Arrows Complete Comeback In Road Victory Over Gold
Sam Malcolm kicked 14 points in his return from injury and Brock Webster scored a try in his club debut as the Toronto Arrows came from behind to defeat the NOLA Gold 24-23 Saturday afternoon, securing their first win of the 2022 Major League Rugby season.
Marking a memorable return to his old stomping grounds, former NOLA captain Kyle Baillie scored the match’s first points just minutes after kickoff. Webster blasted through the Gold’s defensive line on his opposite wing to bring the ball deep into NOLA territory, and while a last-gasp tackle prevented the 21-year-old from crossing over, the ball was recycled quickly and spun wide to an open Baillie along the left touchline for the early score. Malcolm’s first kick of the season was far from a gimme, but the club’s all-time points leader successfully notched the conversion all the same.
NOLA answered back with a penalty goal from Carl Meyer. The Gold fullback had a chance to add another three points minutes later, but the attempt was pushed left.
The hosts crossed the try line soon after. A short throw from an attacking lineout allowed Damian Stevens to break through, who in turn sprung Eric Howard into the corner to give the Gold their first lead of the game.
The Arrows responded through Malcolm’s first of four penalty goals on the day, with the Toronto fly-half kicking a chip shot after NOLA’s Malcolm May was issued a yellow card for holding Lucas Rumball off the ball.
Toronto appeared to have put more points on the board with the man-advantage when Rumball dotted down off a lineout drive, but the TMO chalked off the five-pointer, ruling that Mike Sheppard was illegally positioned on the would-be scoring play.
Despite the Arrows forwards exerting sustained dominance in the scrum throughout the latter stages of the half, Toronto would have to settle for a two-point lead heading into the interval.
The hosts were first off the mark in the second frame, with Meyer finishing a swooping run under the posts to put NOLA ahead in the 46th minute.
Toronto pushed back through a series of waves; the burst saw Gold prop Dino Waldren sent to the sin bin for offside positioning, but the home side did enough to repel the Arrows’ salvo, eventually holding the ball up and clearing their lines.
The back-and-forth continued as Meyer broke through a tackle and put substitute Nick Feakes through down the left sideline. Gaston Mieres made the tackle at the whitewash, but a TMO review determined the ball was touched down before Feakes was forced out of bounds. Meyer’s conversion struck the upright and remained out.
Malcolm and Meyer exchanged penalties to make it 23-13 before Webster raced down the flank after a quick tap by scrum-half Ross Braude to cut the lead to five points in the 65th minute. A Malcolm penalty goal in the 71st minute further reduced the NOLA advantage to 23-21.
Another in a string of NOLA penalties gave Malcolm the opportunity to put the Arrows ahead by a point with three minutes to play, and the Kiwi made no mistake while facing a chorus of boos from the home supporters.
NOLA would have one final chance to stage a comeback, but a breakdown poach by Tomas de la Vega gave possession back to the Arrows, and Spencer Jones wasted no time kicking the ball into touch to end the game.
The victory was the Arrows’ first over the Gold in franchise history. Toronto previously held an 0-4 all-time record against the Louisiana outfit since joining the league in 2019. All five contests have been decided by tight margins; each match has featured a score difference of eight points or fewer, with the 2022 fixture proving to be the closest of them all.
The result was also the first single-point win in Arrows history, coming in the club’s 40th MLR match.
Toronto enters Week 4 of the 2022 season with an away clash against Old Glory DC (0-3; 0 points) on Saturday, February 26. The Eastern Conference meeting will be played at Segra Field in Leesburg, VA, and will kick off at 4 p.m. ET.
Kyle and Paul watching Sammy’s 77th-minute kick sail through the uprights were all of us 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/x1r6zV83aZ
— Toronto Arrows RFC (@TorontoArrows) February 20, 2022
Toronto Arrows Stat Leaders:
Ball Carries: Spencer Jones, Andrew Quattrin – 12
Carry Metres: Gaston Mieres – 118
Tackles Made: Tomas de la Vega – 18
Offloads: Five Players – 1
NOLA Gold Stat Leaders:
Ball Carries: Carl Meyer – 14
Carry Metres: Carl Meyer – 238
Tackles Made: JP du Plessis – 20
Offloads: JP du Plessis, Carl Meyer, Devin Short – 2
Toronto Arrows Score Report:
Tries: Kyle Baillie (4), Brock Webster (64)
Conversions: Sam Malcolm (5)
Penalty Goals: Sam Malcolm 4 (26, 59, 70, 77)
NOLA Gold Score Report:
Tries: Eric Howard (14), Carl Meyer (46*), Nick Feakes (55)
Penalties: Carl Meyer 2 (7, 62)
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. NOLA Gold:
- Cole Keith
- Andrew Quattrin
- Isaac Salmon
- Mike Sheppard (C)
- Paul Ciulini
- Kyle Baillie
- Lucas Rumball
- Tomas de la Vega
- Ross Braude
- Sam Malcolm
- Brock Webster
- Spencer Jones
- Mitch Richardson
- Matt Hood
- Gaston Mieres
- Jack McRogers
- Lolani Faleiva
- Tyler Rowland
- Adrian Wadden
- Mason Flesch
- Chris Bell
- Ueta Tufuga
- Will Kelly
Header Photo Credit: Dmitriy Pritykin
Arrows Look to End Road Stretch On a High in Dallas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ARLINGTON, TX – Toronto Arrows Head Coach Peter Smith
Torrance-Read to Miss Remainder of 2023 Season with Torn ACL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows confirmed today that
Week 6 Milestone Tracker: Shep Becomes Appearances Leader, Hits 500 Tackles
The following club career milestones were achieved by our players during the
Toronto Arrows Sign Canadian Sevens-Experienced Backs Bowen, Fatoric
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows are pleased to
Broadcast Details: Toronto Arrows vs. Dallas Jackals (April 1, 2023)
Details for how to watch our upcoming away match against the Dallas