Arrows End 2021 Season with Spirited Loss to New England
The Toronto Arrows’ comeback bid against New England came up short on Sunday afternoon, with the nomadic Canadians falling 28-17 to the Free Jacks in Atlanta. The result brings an end to Toronto’s taxing 2021 season: a 118-day road trip spent entirely abroad.
The early-match deadlock, featuring long spells replete with handling errors from both sides, was broken just ahead of the opening water break. Sam Malcolm notched his first points with the boot since March 2020 when he kicked his 18th-minute penalty goal to put Toronto ahead.
New England turned the tide in the second quarter, scoring two rapid-fire tries over a five-minute span leading into halftime. The near-identical scores, both coming via driving mauls following close-range lineouts, were finished by Stephan Coetzee and Vili Toluta’u to give the Free Jacks a 14-3 lead at the interval.
With the Arrows’ depth already strained coming into the match on the heels of having 13 players called up to Canadian and Uruguayan international sides for the summer test window, the home designates’ task grew tougher when Malcolm was forced to leave the match due to injury early in the second half. With substitutions made and positions shuffled to fill the gap, Toronto would be left with only seven forwards on the field. Alex Russell came on for his professional debut while captain Guiseppe du Toit moved into the pack to serve as a makeshift flanker.
New England scored its third try through Harry Barlow, who was first on the ball after it had sprung lose following a tackle on Poaqa Waqanibau. The bonus-point try for the Free Jacks was reminiscent of the team’s first-half tallies, with Conor Kindregan getting across the line following a successful maul off the lineout.
Down but not out, the Arrows responded with a pair of tries to pull the scoreline close. Tomas de la Vega barged over for a blue-collar try just after the water break, and minutes later, a quick-tap scamper down the sideline from Manuel Montero, followed by a crafty pass after sucking in the last defender, put Joaquin Tuculet in under the sticks for an automatic seven-pointer.
Wian Conradie looked sure to score with a clean break in the 80th minute, but the resilient Russell turned on the jets to bring the New England No. 8 down only a metre outside of the whitewash, forcing a knock-on. The referee blew his whistle to call the game, marking a fitting end to the match for an Arrows side that refused to give up, all season long, despite adverse conditions.
Toronto Arrows Stat Leaders
Ball Carries: T. de la Vega – 17
Carry Metres: M. Montero – 122
Tackles Made: A. Ferguson – 7
Offloads: M. Montero, J. Tuculet – 4
New England Free Jacks Stat Leaders
Ball Carries: P. Waqanibau – 12
Carry Metres: P. Waqanibau – 80
Tackles Made: W. Conradie – 17
Offloads: P. Waqanibau – 5
Toronto Arrows Score Report
Tries: T. de la Vega (61), J. Tuculet (74*)
Conversions: A. Ferguson (62)
Penalty Goals: S. Malcolm (18)
* = seven-point try
New England Free Jacks Score Report
Tries: S. Coetzee (30), V. Toluta’u (35), H. Barlow (54), C. Kindregan (57)
Conversions: B. Waaka 4 (31, 36, 55, 58)
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. New England Free Jacks
- Rob Brouwer
- Jack McRogers
- Gaston Cortes
- Mike Sheppard
- Paul Ciulini
- Ollie Nott
- Tomas de la Vega
- Ronan Foley
- Andrew Ferguson
- Sam Malcolm
- Manuel Montero
- Guiseppe du Toit (C)
- Mitch Richardson
- John Sheridan
- Joaquin Tuculet
- Joe Tomlinson
- Pat Lynott
- Marc-Antoine Ouellet
- Adrian Wadden
- Mason Flesch
- Jason Higgins
- Kobe Faust
- Alex Russell
Header Photo Credit: Ben Weitz
The Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club would like to thank Prime Minister
The Toronto Arrows produced another valiant display in their final game of
The Toronto Arrows' comeback bid against New England came up short
For Immediate Release MARIETTA, GA - Toronto Arrows Director of Rugby Chris
With files from Rugby Canada Five Arrows have been selected to start for