Arrows Stave Off Late DC Surge for Bonus-Point Home Win
It was a victory 1,042 days in the making.
The Arrows ran in four tries and fended off a late surge to defeat Old Glory DC 32-27 at York Lions Stadium on Saturday afternoon, marking the team’s first win in Toronto in close to three years following its unprecedented pandemic-induced gap between true home matches.
Conor McCann, Jack McRogers, Cole Keith and Mitch Voralek all scored tries in the bonus-point performance, condemning the visitors to a ninth consecutive loss.
Buoyed by the support of the home crowd, the injury-depleted Toronto started strongly with an early line break from Ronan Foley to set up a fourth-minute Sam Malcolm penalty goal.
The Arrows extended their lead to 10 with a converted try on a play started by a Mitch Richardson line break. The outside centre sprung a streaking Voralek along the touchline, who then deftly offloaded to McCann at the foot of the whitewash for the cool finish. The try was McCann’s first professional tally.
DC found a double-barreled response through their pack, starting with a rolling maul off an attacking lineout that saw Stan South cross over to cut Toronto’s lead to 10-5. A near-identical score would come minutes later, with Dom Bailey the man to bully across off the back of the maul. Neither conversion attempt from Mike Dabulas was successful, with the scoreline knotted at 10 at the first hydration break.
After Old Glory prop Jack Iscaro was dinged for a chop tackle on Mike Sheppard, Toronto kicked for the corner and McRogers barged over from the subsequent lineout.
Minutes later a DC violation at the breakdown led to another lineout deep in the visitors’ end, and it was Keith who stormed across to restore Toronto’s double-digit lead. Malcolm’s conversion increased the advantage to 22-10, which would hold till halftime.
The Arrows started the second frame by picking up right where they left off. Just after the restart, Malcolm poked a grubber in behind Old Glory’s line. Voralek was first to the ball, plucking it up on the bounce and slicing away from a would-be tackler to dive under the posts. The bonus-point try was the first of Voralek’s career, coming on his first professional start.
DC had an instant response, with Cory Daniel touching down in the corner to cut the Arrows’ lead to 14. Malcom’s penalty at the hour-mark made it 32-15.
After the hydration break, Old Glory began to ratchet up the pressure in their pursuit of a first win of 2022. Substitute Peni Lasaqa found himself with space out wide and slipped across in the 68th minute for a converted try. Five minutes later, Rohan Saifoloi broke Toronto’s line and located Daniel for the flanker’s second tally of the match, reducing the Arrows’ 17-point lead to just five. The TMO reviewed the scoring play, and issued two rulings that drew the ire of the home crowd: that there was no evidence of offensive obstruction in the build up to the try, and also that John Sheridan shoulder charged Saifoloi in the winger’s tackle attempt, resulting in Sheridan being given his marching orders to the sin bin.
Sheridan was joined by Sheppard on the sideline with just over a minute left to play, with the lock serving as the fall guy for repeated Arrows infringements in the final minutes of the match. The two yellow cards left the Arrows with 13 men on the pitch to defend a DC five-metre lineout.
After the maul was formed, the Arrows defenders bravely stymied Old Glory’s last-ditch attack to force a turnover. Toronto won the ensuing scrum, allowing Gord McRorie to kick the ball out of play to secure the long-awaited home win.
Toronto (5-4; 25 points) enters Week 11 of the season with a home clash against NOLA Gold (3-6; 18 points) on Saturday, April 16. The Eastern Conference meeting will be played at York Lions Stadium, and will kick off at 12 p.m. ET.
Tickets are available for purchase via AXS, the official ticketing partner of the Toronto Arrows, on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Single game tickets start as low as $15 and are available for all home games in 2022.
Toronto Arrows Stat Leaders:
Ball Carries: Mike Sheppard – 15
Carry Metres: Mitch Voralek – 125
Tackles Made: Mike Sheppard – 17
Offloads: Mitch Voralek – 4
Old Glory DC Stat Leaders:
Ball Carries: Tevita Naqali – 16
Carry Metres: Thretton Palamo – 140
Tackles Made: Robert Irimescu – 23
Offloads: Renata Roberts Te-nana – 3
Toronto Arrows Score Report:
Tries: Conor McCann (7), Jack McRogers (31), Cole Keith (34), Mitch Voralek (43*)
Conversions: Sam Malcolm 2 (8, 35)
Penalty Goals: Sam Malcolm 2 (3, 60)
* = seven-point try
Old Glory DC Score Report:
Tries: Stan South (16), Dom Bailey (21), Cory Daniel 2 (46, 73), Peni Lasaqa (68)
Conversions: R. Saifoloi (69)
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Old Glory DC:
- Cole Keith
- Jack McRogers
- Tyler Rowland
- Mike Sheppard (C)
- Paul Ciulini
- Kyle Baillie
- James O’Neill
- Ronan Foley
- Riley Di Nardo
- Sam Malcolm
- Mitch Voralek
- Guiseppe du Toit
- Mitch Richardson
- John Sheridan
- Conor McCann
- Andrew Quattrin
- Lolani Faleiva
- Isaac Salmon
- Lucas Rumball
- Ollie Nott
- Gord McRorie
- Spencer Jones
- Will Kelly
Header Photo Credit: Marcus Hobbs
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