2 March 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARIETTA, GA – Toronto’s undefeated streak grew to four games on Sunday afternoon, with the Arrows putting together a come-from-behind bonus-point win over expansion side Rugby ATL at Life University.
The Arrows were guided by southern hemisphere flavour in their 28-18 victory: Uruguayans Leandro Leivas and Gastón Mieres both scored tries (with the former crossing over twice), Argentinian Tomy de la Vega also bagged a score as part of his man-of-the-match performance, and Kiwis Sam Malcolm and Tayler Adams notched two conversions apiece.
After a period of sustained Arrows pressure to begin the match, Leivas opened the scoring in the 14th minute through a piercing run and strong bout of athleticism to fend off multiple would-be tacklers.
The hosts responded with gumption, looking the more dangerous of the two sides for much of the remainder of the first half. Penalty goals from fly-half Kurt Coleman scored on both sides of the hydration break brought Atlanta to within a point of Toronto’s lead, and a lineout drive leading to an Alex Maughan grounding put the league newcomers ahead 11-7 scored in the final minute of the opening frame. As both sides headed to the sheds, it marked the first time this season the Arrows trailed while entering the interval.
The Arrows emerged from the break as the more inspired of the two sides, and the visitors were rewarded for their persistent pressure through a close-range try from de la Vega; after several phases of strong work from the forwards, the Argentine squeezed the ball across the try line to pull Toronto back ahead.
The Arrows wasted little time marching back down the pitch, scoring just six minutes later after Leivas tip-toed into the corner after getting sprung on the touch line via a slick pass from Adams.
Atlanta showed signs of life in the 70th minute through another try off the maul, this one punched down by substitute Neethling Gericke on his debut. The try brought Rugby ATL to within three points of the visitors, but the home side was unable to secure possession in Toronto territory for the remainder of the game.
Toronto’s bonus-point insurance marker came on the final play of the match: following an attacking scrum deep in Atlanta territory, Mieres probed forward and received a flat pass that allowed the fullback to slice through the host’s line for an unimpeded score.
“We’re pleased to take all five points from this tough road game, especially against a team with as good a defensive record as Atlanta’s,” said Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn. “We didn’t get off to the start we would have hoped for, but we did well to get back to our systems as the game continued, and the hard work paid off. We’ll bank the points, but the focus now turns to Friday’s match in Colorado.”
The road win moves Toronto’s record to 4-0-0, and keeps the club sitting atop the Eastern Conference with 18 points.
Sunday’s game was the fourth of seven consecutive away matches for Canada’s first professional rugby union team. The club will then play seven of its final nine matches at home between April 4 and May 31 to close out its sophomore MLR regular season.
The Arrows enter round five of the season with a quick-turnaround match against the 1-3-0 Colorado Raptors on Friday, Mar. 6.
Toronto Arrows Score Report
Tries: L. Leivas 2 (14, 62), T. de la Vega (56), G. Mieres (80)
Conversions: S. Malcolm 2 (15, 57), T. Adams (63, 80)
Rugby ATL Score Report
Tries: A. Maughan (39), N. Gericke (70)
Conversions: K. Coleman (71)
Penalty Goals: K. Coleman 2 (19, 32)
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Rugby ATL
1. Richie Asiata
2. Steven Ng
3. Cole Keith
4. Kolby Francis
5. Paul Ciulini
6. Tomy de la Vega
7. Peter Milazzo
8. Manuel Diana
9. Jamie Mackenzie
10. Tayler Adams
11. Leandro Leivas
12. Guiseppe du Toit
13. Ben LeSage
14. Dan Moor (C)
15. Sam Malcolm
16. Andrew Quattrin
17. Rob Brouwer
18. Pat Lynott
19. Tom Van Horne
20. Lucas Rumball
21. Riley Di Nardo
22. Mitch Richardson
23. Gaston Mieres
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
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: Bernard Ayala