Arrows Fall to Legion in 70-Point Thriller
The San Diego Legion claimed a third win on the trot with a 40-30 victory over the Arrows at Lupo Family Field on Sunday afternoon. Despite the bloated scoreline, the match remained close until its final stages, with the visitors doing enough to pull away in hot, humid conditions.
Joe Pietersen punished the home side’s early rulebook trouble by striking two penalties in the opening minutes, giving the Legion an early six-point advantage.
The visitors were also first to cross the whitewash, with Ethan McVeigh scampering under the posts for the first of San Diego’s three automatic, seven-point tries on the day.
Tayler Adams responded with a pair of penalty goals over a five-minute span to trim the deficit to seven points, but Pietersen soon restored the Legion’s double-digit lead with a coolly-hit drop goal, putting the visitors ahead 16-6 to cap an eventful opening quarter.
With Tiaan Loots issued a yellow card for foul play at the breakdown five minute before halftime, Toronto capitalized with the man advantage. A series of quick passes sprung Ben LeSage along the touchline, and the centre did well to suck in the last defender before putting the ball on a platter for Joaquin Tuculet. The experienced Argentine trotted in unopposed, and with Adams adding the extras, the Arrows were within three at the interval.
Adams knotted the score early in the second half. Only just released from the bin, Loots’ first bit of activity after returning to the pitch was clipping Tuculet at the tail end of a clearance kick. He dodged a second yellow card, but with the penalty awarded where the ball landed, Adams tied the match with a short-range chip shot.
The pendulum continued to swing back and forth. Josh Furno muscled across for a San Diego try, but Gaston Mieres responded immediately for the Arrows; the Uruguayan was able to speed in from short range after a barreling run and acrobatic offload from 21-year-old flanker Mason Flesch. Mieres’ try was also a franchise milestone: his 12th tally broke the Dan Moor’s club record for all-time tries scored.
The final quarter of the match was just as frenetic as the opener. Furno began the final stretch by scoring his second blue-collar try of the game, which Pietersen was able to to convert.
Legion debutant Dan Pryor was then yellow carded for a high tackle. Adams went just wide on his penalty goal attempt, marking a lone blemish on an otherwise perfect day of kicking for the Kiwi.
San Diego marched back down the field, and Loots found the gap in Toronto’s defensive line to score under the posts and increase the visitors’ lead to 14 points.
With time winding down, the ever-probing Mieres swooped to his opposite wing to spring countryman Leandro Leivas along the touch line for an unimpeded score. Adams’ conversion reduced the deficit to seven points, but it would be as close as the Arrows would come to completing the comeback.
Pietersen, perfect with the boot on the day, sealed the road win with a penalty goal two minutes from time.
Toronto enters Week 13 of the 2021 season with a road clash at Austin (6-5; 31 points) on Saturday, June 12, marking the Canadian outfit’s final away-designated match of the current campaign. The Arrows are undefeated against the central Texas franchise, winning twice in 2019 and once in the shortened 2020 season.
Toronto Arrows Stat Leaders
Ball Carries: G. Mieres – 11
Carry Metres: J. Tuculet – 125
Tackles Made: S. Jones – 11
Offloads: L. Leivas – 3
San Diego Legion Stat Leaders
Ball Carries: T. Loots – 11
Carry Metres: T. Loots – 87
Tackles Made: J. Furno – 8
Offloads: F. Pifeleti – 4
Toronto Arrows Score Report
Tries: J. Tuculet (40), G. Mieres (53), L. Leivas (75)
Conversions: T. Adams 3 (40, 54, 76)
Penalty Goals: T. Adams 3 (15, 20, 46)
San Diego Legion Score Report
Tries: J. Furno 2 (51*, 60), E. McVeigh (12*), T. Loots (71*)
Conversions: J. Pietersen (61)
Penalty Goals: J. Pietersen 3 (3, 7, 78)
Drop Goals: J. Pietersen (22)
* = seven-point try
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. San Diego Legion
- Cole Keith
- Andrew Quattrin
- Tyler Rowland
- Mike Sheppard
- Paul Ciulini
- Mason Flesch
- Lucas Rumball (C)
- Manuel Diana
- Jason Higgins
- Tayler Adams
- Leandro Leivas
- Spencer Jones
- Ben LeSage (C)
- Gaston Mieres
- Joaquin Tuculet
- Jack McRogers
- Pat Lynott
- Gaston Cortes
- Siaki Vikilani
- Adrian Wadden
- Ross Braude
- Will Kelly
- Pat Parfrey
Header Photo Credit: Ben Weitz
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