Despite a roaring first half, Old Glory couldn’t quite defeat the Toronto Arrows in Georgia. They had a good lead going into half time, but the Arrows’ bench proved stronger as the home side rounded into form. It’s a disappointing loss, not least because this was Old Glory’s last best shot at picking up another win this season. Still, it was a fun match to watch with a lot of great play from young and inexperienced players.
The match was competitive right from the start. Both teams put pressure on their opponent’s defense, but neither came out with the score. Handling errors combined with solid defense prevented either side from turning pressure into points.
After fifteen minutes, the deadlock was broken by Jason Robertson, who chipped a kick over the defensive line. It bounced perfectly for Renata Roberts-Te Nana, who gathered it and ran in for a try. Toronto made a penalty kick not too long later, but it wasn’t long before Old Glory were at it again. James King came off of a well-designed lineout to dive over for a try. Robertson’s kick from out wide was good.
Toronto made it over the line for the first time shortly afterwards, finding a hole in Old Glory’s try-line defense. Old Glory nearly hit straight back to make it three tries before the half, but Api Naikatini lost control of the ball just before it hit the ground.
Halftime score: Old Glory DC 14-10 Toronto Arrows
It didn’t take long for Old Glory to get their third try, though. They had looked like the better team in the first half, and that continued in the second. Quick work from the backs set up Cory Daniel to charge through for a score, expanding DC’s lead.
However, Toronto suddenly switched on, scoring three tries in quick succession, both converted to take the lead. Inspired play from their backs saw them slip through the Old Glory defense and run in for tries.
However, OGDC was not out of the match. A yellow card for Toronto gave them a chance, and they took it. Max Lum passed the ball out to Danny Thomas from a lineout, who ran across the line to put Old Glory just six points away.
The comback was not to be, however, as Tusitala was sent off with a yellow card. The last ditch effort ended in a knock-on for Old Glory, ending the match.
Final score: Old Glory DC 28-34 Toronto Arrows
Wondering where the usual “Takeaways” section is? Starting this week, it will be published as a separate article. You can find this week’s takeaways here.