saturday, July, 10, which is also at 5:00 p.m. ET. Both games will be at home in Segra Field at Leesburg, Virginia. Old Glory DC was also missing four of their players, but this is nothing like what the Arrows had to deal with.

Toronto Arrows

Players that stepped up and many absentees in the Arrows lineup

Adams, who played a big role in the Arrows win, was named Man of the Match. One can tell from his quote above that he and the other Arrows players are looking forward to playing in Toronto next year. Who can blame them? They have all been away from friends and family and never really had a home game this season. It also must have affected their performance this year.

The other factor is the number of absentees the Arrows are currently experiencing. According to Pique News Magazine, Toronto was missing several players due to injuries or the international break. They had three injured players on the team. More significantly, they were missing nine Canadian and three Uruguyuan players. All 12 players are representing their national teams in the international break.

Speaking of the game itself, Adams was exceptional. He played a big part in one Arrow try and only missed one conversion. His last made penalty conversion might have been the game-winner. If he did not make that conversion, the scoreline would have been 31-28. Washington, D.C. might have been hoping for the tie and just trying to draw a penalty to get a penalty goal.

The other player that people should credit is Sam Malcolm. He scored two tries for Toronto. The Arrows scored 24-straight points in the second half. This played a big role in the Arrows winning the game. Both Adams and Malcolm are New Zealanders. There is also the wonderful try scored by Rugby Canada’s Ferguson. A try that might make the highlight reel and be the try of the week.

Toronto Arrows 2021 MLR season schedule

The Arrows also won the season series against Old Glory DC 2-0. Toronto also defeated Washington, D.C. earlier in April. They will look to close their season on a positive note. They will face the New England Free Jacks at 12:00 p.m. ET at Lupo Stadium @ Life University. The Free Jacks are desperately trying to keep themselves in the playoff race. They are seven points behind both NOLA Gold and Rugby United New York for an MLR playoff spot. It would be nice for the Arrows to play spoilers and eliminate New England from making the 2021 MLR playoffs.

Toronto can finish as high as fifth in the Eastern Conference. A win over New England could make that possibility a reality. They will however also need results to go their way with the other two Old Glory DC matches.

 

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