12 May 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows defeated the Utah Warriors 28-21 on Sunday afternoon, marking the club’s fifth consecutive win and third victory in the past eight days.
A late try from Spencer Jones secured the bonus-point win for Toronto, moving the club to third place in the Major League Rugby standings and back into a playoff position.
With swirling winds, steady rain and cool temperatures creating difficult playing conditions throughout the afternoon, Utah were the first side on the scoresheet after No. 8 Arthur Bergo crashed over the line two minutes into the match.
Following a long spell of back-and-forth play, the hosts drew level in the 21st minute when Morgan Mitchell bowled his way across and captain Sam Malcolm successfully kicked his first of three conversions on the day.
The Warriors regained the lead minutes later, with Jeremy Misailegalu plucking up a loose ball and racing in unimpeded shortly before Tim O’Malley booted his first of three penalty goals.
Toronto responded just moments before halftime. Following a big push from the Arrows’ scrum – the pack would wreak havoc on Utah throughout the match – Andrew Ferguson spun a deft pass to send in John Sheridan, pulling Toronto to within a point of the Warriors’ 15-14 lead heading into the interval.
The Arrows were awarded a penalty try midway through the second half after more strong work from their scrum, but two more penalty goals from O’Malley sent the teams to the final stages of the match all square at 21 points apiece.
After a Dan Moor clearance kick penned the Warriors within a few metres of their goal line, Toronto regained possession and strung together a series of effective phases that was capped off when Jones juked past two would-be tacklers to score the match-clinching try.
Despite being on their third match in eight days, the Arrows found an extra gear in the final minutes of the game; with Utah holding possession and looking for a gap, the Toronto defence held firm, eventually driving the Warriors back into their own in-goal area to end the match with a punctuation mark.
“What this team accomplished over the past week has been nothing short of admirable,” said Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn. “To put together three wins on short rest required big performances from the entire squad, and our full roster rose to the occasion. We’re now in a position where we control our own fate to close out the season, and we’re going to do everything we can to earn the right to play post-season rugby.”
Sunday’s outcome marks a season series sweep for Toronto over Utah. The Arrows defeated the Warriors 64-31 when the two clubs squared off in Utah on March 30, with Toronto setting multiple Major League Rugby records in the process: most points scored by one team in a match (64) and most tries scored by one team in a match (9).
The victory improves Toronto’s record to 9-5-0, and puts the expansion club back into a playoff position with two matches remaining in its 2019 campaign. Since the Arrows began their homestand on April 7, the club has taken 26 of a possible 30 points.
The Warriors’ bonus-point loss drops the club’s record to 2-10-1.
“Going into the bye week, we’re looking forward to having an opportunity to recharge both physically and mentally,” added Silverthorn. “We have two more games against opponents in Glendale and New York who are also fighting for playoff positions, and we’ll need to be at our best if we want a shot at playing for the MLR Championship Shield. Winning five in a row is a great testament to strong effort our guys have been putting in, be we know the hard work can’t stop here.”
Following the club’s bye week, the Arrows will look to cement a playoff position with a match against the Glendale Raptors (7-4-2) on May 26 at Lamport Stadium in Liberty Village.
Match tickets can be purchased at torontoarrows.com/tickets.
Toronto Arrows Score Report
Tries: M. Mitchell (21), J. Sheridan (38), Penalty Try (56), S. Jones (76)
Conversions: S. Malcolm (22, 39, 77)
Utah Warriors Score Report
Tries: A. Bergo (2), J. Misailegalu (29)
Conversions: T. O’Malley (3)
Penalty Goals: T. O’Malley 3 (33, 44, 68)
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Utah Warriors
1. Pat Lynott // Bytown Blues
2. Andrew Quattrin // Aurora Barbarians
3. Morgan Mitchell // Southland Stags (New Zealand)
4. Mike Sheppard // Stoney Creek Camels
5. Tom Van Horne // Brantford Harlequins
6. John Moonlight // Ajax Wanderers
7. Peter Milazzo // Toronto Scottish
8. Luke Campbell // James Bay
9. Jamie Mackenzie // Balmy Beach
10. Sam Malcolm (C) // Manawatu Turbos (New Zealand)
11. Kainoa Lloyd // Mississauga Blues
12. Guiseppe du Toit // UVic Vikes
13. Spencer Jones // Hamilton Old Boys (New Zealand)
14. John Sheridan // Markham Irish
15. Gaston Mieres // Lobos (Uruguay)
16. Steven Ng // Barrhaven Scottish
17. Rob Brouwer // Lindsay
18. Cole Keith // Belleisle Rovers
19. Paul Ciulini // Aurora Barbarians
20. Kolby Francis // Brantford Harlequins
21. Andrew Ferguson // Oakville Crusaders
22. Dan Moor (C) // Balmy Beach
23. Pat Parfrey // Swilers
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 Therapists: Perry Fan, Scott Shannon
Physiotherapist: Rohit Rajput
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