Ferguson’s Brace Paces Arrows to Win Over Old Glory
A strong final 40 minutes from the Toronto Arrows guided the home designates to a 34-28 victory over Old Glory DC at Lupo Family Field on Sunday evening. The win ended the Canadian outfit’s five-game losing skid, and elevated them out of the basement and ahead of DC in the Eastern Conference standings.
Despite spending the bulk of the first 15 minutes on the front foot, the Arrows were unable to convert on several early trips inside Old Glory’s 22. Capitalizing on Toronto’s miscues, DC fly-half Jason Robertson dinked the ball over the defensive line and it popped kindly into the arms of a streaking Renata Roberts-Tenana; the centre raced the final 50 metres unimpeded.
Tayler Adams cut the Arrows’ deficit to four with a penalty goal following the water break, but Old Glory responded with another try. Api Naikatini won the five-metre lineout and flipped the ball to Tevita Naqali, who quickly distributed it to hooker James King to dive in from short range.
Toronto finally crossed the whitewash at 30 minutes, when scrum-half Andrew Ferguson, making his first start since Week 1, spun off a tackle attempt from Mungo Mason to sneak in under the uprights. The automatic seven-pointer brought the game to 14-10 for the visitors, which would hold heading into the interval.
Old Glory was first out of the gate in the second frame, scoring just minutes after the restart. Following some smooth passing from DC’s backs to bring the visitors deep into Toronto territory, flanker Cory Daniel cut in from the right side to finish the series of fluid phases.
Trailing by 11 points and in danger of seeing the match slip away, Toronto found its magic moment through the in-form Ferguson. Collecting a tipped pass of the lineout, the scrum-half performed a little show-and-go to slip passed the defensive line, chipped the fullback, and raced to retrieve. Danny Tusitala appeared to have been in position to collect the ball first, but at the final second Ferguson overtook his counterpart to catch, dive, and score a try-of-the-season contender.
With their tails now in the air, the Arrows then rattled off two converted tries in a three-minute spell. Adams took a hard hit to ensure his flat pass reached Joaquin Tuculet, with the Puma deftly offloading to spring captain Guiseppe du Toit. Minutes later, another flat ball from Adams went to du Toit, who found a charging Sam Malcolm for a 40-metre scamper. Both tallies were first-of-the-year scores for du Toit and Malcolm, with the latter earning his first try as an Arrow.
The match was far from wrapped up. Tuculet was issued a yellow card for what was deemed to have been a deliberate knock-on, and Old Glory struck moments after the Argentine took his seat in the bin, with substitute Danny Thomas barging in from close range. Robertson’s conversion — his fourth of the match — pulled DC to within six points.
However, the bonus-point try was as close as Old Glory would come to mounting a comeback; Tusitala was binned minutes later for committing the the same infraction as Tuculet. One late push from DC amounted in a knock-on at mid-field, and the subsequent scrum allowed for Jason Higgins to scoop the ball and put it out of play to end the match.
Toronto enters Week 17 of the 2021 season with a final ‘home’ clash with the New England (8-6; 39 points) on Sunday, July 11 in Atlanta. The Arrows lost to the Free Jacks in the reverse fixture earlier this season, narrowly falling 14-12 at Union Point Stadium in Week 11.
Toronto Arrows Stat Leaders
Ball Carries: T. de la Vega – 14
Carry Metres: S. Malcolm – 49
Tackles Made: T. de la Vega, O. Nott – 14
Offloads: Five players – 1
Old Glory DC Stat Leaders
Ball Carries: A. Naikatini – 15
Carry Metres: R. Roberts-Tenana – 84
Tackles Made: C. Daniel – 10
Offloads: S. Moala – 3
Toronto Arrows Score Report
Tries: A. Ferguson 2 (30*, 48), G. du Toit (53), S. Malcolm (56)
Conversions: T. Adams 3 (49, 54, 57)
Penalty Goals: T. Adams 2 (22, 69)
* = seven-point try
Old Glory DC Score Report
Tries: R. Roberts-Te Nana (16), J. King (27), C. Daniel (42), D. Thomas (70)
Conversions: J. Robertson 4 (17, 28, 43, 71)
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Old Glory DC
- Pat Lynott
- Jack McRogers
- Gaston Cortes
- Mike Sheppard
- Paul Ciulini
- Ollie Nott
- Tomas de la Vega
- Ronan Foley
- Andrew Ferguson
- Tayler Adams
- Joaquin Tuculet
- Guiseppe du Toit (C)
- Mitch Richardson
- John Sheridan
- Sam Malcolm
- Joe Tomlinson
- Rob Brouwer
- Marc-Antoine Ouellet
- Adrian Wadden
- Mason Flesch
- Jason Higgins
- Manuel Montero
- Kobe Faust
Header Photo Credit: Ben Weitz
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