Arrows Use Stalwart Defensive Performance to Defeat Reigning MLR Champions

28 April 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, ON – Timing is everything.

The Toronto Arrows saved their most impressive performance of the 2019 Major League Rugby season for their most important match to date, and did so against the defending league champions.

The Arrows defeated the Seattle Seawolves 29-7 on Sunday afternoon, pushing the Canadian club closer to a coveted top-four position in the MLR standings.

The hosts dominated the early stages of the match at York Alumni Stadium, but were made to wait until the 25th minute before putting their first points on the board through the boot of Sam Malcolm.

Toronto added to its lead just minutes later. After continuing to pen the Seawolves inside their own territory, Mike Sheppard stormed through Seattle’s defensive line to score the match’s first try.

Coming out of the interval with an eight-point advantage, the Arrows didn’t have to wait long to see their lead grow. Guiseppe du Toit started the scoring play with an inspired run that led the inside-centre to the goal line, and Leandro Leivas was first on the scene to guide the ball across.

The Seawolves received a lifeline in the 62nd minute through a piercing try from Shalom Suniula, but the visitors’ momentum would prove to be short-lived.

The moment of the match came in the 70th minute from captain Dan Moor. After Cole Keith stole an errant Seattle pass, the ball made its way to Moor on the right side. Seeing an opening, the Toronto native burst through the Seawolves’ line and outpaced fullback Mat Turner to score memorable 65-metre try.

With work still to be done to secure a crucial bonus point, the Arrows did well to keep up their momentum and march straight back into Seattle territory. After stringing together several probing phases, Toronto received its payoff through Paul Ciulini, whose dive across the whitewash in the 74th minute secured all five points for the hosts.

“This was our best defensive performance of the season,” said Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn. “We did well to shut the door on an explosive Seattle team, and we took our chances when they came to us. Our guys have a lot to be proud of after that effort.”

Sunday’s outcome ensures a season series split between Toronto and Seattle; the two clubs met earlier this campaign, with the Seawolves edging the Arrows 35-30 in Seattle.

“While today’s win definitely gives us a boost, we’ll continue to work hard as we prepare for the final stages of the regular season,” added Silverthorn. “We’re about to enter a tough stretch of three games in eight days that will begin with an important match against San Diego next Sunday, and we’ll need contributions from our entire squad over this period. We all have belief that we can push into a playoff spot, and our guys will be putting in the hard yards to give us every opportunity to get there.”

The bonus-point victory improves Toronto’s record to 6-5-0, though the expansion club remains in sixth position in league standings with 34 points. The Arrows are now four points out of a playoff position with five matches remaining.

Seattle’s loss keeps the Washington outfit in third place with a 8-4-0 record and 41 points. 

Prior to kickoff, the Arrows honoured Canadian international hooker Ray Barkwill after the three-time Canadian Rugby Championship winner signed a one-day contract to retire with the club.

The Arrows enter round 15 of the season with a home match against the league-leading San Diego Legion (9-2-1) on Sunday, May 5 at Lamport Stadium. Match tickets can be purchased at torontoarrows.com/tickets.

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Toronto Arrows Score Report

Tries: M. Sheppard (33), L. Leivas (44), D. Moor (69), P. Ciulini (74)
Conversions: S. Malcolm 3 (45, 70, 75)
Penalty Goals: S. Malcolm (25)

Seattle Seawolves Score Report

Tries: S. Suniula (62)
Conversions: B. Staller (63)

Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Seattle Seawolves

1. Rob Brouwer // Lindsay
2. Andrew Quattrin // Aurora Barbarians
3. Cole Keith // Belleisle Rovers
4. Mike Sheppard // Stoney Creek Camels
5. Kolby Francis // Brantford Harlequins
6. Lucas Rumball (C) // Balmy Beach
7. Peter Milazzo // Toronto Scottish
8. Marcello Wainwright // Toronto Scottish
9. Jamie Mackenzie // Balmy Beach
10. Sam Malcolm // Manawatu Turbos (New Zealand)
11. Leandro Leivas // Old Christians (Uruguay)
12. Guiseppe du Toit // UVic Vikes
13. Dan Moor (C) // Balmy Beach
14. Avery Oitomen // Oakville Crusaders
15. Theo Sauder // UBC Thunderbirds

16. Steven Ng // Barrhaven Scottish
17. Pat Lynott // Bytown Blues
18. Morgan Mitchell // Southland Stags (New Zealand)
19. Tom Van Horne // Brantford Harlequins
20. John Moonlight // Ajax Wanderers
21. Riley Di Nardo // Toronto Scottish
22. Kainoa Lloyd // Mississauga Blues
23. Shawn Windsor // Stoney Creek Camels

STAFF
Vice President & General Manager: Mark Winokur
Director of Rugby: Chris Silverthorn
Coaches: Aaron Carpenter, Cory Hector, Peter Smith
Performance Analyst: Rodin Lozada
Team Physicians: Dr. Anthony Dixon, Dr. Chris Gallimore, Dr. John Gillis
Athletic Therapist: Perry Fan

About Toronto Arrows Rugby Club:

The Toronto Arrows Rugby Club is Canada’s first professional rugby union team.

Competing in Major League Rugby, the team is equipped to compete against top-tier North American club teams, providing emerging Canadian talent with enhanced and more frequent opportunities to hone their skills at an elite level.

For more information, visit https://torontoarrows.com/ 

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For more information, please contact:

Brock Smith
Communications Manager
Toronto Arrows
bsmith@torontoarrows.com

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Header Photo Credit: José Romelo Lagman

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