TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows score over 50 points and they win their second-straight home game at York Lions Stadium. It was not a pretty win as the Arrows did not play well defensively. However, their offence was firing on all cylinders as they scored eight tries in the game.
Toronto Arrows score eight tries in win at York Lions Stadium
Three keys to the game
Full Game Summary:#ArrowsUp responded well to #NOLAGritNOLAGold early try.
Toronto Arrows played started the second half really well.
The NOLA Gold did not have as many offensive opportunities as the Toronto Arrows.#TORvNOLA | 53-36 | #RiseOfRugby
— Raheem (@bashirra) April 16, 2022
The Toronto Arrows responded to an early NOLA Gold try
TSN said that the Toronto Arrows missed tackles and assignments, which led to the NOLA Gold starting the game with a try by Cam Dolan and a conversion converted.
However, the Arrows got right back into it. Sheridan almost scored in the 11-minute, which was the start of things to come. Isaac Salmon would score from a maul as the Gold had no answer. They would score all but three points for the rest of the half.
Spencer Jones made a terrific run in the 16-minute of play, which gave them a lot of possession in NOLA’s half. The Arrows then got the ball in New Orleans’ half in the 20-minute. This allowed New Zealand Rugby player, Sam Malcolm, to convert a terrific kick from a long distance.
Then in the 36-minute of play, the Arrows’ Ueta Tufuga might have had the try of the game. He single-handedly got past NOLA’s defence and scored seven points.
The @TorontoArrows are in full flight this afternoon! 🏹@usmlr #MLR2022 pic.twitter.com/sevvqzfR4d
— The Rugby Network (@therugbynetwork) April 16, 2022
The 39-minute try by Sheridan may have been magical because of the team play. It was set up by the forwards. Riley Di Nardo passed the ball to Jones, and then to Malcolm, who passed the ball to Sheridan. He got through the Gold’s defence and scored the try. Malcolm converted the conversion.
In a game in which they were losing 7-0, they ended up with a 24-10 lead to end the first half. It was a huge turnaround in the game and it showed how well the Arrows played through adversity.
The Arrows had a very strong start to the second half
Toronto really started the second half well. It set the tone offensively for the Arrows. Mitch Richardson got the first try in the half. Jones gave it to Mike Sheppard, who shielded the ball well and then gave it to Richardson. Then from a set piece, the Arrows perfected the play perfectly. This allowed the Arrows and Rugby Canada player, Cole Keith to score.
Let's all take a moment to appreciate Guiseppe du Toit's heads-up play 👏 @TorontoArrows @usmlr #MLR2022 pic.twitter.com/iPuA4lKIWH
— The Rugby Network (@therugbynetwork) April 16, 2022
Lastly, Guiseppe du Toit’s heads-up try probably gave the Arrows a win. They would score two more tries, including a try from Gordon McRorie (pictured above) thanks to a great pass from Lolani Faleiva and the Arrows ended up scoring more than 50 points.
The NOLA Gold was not in the Arrows’ half enough
The NOLA Gold was not in Toronto’s half enough. When they were in the Arrows’ half, they generally created opportunities for themselves.
Penalties were part of this like in the 23-minute after a ruck, the Arrows won the ball over NOLA. The Arrows then got a penalty call in their favour in the 28-minute. This was a big play as NOLA was attacking in the Arrows’ half at that time. Since they scored that early try, NOLA did not threaten Toronto enough in the first half.
They then gave up a penalty in the 45-minute, nowhere near the Arrows’ half. Devereaux Ferris of the Gold then committed a turnover. They were getting something together but spilt the ball in the 73-minute.
The Arrows did not play well defensively. This was especially true in the second half. The defence looked too loose, and another of their tries given up was from a turnover. An Arrows’ pass went astray and Harley Wheeler took advantage. Expect Arrows and Rugby Canada player, Lucas Rumball, to play a key role in that improvement defensively.
Devereaux Ferris of the Gold thought he scored in the 58-minute with a kick-pass from Wheeler. The Arrows got lucky though as Robbie Coleman committed a forward pass, but it was a warning for the Arrows.
The last try for NOLA was also a bit discouraging. They scored straight after thanks to Juan Cappiello in the 77-minute, with not much pressure from Toronto’s defence. The same with Nick Feakes’ try, who scored the try with not much pressure either.
Then when looking at the 70-minute, Billy Stewart gave a good pass to USA Rugby player Moni Tonga’uiha. However, it was too easy as the Arrows’ defence was too loose. The Arrows did score eight tries though. Guiseppe du Toit scored a try in the 63-minute, which probably sealed the deal for Toronto.
They would score two more tries to end the game. This is what Arrows’ head coach Peter Smith said on TSN on the maul situations in the first half. This also played a role in the Arrows winning the game.
“Absolutely, I mean, when you look back at the season, we did not get many points in the season, and now we are in a position, where it is a weapon for us.”
One word to describe round 11. Ready, set, go👇#MLR2022 | #RiseOfRugby pic.twitter.com/esVKE6Viit
— Major League Rugby (@usmlr) April 17, 2022
What this means is that the Arrows scored many of their tries or had success from mauls. Examples can be seen with the Arrows’ first try with Salmon. It is also true with scrums and lineouts. The one in the 46-minute was a beauty and was worked on the training ground done with lineouts.
The try by Keith happened from a maul, where Andrew Quattrin was the one who started the play. Finally, the one in the 75-minute was a combination of a lineout started by Los Pumas player Tomás De La Vega and ended with a maul and a try by Arrows and Rugby Canada player Jack McRogers.
What this game meant for both teams
Despite the bye week both @NEFreeJacks and @RugbyATL hold on to the top of the table. 👀
There are seven weeks left to play in the regular season, before the top three teams in each conference move on to the Championship Series. #MLR2022 | #RiseOfRugby pic.twitter.com/xp7JSqz6DZ
— Major League Rugby (@usmlr) April 18, 2022
For the Arrows, it means they currently are in the third spot in the Eastern Conference with a bonus point gained against New Orleans. The top three from each conference make the MLR playoffs and the Arrows are just above the line. It is important to note though that Rugby New York is tied in the number of points and has a slightly worse points differential than Toronto. New York City have also played one less game than Toronto.
However, for the Gold, this loss might hurt them in the long run. They are now 11 points behind Toronto and New York City. The one good thing though was that New Orleans got the bonus point in the end. They still have a chance to make a playoff push, but they only have six games to do it. They may need to win most of their games in order to make the MLR playoffs.
Home. 🏟️ pic.twitter.com/I5qQadkP6c
— Toronto Arrows RFC (@TorontoArrows) April 18, 2022
Also, in terms of head-to-head matchups, the Arrows won two games against the Gold this year. This is a remarkable turnaround from previous years when Toronto was winless at home and on the road against New Orleans. It also ends a homestand with two wins and a loss, and their first set of home games in Toronto since 2019.
Toronto also has the advantage of home games compared to New Orleans. The Arrows only have two road games left while New Orleans has three road games left. The Arrows will play one of those two road games later this month.
This will be against the Houston Sabercats at AVEVA Stadium. Houston is not going to be an easy opponent, but it is totally possible for Toronto to get a result in Texas at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Toronto Arrows wins and April schedule
This is while the NOLA Gold hosts the top team in the Western Conference, the Austin Gilgronis at The Gold Mine at 8:00 p.m. ET.
The New Orleans game will be shown on KBVO and Yurview while the Toronto game will be shown on TSN (unclear if it will be televised or not) and SW2. Both games will be televised on The Rugby Network and be played on Saturday, April. 23.
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