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Resourceful Arrows Soar in the Standings with Two Bonus-Point Wins in Four Days While Mat Turner Spurs SeaWolves to Victory

May 15, 2019 - Major League Rugby (MLR) News Release

Salt Lake City, UT: Weather-related flight cancellations earlier in the season meant the Toronto Arrows needed to play two games in four days this week, a tall order in modern day professional rugby. But the Arrows persevered, the Canadians showing their strength in depth in back-to-back bonus-point victories over Austin Elite Rugby and the Utah Warriors that earned the side the MLR Week 16 Team of the Week Award. The Seattle Seawolves stormed to an insurmountable first half lead over Rugby United New York, speedy fullback Mat Turner scoring two tries and earning the Week 16 Player of the Week Award.

Week 16 Team of the Week Toronto Arrows

Entering the week, the Arrows needed to win virtually every remaining game to make the 2019 MLR Championship Series. On Thursday, the Arrows hosted Austin Elite in a rescheduled match originally slated for mid-April. Austin built an early 6-0 lead before the Arrows came roaring back, scoring 24 unanswered points and going on to win 24-13. Scrum-half Andrew Ferguson's nine points headlined the methodical Toronto offense, which earned the crucial four-try bonus-point. In the cold, swirling rain this Sunday, Toronto scored the go-ahead try in the final minutes to overcome an aggressive Utah Warriors squad to win 28-21. Stephen Jones' try in the 76th minute broke the deadlock, but it was Toronto's defense that made the clutch play in a tight battle, forcing a desperate Warrior offense backwards into their own goal-area at the final whistle. With the 2-0 week and five consecutive wins overall, the Arrows jumped from sixth to third in the MLR standings, and seized control of their playoff fate with two games remaining.

Week 16 Player of the Week Mat Turner

The Seattle Seawolves trailed playoff rivals Rugby United New York by two points in the standings before their match. After their match, the teams swapped positions, fullback Mat Turner spurring a blistering Seawolves attack to victory. Turner, the English sevens international, produced the game's first try 13 minutes in, scampering up the middle and past the outstretched arms of a RUNY defender. Four minutes later, Turner received a swing pass, caught an edge and exploded for the Week 16 MLR Try of the Week, his second of the evening. By the final whistle, Turner accumulated 160 meters on nine carries, one line break and one tackle break in the 38-31 Seattle win.

MLR's First XV of Week 15:

Loosehead Prop (No. 1), Djustice Sears-Duru, Seattle Seawolves

Hooker (No. 2), Dylan Fawsitt, Rugby United New York

Tighthead Prop (No. 3), Morgan Mitchell, Toronto Arrows

Lock (No. 4), Mike Sheppard, Toronto Arrows

Lock (No. 5), Keni Nasoqeque, San Diego Legion

Blindside Flanker (No. 6), Psalm Wooching, San Diego Legion

Openside Flanker (No. 7), Nakai Penny, Seattle Seawolves

No. 8, Riekert Hattingh, Seattle Seawolves

Scrum-half (No. 9), Juan-Philip Smith, Seattle Seawolves

Fly-half (No. 10), Scott Gale, New Orleans Gold

Wing (No. 11), Nick Feakes, New Orleans Gold

Inside Center (No. 12), Will Leonard, Rugby United New York

Outside Center (No. 13), Tristan Blewett, New Orleans Gold

Wing (No. 14), Jeremy Misailegalu, Utah Warriors

Fullback (No. 15), Mat Turner, Seattle Seawolves

Images from this story

Toronto Arrows celebrate a score
Toronto Arrows celebrate a score

(Jose Lagman)
Mat Turner of the Seattle Seawolves
Mat Turner of the Seattle Seawolves

(Mark David Janzen & Aedelhard)

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Major League Rugby Stories from May 15, 2019

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