10 May 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows defeated Austin Elite Rugby 24-13 on Thursday night, vaulting the club to third place in the Major League Rugby standings and into a playoff position.
Two tries in each half secured the bonus-point victory for the Arrows, propelling the club to a fourth consecutive win while providing a big boost to its playoff aspirations.
After heavy spring rains stopped just before kickoff, Austin opened the match scoring through the boot of Andres Vilaseca, who slotted two early penalty goals to give the visitors a 6-0 lead.
The Arrows responded through rapid-fire tries from Andrew Ferguson and Leandro Leivas, with the latter try-scorer dotting down in his third-straight match. Ferguson added two conversions to put Toronto ahead 14-6 leading into the interval.
Overcoming slippery conditions, the Arrows kept their momentum heading into the second half, with the hosts claiming the lion’s share of possession and territory while dictating the pace of play.
Rob Brouwer kicked off the second-half scoring nine minutes after the restart, with the prop using quick hands to pounce on an errant ball on Austin’s goal line before diving over.
The Arrows then methodically built up to the crucial bonus-point try, and were rewarded through Kainoa Lloyd in the 64th minute, who outmuscled two would-be tacklers to barge his way across.
Austin added a consolation try in the final stages of the match through Simon Bienvenu.
“Our squad depth really shone this evening,” said Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn. “We had nine changes to our starting lineup, and the guys who came in did well despite short preparation time. Getting two wins in five days takes a full team effort from top to bottom, and our guys put in a great performance.”
Sunday’s outcome marks a season series sweep for Toronto over Austin. The Arrows defeated the Elite 23-19 when the two clubs squared off in Texas on Feb. 8, representing the first MLR victory in Toronto’s franchise history.
The victory improves Toronto’s record to 8-5-0, and puts the expansion club into a playoff position with three matches remaining in its 2019 campaign. Since the Arrows began their homestand on April 7, the club has taken 21 of a possible 25 points.
Austin’s loss keeps the club winless in 2019, with the Texas outfit falling to 0-13-0 on the season.
“Our focus now shifts to Sunday’s game against Utah,” added Silverthorn. “This tough stretch of three games in eight days had the potential to derail our season, but our players have stayed mentally resilient and determined. They’ve put in the work to get us into a playoff position, and we’re going to do everything we can to stay here.”
The Arrows continue round 16 of the season with a home match against the Utah Warriors (2-9-1) on Sunday at Lamport Stadium in Liberty Village.
The last time these two sides met, Toronto set multiple Major League Rugby records in a 64-31 win at Zions Bank Stadium: most points scored by one team in a match (64) and most tries scored by one team in a match (9).
Match tickets can be purchased at torontoarrows.com/tickets.
Toronto Arrows Score Report
Tries: A. Ferguson (26), L. Leivas (32), R. Brouwer (49), K. Lloyd (64)
Conversions: A. Ferguson 2 (27, 33)
Austin Elite Rugby Score Report
Tries: S. Bienvenu (78)
Conversions: Z. Elan-Puttick (79)
Penalty Goals: A. Vilaseca (4, 23)
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Austin Elite Rugby
1. Rob Brouwer // Lindsay
2. Steven Ng // Barrhaven Scottish
3. Cole Keith // Belleisle Rovers
4. Josh Van Horne // Brantford Harlequins
5. Paul Ciulini // Aurora Barbarians
6. Marcello Wainwright // Toronto Scottish
7. John Moonlight // Ajax Wanderers
8. Luke Campbell // James Bay
9. Andrew Ferguson // Oakville Crusaders
10. Pat Parfrey // Swilers
11. Leandro Leivas // Old Christians (Uruguay)
12. Mitch Richardson // Stoney Creek Camels
13. Dan Moor (C) // Balmy Beach
14. Kainoa Lloyd // Mississauga Blues
15. Shawn Windsor // Stoney Creek Camels
16. Jack McRogers // Aurora Barbarians
17. Pat Lynott // Bytown Blues
18. Morgan Mitchell // Southland Stags (New Zealand)
19. Mike Sheppard // Stoney Creek Camels
20. Peter Milazzo // Toronto Scottish
21. Riley Di Nardo // Toronto Scottish
22. Spencer Jones // Hamilton Old Boys (New Zealand)
23. Avery Oitomen // Oakville Crusaders
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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Header Photo Credit: José Romelo Lagman