Arrows Explode for Eight Tries in Record-Breaking Home Win over NOLA
The Toronto Arrows registered eight tries from eight different try-scorers on Saturday afternoon, defeating NOLA Gold 53-36 to earn their fourth win in their last five games.
The record-breaking bonus-point victory — 53 points is the most the Arrows have scored in a single home match — vaulted the Arrows (6-4-0, 30 points) into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference ahead of Rugby New York (6-3-0, 30 points) on superior points differential (Toronto +14; New York +6).
Isaac Salmon, Ueta Tufuga, John Sheridan, Mitch Richardson, Cole Keith, Guiseppe du Toit, Gord McRorie and Jack McRogers scored tries for the Arrows, while Sam Malcolm added three conversions and a penalty.
NOLA struck first at York Lions Stadium, with Gold captain Cam Dolan scoring a sixth-minute try to put the visitors ahead, though the lead would be short-lived.
After winning a scrum penalty, Toronto opted for the corner, and the lineout drive was powered across by the Arrows’ forwards (with the assistance of a couple of backs) for the home side’s first of their octet of tallies. Salmon was the man to ground the ball for his first MLR try, and Malcolm booted the extras.
Malcolm and Nick Feakes traded penalty goals before the Arrows broke the game open late in the first half.
Tufuga bulldozed through four would-be tacklers to rampage under the posts for his first try with the club. Minutes later, the ball was spun to Sheridan out wide, with the winger knifing inside and evading defenders to emphatically dot down. Malcolm’s two-pointer made it 24-10 at the interval.
Toronto’s momentum wasn’t quelled by the respite in the sheds; moments after the restart, the Arrows achieved the bonus point. Spencer Jones started the play by sucking in two defenders before offloading to Mike Sheppard. The captain then sprung Richardson along the touchline, allowing the winger to race in untouched.
A sleek move off a five-metre lineout produced the next Toronto try, with Keith taking an elevated pass directly from the fully-extended jumper to burst through the middle and score. The try was the prop’s third of the season.
Harley Wheeler pulled back seven points for the visitors well against the run of play, with the Gold wing running 50 metres under the posts after plucking up an errant pass off the deck.
The Arrows added an opportunistic try in the minutes following the hydration break. As Malcolm’s penalty attempt struck the upright and bounced back into play, the quick-thinking du Toit retrieved the ball directly out of the air and crossed over to notch his first try of the season.
Toronto scored again off the restart, with the mobile Lolani Faleiva breaking NOLA’s defensive line before passing inside to a streaking McRorie for another seven-pointer.
The Gold responded through a seven-point try from 50-cap Moni Tonga’uiha, though the Arrows added an exclamation-mark tally off an attacking lineout, with McRogers barging over for his team-leading fourth try of the campaign.
Late consolation scores from Juan Cappiello and Feakes ensured the visitors left with a bonus point.
Toronto enters Week 12 of the season with an away clash against the Houston SaberCats (5-5; 26 points) on Saturday, April 23. The cross-conference meeting will be played at AVEVA Stadium, and will kick off at 8 p.m. ET.
Having played seven of their first 10 games away from home, the Arrows will contest four of their remaining six matches in Toronto, starting with a tilt against Eastern Conference rivals Rugby New York on May 8. 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: Cole Keith – 12
Carry Metres: Mitch Richardson – 100
Tackles Made: Lucas Rumball – 13
Offloads: Tomas de la Vega – 2
NOLA Gold Stat Leaders:
Ball Carries: Moni Tonga’uiha – 11
Carry Metres: JP du Plessis – 151
Tackles Made: Billy Stewart, Dino Waldren – 17
Offloads: Juan Cappiello – 2
Toronto Arrows Score Report:
Tries: Isaac Salmon (12), Ueta Tufuga (35*), John Sheridan (38), Mitch Richardson (41), Cole Keith (45), Guiseppe du Toit (63), Gord McRorie (66*), Jack McRogers (75)
Conversions: Sam Malcolm 3 (13, 39, 46)
Penalty Goals: S. Malcolm (20)
* = seven-point try
NOLA Gold Score Report:
Tries: Cam Dolan (6), Harley Wheeler (52*), Moni Tonga’uiha (69*), Juan Cappiello (77), Nick Feakes (80)
Conversions: Nick Feakes 2 (7, 80)
Penalty Goals: Nick Feakes (33)
* = seven-point try
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. NOLA Gold:
- Cole Keith
- Andrew Quattrin
- Isaac Salmon
- Mike Sheppard (C)
- Paul Ciulini
- Kyle Baillie
- Lucas Rumball
- Ronan Foley
- Riley Di Nardo
- Sam Malcolm
- Mitch Richardson
- Ueta Tufuga
- Spencer Jones
- John Sheridan
- Mitch Voralek
- Jack McRogers
- Lolani Faleiva
- Tyler Rowland
- Tomas de la Vega
- Siaki Vikilani
- Gord McRorie
- Guiseppe du Toit
- Will Kelly
Header Photo Credit: Marcus Hobbs
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