Arrows' Bonus-Point Win Keeps Them in Playoffs Picture, While Legion Lock Veremalua Evokes Olympic Memories with Virtuoso Try
April 23, 2019 - Major League Rugby (MLR) News Release
Salt Lake City, UT: Week 13 Team of the Week the Toronto Arrows secured a crucial bonus point win over the visiting Houston SaberCats, a first win on Canadian soil for the MLR Season 2 newcomers that keeps them clinging to playoff contention. San Diego Legion's resident Olympic Champion Jasa Veremalua earned Player of the Week with a try-scoring performance against Glendale, one barnstorming run and finish in particular bringing back memories of his run to Olympic gold at Rio 2016 with Fiji's sevens team.
The Toronto Arrows needed a big result to reel in fourth-placed RUNY and Glendale in fifth. The Canadians duly notched their first home win and an all-important try-scoring bonus point with impeccable timing, while RUNY barely squeaked by the Utah Warriors and the Raptors took a hiding in San Diego. Toronto raced into a 21-0 lead with less than half an hour played, before Houston forced their way back into the game with three tries of their own. But the SaberCats were eventually dispatched back to Houston with tails between their legs after Arrows lock Mike Sheppard secured the four-try bonus point in the 58th minute and substitute Kainoa Lloyd made the game safe with Toronto's fifth converted try at the death. The final score of 35-21 reflected the Arrows' superiority, but their playoffs credentials will come under further scrutiny in the coming weeks with back to back games against high-flying Seattle and San Diego.
Jasa Veremalua was a key part of the sevens team that took home Fiji's first ever gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. That Olympic pedigree and lung-busting work-rate was in full view this Saturday. The athletic second row collected an errant line-out 45 meters out and burst through the despairing Raptors cover for the game's first try midway through the first half. Veremalua racked up a total of 100 meters with the ball in hand and weighed in with 13 tackles over the 80 minutes. It was a commanding performance from the Californians against their playoff rivals, the 46-15 final score a statement of the Legion's intent as the business end of MLR Season 2 approaches.
MLR's First XV of Week 13:
Loosehead Prop (No. 1), Anthony Parry, Rugby United New York
Hooker (No. 2), Eric Howard, NOLA Gold
Tighthead Prop (No. 3), Marco Fepulea'i, Glendale Raptors
Lock (No. 4), Mike Sheppard, Toronto Arrows
Lock (No. 5), Jasa Veremalua, San Diego Legion
Blindside Flanker (No. 6), Brad Tucker, Seattle Seawolves
Openside Flanker (No. 7), Nakai Penny, Seattle Seawolves
No. 8, Riekert Hattingh, Seattle Seawolves
Scrum-half (No. 9), Nate Augspurger, San Diego Legion
Fly-half (No. 10), Joe Pietersen, San Diego Legion
Wing (No. 11), Connor Wallace-Sims, Rugby United New York
Inside Center (No. 12), Guiseppe Du Toit, Toronto Arrows
Outside Center (No. 13), Gannon Moore, Utah Warriors
Wing (No. 14), Nick Boyer, San Diego Legion
Fullback (No. 15), Mikey Te'o, San Diego Legion
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Major League Rugby Stories from April 23, 2019
- Arrows' Bonus-Point Win Keeps Them in Playoffs Picture, While Legion Lock Veremalua Evokes Olympic Memories with Virtuoso Try - MLR
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