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Thursday, May 16, 2019
Wainwright & Toronto Arrows Keep On Winning

The 16th week of the Major League Rugby regular season was a big one for Marcello Wainwright and his Toronto Arrows teammates.

After their crucial victory over the San Diego Legion last weekend, the Arrows had to play another match, this was a make-up fixture, originally scheduled for April 14th, against Austin Elite on Thursday evening at York Alumni Field.

It was played in damp weather but the rain forecast mostly held off for the duration of the game itself.

Austin were winless heading into the game but jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a couple penalty kicks from Uruguayan centre Andrés Vilaseca. They came against the run of play as Toronto controlled the vast majority of territory and possession throughout the game but couldn’t quite make the final pass stick on several occasions.

They finally broke through when Andrew Ferguson found enough space on the corner to make the line. That seemed to spark the team and before long they were in again. This time Shawn Windsor’s offload found Leandro Leivas, and Toronto’s own Uruguay star stepped on the gas. After beating two defenders for pace he bowled over the fullback and sprinted clear for a superb 65-metre try.

A bit of fortune gave them a third try as Ferguson’s chip kick was deflected into the welcoming arms of Rob Brouwer early in the second half. The bonus point came when Kainoa Lloyd muscled over on the short side from a scrum. Austin grabbed a consolation try at the death but the final score read Toronto 24, Austin 13.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Toms & Bedwas are Relegated to Championship

Following the latest round of results in the 2018/19 Principality Premiership, Brynley Toms and his Bedwas Rugby Football Club teammates finished in a relegation position in this year’s league and subsequently will participate in the Championship next year.

A statement posted on the clubs website states, “Firstly, as ever, Bedwas RFC would like to thank all of its players and management staff for their efforts throughout an attritional season. You have performed excellently and have taken our fight for Premiership survival right down to the very last weekend. The club would also like to thank its sponsors and supporters for everything they have put into the club over the last season. As ever, you support for the club has helped make another season of rugby at Bedwas possible. Finally, we would also like to once again thank our incredible team of volunteers. You help to keep the show on the road and are the beating heart of this club.

Bedwas RFC has made quite the mark on the Premiership over the years. We have beaten teams from cities, towns and villages across Wales and have enjoyed some memorable days in doing so. We have won silverware and tasted the bitter taste of defeat in that time, but all of those wins, losses (and even the draws!) have added to the remarkable character of this club.

Relegation is disappointing, but it is by no means a fatal blow. 2019 will mark the start of a new phase for this historic club as we enter the Championship ready and hungry for the 2019/20 season.

Bedwas RFC would like to send its best wishes to those teams competing in the Premiership next season. We also look forward to renewing rivalries and friendships with our peers in the Championship next term.”
Monday, May 13, 2019
Wainwright & Toronto Arrows Keep On Winning

Marcello Wainwright and Toronto Arrows teammates defeated the Utah Warriors 28-21, marking the club’s fifth consecutive win and third victory in the past eight days.

A late try from Spencer Jones secured the bonus-point win for Toronto, moving the club to third place in the Major League Rugby standings and back into a playoff position.

With swirling winds, steady rain and cool temperatures creating difficult playing conditions throughout the afternoon, Utah were the first side on the scoresheet after No. 8 Arthur Bergo crashed over the line two minutes into the match.

Following a long spell of back-and-forth play, the hosts drew level in the 21st minute when Morgan Mitchell bowled his way across and captain Sam Malcolm successfully kicked his first of three conversions on the day.

The Warriors regained the lead minutes later, with Jeremy Misailegalu plucking up a loose ball and racing in unimpeded shortly before Tim O’Malley booted his first of three penalty goals.

Toronto responded just moments before halftime. Following a big push from the Arrows’ scrum – the pack would wreak havoc on Utah throughout the match – Andrew Ferguson spun a deft pass to send in John Sheridan, pulling Toronto to within a point of the Warriors’ 15-14 lead heading into the interval.

The Arrows were awarded a penalty try midway through the second half after more strong work from their scrum, but two more penalty goals from O’Malley sent the teams to the final stages of the match all square at 21 points apiece.

After a Dan Moor clearance kick penned the Warriors within a few meters of their goal line, Toronto regained possession and strung together a series of effective phases that was capped off when Jones juked past two would-be tacklers to score the match-clinching try.

Despite being on their third match in eight days, the Arrows found an extra gear in the final minutes of the game; with Utah holding possession and looking for a gap, the Toronto defense held firm, eventually driving the Warriors back into their own in-goal area to end the match with a punctuation mark.

The outcome marks a season series sweep for Toronto over Utah. The Arrows defeated the Warriors 64-31 when the two clubs squared off in Utah on March 30th, with Toronto setting multiple Major League Rugby records in the process: most points scored by one team in a match (64) and most tries scored by one team in a match (9).

The victory improves Toronto’s record to 9-5-0, and puts the expansion club back into a playoff position with two matches remaining in its 2019 campaign. Since the Arrows began their homestand on April 7th, the club has taken 26 of a possible 30 points.
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Wainwright & Toronto Arrows Defeat San Diego

Marcello Wainwright and Toronto Arrows gave their inaugural-season playoff push a big boost, defeating the San Diego Legion 23 - 19 to propel the club to within three points of a post-season position.

