Arrows Secure Late Comeback Draw Against Old Glory
A D’Shawn Bowen try on the final drive of the match pushed the Arrows to a thrilling comeback draw against Old Glory DC on Thursday night, with the late tally evening up the Eastern Conference clash at 29-apiece.
Ciaran Breen, Ross Braude and debutant Liam Bowman also touched down at York Lions Stadium, while Shane O’Leary and Peter Nelson added seven and two points from the tee, respectively.
A try from DC captain Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz put the visitors ahead early on, but the home side found its response in advance of the water break. A vintage long-distance Lolani Faleiva linebreak sent the Arrows into Old Glory territory, and after several well-worked phases, the ball was spun to Breen on the outside, allowing the winger to race in from the corner.
Already injury depleted coming into the match, Toronto’s mettle would be tested even further following a cruel 10-minute spell that saw three starters — Faleiva, Mitch Richardson and Adrian Wadden — forced off due to injury.
A Peni Lasaqa try put DC ahead by five, but the persistent hosts kept up their resolve and found a breakthrough at the stroke of halftime.
Braude — captaining the Arrows for the first time — marshalled his side inside Old Glory’s 22, and after spotting a gap at the ruck, darted through; with two defenders on his back, the scrum-half muscled across to cap off a memorable piece of individual skill. O’Leary’s extras sent his side up by two heading into the interval.
An early second-half penalty from O’Leary increased Toronto’s lead to five, but after James O’Neill was sent to the bin as the fall guy for repeat team infringements, DC levelled the score through a Tito Diaz Bonilla try on the outside.
The metronomic trading of scoring plays continued. First it was Old Glory winger Marcos Young, who dived into the corner at 65 minutes to put the visitors ahead by five.
The Arrows responded through 21-year-old Bowman, who bulldozed his way through three hangers-on for a try at the 70-minute mark.
Next it was John LeFevre, who dashed clear for a seven-pointer with five minutes to play.
The final say went to the hosts, with Bowen crossing over at the death after collecting a deflected pass from Tautalatasi Tasi. Nelson’s conversion attempt with the clock in the red went just wide, sending the Arrows to a second draw in as many weeks.
Braude’s tally now puts him at 10 tries over his three season with the Arrows, vaulting the scrum-half into a tie for third on the franchise’s try-scoring leaderboard.
Thirteen Arrows were unavailable for the game due to injury.
Toronto enters Week 15 of the 2023 season with an away clash against New England on Sunday, May 27. The fixture at Veterans Memorial Stadium will kick off at 4 p.m. ET.
Toronto Arrows Stat Leaders:
Ball Carries: Mason Flesch, Tautalatasi Tasi – 15
Carry Metres: Tautalatasi Tasi – 133
Defenders Beaten: Ciaran Breen – 7
Tackles Made: Travis Larsen – 18
Offloads: Tautalatasi Tasi – 8
Attacking Breakdown Arrivals: James O’Neill – 24
Defending Breakdown Arrivals: James O’Neill – 9
Old Glory DC Stat Leaders:
Ball Carries: Jack Iscaro, Lautaro Bavaro – 12
Carry Metres: Peni Lasaqa – 111
Defenders Beaten: Peni Lasaqa – 5
Tackles Made: Kyle Baillie – 19
Offloads: Four Players – 2
Attacking Breakdown Arrivals: Kyle Baillie, Niko Jones – 22
Defending Breakdown Arrivals: Niko Jones – 11
Toronto Arrows Score Report:
Tries: Ciaran Breen (17′), Ross Braude (40’+1′), Liam Bowman (70′), D’Shawn Bowen (79′)
Conversions: Shane O’Leary 2 (18′, 40’+1′), Peter Nelson (71′)
Penalty Goals: Shane O’Leary (49′)
Old Glory DC Score Report:
Tries: Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (2′), Peni Lasaqa (18), Tito Diaz Bonilla (54′), Marcos Young (65′), John LeFevre (75’*)
Conversions: Gradyn Bowd (3′)
* = seven-point try
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Old Glory DC:
- Lolani Faleiva
- Tyler Wong
- Tyler Rowland
- Mason Flesch
- Adrian Wadden
- Owain Ruttan
- James O’Neill
- Travis Larsen
- Ross Braude (C)
- Peter Nelson
- D’Shawn Bowen
- Mitch Richardson
- Tautalatasi Tasi
- Ciaran Breen
- Shane O’Leary
- Ramon Ayarza
- Connor Grindal
- Conan O’Donnell
- Hank Stevenson
- Lucas Rumball
- Will Grant
- Liam Bowman
- Kobe Faust
Header Photo Credit: Kyle Gilmor
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