10 June 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEATTLE, WA – The Toronto Arrows’ inaugural Major League Rugby season came to a close on Sunday evening, with the expansion club falling 30-17 to the Seattle Seawolves in their Championship Series semi-final at Starfire Stadium.
Despite trailing by 23 points in the opening half of the playoff fixture, the travelling Arrows fought back to reduce the deficit to six points in the late stages of the match.
The first 40 minutes were controlled by the Seawolves, as the reigning league champions raced out to a 23-0 lead through tries from JP Smith and Jeff Hassler, along with a trio of penalty goals from Brock Staller.
Down but not out, the Arrows received a boost just before the halftime whistle, when Gaston Mieres put the visitors on the board with a juking try after receiving a pinpoint pass from Sam Malcolm. Malcolm added a conversion from just inside the touch line to make it 23-7 heading into the interval.
With momentum on their side, the Arrows came out of the break with renewed intensity. Strong pressure led to a Mike Sheppard try in the 49th minute, as the lock intercepted an errant pass from Smith to race clear. A Malcolm penalty goal struck just after the hour-mark pulled Toronto to within one score of Seattle.
Despite pushing the hosts to their back feet, Toronto’s comeback hopes were dashed minutes later as a penalty try was awarded to Seattle after the referee adjudged the visitors to have illegally brought down a Seawolves maul.
The final glimmer of hope brought on by an apparent try by Sheppard was snuffed out when the TMO spotted a lineout infraction and rescinded the tally.
With the free kick, the Seawolves cleared and time expired.
“We’re proud to have earned a playoff spot in our first season in the league,” said Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn. “We’ll leave with our heads held high after a memorable season that was filled with positives. While we didn’t get the result we had hoped for, we learned a lot this year, and we’re excited about what lies ahead for our organization.”
Seattle will travel to San Diego to face the top-seeded Legion in the MLR Championship final on Sunday. The match will kick off from Torero Stadium at 4 p.m. ET.
Toronto Arrows Score Report
Tries: G. Mieres (39), M. Sheppard (49)
Conversions: S. Malcolm 2 (40, 50)
Penalty Goals: S. Malcolm (62)
Seattle Seawolves Score Report
Tries: J. Smith (6), J. Hassler (26), Penalty Try (68)
Conversions: B. Staller 2 (7, 27)
Penalty Goals: B. Staller 3 (5, 16, 34)
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Seattle Seawolves
1. Rob Brouwer // Lindsay
2. Andrew Quattrin // Aurora Barbarians
3. Morgan Mitchell // Southland Stags (New Zealand)
4. Mike Sheppard // Stoney Creek Camels
5. Paul Ciulini // Aurora Barbarians
6. Marcello Wainwright // Toronto Scottish
7. Peter Milazzo // Toronto Scottish
8. Luke Campbell // James Bay
9. Andrew Ferguson // Oakville Crusaders
10. Sam Malcolm // Manawatu Turbos (New Zealand)
11. Leandro Leivas // Old Christians (Uruguay)
12. Guiseppe du Toit // UVic Vikes
13. Spencer Jones // Hamilton Old Boys (New Zealand)
14. Dan Moor (C) // Balmy Beach
15. Gaston Mieres // Lobos (Uruguay)
16. Steven Ng // Barrhaven Scottish
17. Pat Lynott // Bytown Blues
18. Cole Keith // Belleisle Rovers
19. Tom Van Horne // Brantford Harlequins
20. Kolby Francis // Brantford Harlequins
21. Jamie Mackenzie // Balmy Beach
22. Pat Parfrey // Swilers
23. Kainoa Lloyd // Mississauga Blues
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 Football Club:
The Toronto Arrows Rugby Football 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: Mark Janzen, Aedelhard