On a wet night with light rain and less than ideal conditions, Rugby ATL came in and took the first game ever of the rivalry with NOLA Gold on the road. The Gold lost 22-10 to the Atlanta-based expansion team.
The loss puts NOLA Gold at 1-1, sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 5 points.
NOLA Gold scored the first points of the night, mauling in a try 18 minutes in with hooker Lindsey Stevens credited with the try. With a successful conversion by center Carl Meyer, the Gold took an early 7-0 lead.
Rugby ATL answered with their own try in the 18th minute with center wing Jeremy Misailegalu scoring the try. After a missed conversion, the Gold still held the lead 7-5.
A decisive moment in the game came when the Gold had a big chance late in half. The Gold were knocking on the door with several lineouts on the five-meter line. Rugby ATL stood strong and the Gold would miss out on a prime opportunity to put points on the board.
In a game that already featured a good deal of kicking for field position, Rugby ATL would take control of the game with penalty kicks.
Flyhalf Kurt Coleman would notch the next two scores from penalty kicks for Atlanta with one in the 49th minute and one in the 53rd minute, giving Rugby ATL a 11-7 lead.
Meyer answered with a penalty kick of his own to pull the Gold back within one in the 57th minute. That would be the last points the Gold scored on the game however.
Kurt Coleman would hit another two penalty kicks, one in the 64th minute and another in the 74th, to bring him to four made penalty kicks on the day.
Finally, Rugby ATL topped it off with a try by wing Rory Van Vugt. After the unsuccessful conversion, the game ended with the final score of 22-10.
The Gold travel to Colorado next week to take on the Colorado Raptors. The game will be broadcast live on Cox Sports Television at 3 p.m. Feb. 22. The Raptors are 0-2 with losses to the Houston Sabercats and the San Diego Legion.
NOLA Gold will come home the following week Saturday, Feb. 29 against the 2019 MLR Championship runner up San Diego Legion. San Diego is coming off wins over the defending champion Seattle Seawolves and over Colorado. They will take on the New England Free Jacks, before coming to the Gold Mine at the Shrine on Airline to take on NOLA Gold.
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