Steven Ng’s Try in the final minute of the match sealed the comeback victory at Lamport Stadium, snapping the top-ranked Legion’s five-game winning streak.

Despite carrying the bulk of possession and territory in the opening half, the Arrows found themselves trailing 12-6 at the interval. Sam Malcolm kicked two penalty goals in the opening 40 minutes, but opportunistic tries from San Diego’s JP du Plessis and Mike Te’o provided the visiting side with a six-point cushion entering halftime.

After Malcolm added another goal in the opening stages of the second half, Toronto earned a man advantage in the 65th minute when the Legion’s Nate Augspurger was issued a yellow card for a high tackle. The Arrows capitalized just minutes later, with substitute Leandro Leivas darting in to score a try just minutes after entering the match.

San Diego wasted little time in drafting a response. The visitors marched back down the pitch and scored through captain Joe Pietersen following a scrum deep in Toronto territory, with the fly-half converting his own try to give the Legion a 19-16 lead.

The see-saw affair didn’t stop there. The Arrows stormed back minutes later, stealing the ball off a San Diego lineout deep in the visitor’s end. Legion prop Aaron Mitchell was then yellow carded in the 77th minute, providing Toronto with a window to earn a comeback.

Rather than kicking for points and playing for a draw, the Arrows instead opted for the scrum in front of the Legion’s posts. The decision proved to be the correct one; following the scrum, Ng muscled his way across for his first professional try to seal the Arrows’ third consecutive win.

“Every single one of our players made meaningful contributions today,” said Arrows captain Dan Moor. “We stuck to our gameplan, believed in our systems, and earned a win against a very strong opponent. We all believe we have the talent, drive and work rate to earn a playoff spot, and today was an example of how we’re going to do everything in our power to get us there.”

Sunday’s outcome ensures a season series sweep for Toronto over San Diego. The Arrows defeated the Legion 27-20 when the two clubs squared off in southern California on March 19. San Diego had not stumbled since, going 5-0-1 to jump to the top of the standings.

The victory improves Toronto’s record to 7-5-0, though the expansion club remains in sixth position in league standings with 38 points. The Arrows are now three points out of a playoff spot with four matches remaining.

San Diego’s bonus-point loss drops the California outfit to second place with a 9-3-1 record, but keeps the club just three points out of the top spot.

“This is going to be a big week for us,” added Moor. “With three games in a span of eight days, we’re going to be tested, and it’s up to us to bend but not break. Starting this tough stretch with a win is a big start, and we’ll look to take the momentum from today’s win and apply it against Austin and Utah.”
Monday, May 06, 2019
Bedwas Win Big Match Over Swansea

Brynley Toms and his Bedwas teammates hard earned a 28 – 25 win over Swansea at home, which kept their survival hopes alive as nearest rivals Bridgend slipped to a late defeat at Aberavon.

On a gloriously sunny spring afternoon it was the visitors who started the stronger. It was soon evident their pack was stronger as the opened up the Bedwas defense and a clever pass sent winger Tom Williams away to score out wide. Steff Williams was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt.

Bedwas’ attempts to get back into the game were nullified by errors and diligent defense but after 13 minutes a break down the middle was finished off by a fine sprint to the try line by Tom Benjamin who continues to impress since arriving on permit from Cardiff Met RFC. Joe Scrivens added the extras.

Roared on by one of the largest crowd’s at the Bridgefield this season Bedwas edged in front with the award of a penalty try as a Swansea defender was deemed guilty of killing the ball. Unusually no sanction for the Swansea player in the form of a yellow card was forthcoming.

Swansea’s Steff Williams added a penalty goal after Bedwas were penalized which reduced their arrears to 5 points before a great break by Joe Scrivens as he danced around a few defenders before picking out the supporting Luke Crane to finish the job with a try. Scrivens again converted, this time from in front of the posts.

Further Bedwas ascendancy was halted by the referee’s whistle for both adjudged infringements and the half time break but leading 21-8 at half time was laying the foundations of what was needed.

James Richards replaced Nathan Hudd at half time due to injury but it was Swansea who scored first as rangy winger Ryan Griffiths crossed but once again Williams’ conversion attempt missed the target.

Swansea continued the dominance in the tight and their next score came via a penalty try as the Bedwas pack were adjudged guilty of a scrum offence, but again no sanction from the referee.

It was all Swansea as their fourth try of the afternoon by pacy left winger Tom Williams put them back into the lead and Bedwas’ survival hoped in jeopardy. Steff Williams kicking boots must have been left at home as his conversion attempt again missed the target but Swansea were four points to the good with ten minutes to play.

With nine minutes to play it all changed. Adam Williams broke through two tacklers to reach out and touch down on the try line for Bedwas’ fourth and bonus point winning try. Scrivens added the extras to increase the lead to three points.

Bedwas dug in for the remaining time and the whistle blew to happy scenes as supporters and players celebrated a key win. News came through that Aberavon had scored a very late try to deny Bridgend added to the joy but the Brewery Field outfit have one more game to play (at Sardis Road, Pontypridd) and need two points to overhaul Bedwas to earn the play-off chance.
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