Story by: Doug Coil, djcoilrugby.com | Photo: Keith Killeen, Dylan Fawsitt ball carrier
Rugby United New York defeated NOLA Gold Rugby Club 24-22 on May 26 at MCU Park in Brooklyn.
With the win the Roosters record improved to 11-4 record and are in second place in the Major League Rugby standings with 53 points. Toronto, Seattle, and NOLA Gold also have 53 points. They conclude the regular season on June 2 in Toronto and is a critical match for both sides in their bid for the playoffs.
NOLA Gold’s record fell to 9-6 record. They conclude their regular season on June 2 in San Diego against the Legion and need a win or a bonus point with help for a playoff spot.
Both Rugby United New York and NOLA Gold will need to keep the focus on controlling their own playoff destiny. If the teams win, they are in the playoffs. A bonus point win by the Roosters, creates the chance to host a playoff semifinal.
Prior to the match Rugby United New York Academy U20s defeated Brooklyn Rugby Club 22-19.
NOLA Gold struck first as Cam Dolan dotted down after several picks and goes by the forwards. JP Eloff slotted the conversion to lead 7-0. A few minutes later, Eloff slotted a penalty goal to lead 10-0.
The ensuing restart was taken by the Roosters and the ball was held up in-goal. This resulted in consecutive RUNY 5-meter scrums and a penalty try.
NOLA Gold then answered back with a Tim Maupin try and after Eloff’s conversion the lead was 17-7. The Roosters cut the lead after a Matt Houston try and a Cathal Marsh conversion to 17-14.
In the 35th minute, Tristan Blewett was sent to the bin and Rugby United New York capitalized with Dylan Fawsitt scoring from a maul and Marsh slotting the conversion, as the Roosters took their first lead, 21-17.
After some back and forth, NOLA Gold had a sustained attack, but a kick ahead went beyond the dead-ball line. It was then the Roosters turn to attack deep with the attack ending in a 5-meter NOLA Gold scrum.
NOLA Gold took a 22-21 lead in the 55th minute when Nick Feakes scored in the left corner. In the 62nd minute, Cathal Marsh slotted a 40 meter kick to reclaim the lead 24-22.
RUNY spent about 5 minutes attacking from 5-meters out and credit NOLA Gold with not allowing what would have been a bonus point try.
Both defenses took over the second half with Rugby United New York holding on to claim the 24-22 win to move into second place in the MLR. NOLA Gold fell to 4th place and then to 5th later that night, as the Seattle Seawolves and Utah Warriors played to a 27 all draw.
The playoff race just became more compelling as Rugby United New York, the Toronto Arrows, Seattle Seawolves, and NOLA Gold each have 53 points in the standings. Tiebreakers are explained by MLR.
Next Sunday, the regular season ends and the four playoff semifinalists will be known. One quality team will be disappointed as they miss the playoffs. Not only are playoff spots up for grabs, but the top two teams will host a MLR Semifinal on June 8 and 9. The MLR Championship is the following Sunday at the highest seed’s city.
Link to original story: djcoilrugby.com
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