This article was last updated on May 20, 2022
The Toronto Arrows saved their best game of the 2022 season for their most important game. They beat the league-leading New England Free Jacks 33-18 with 28 unanswered points.
Toronto Arrows got a valuable bonus-point win because Andrew Quattrin, Guiseppe du Toit, Gaston Mieres, and Matt Hood all scored tries, and Sam Malcolm added three penalty goals and a conversion.
The Arrows won at York Lions Stadium, which was their third game in 12 days. This ended New England’s record-setting 10-game winning streak and kept the club’s playoff hopes alive. Toronto Arrows finished the night just two points behind Rugby ATL, which is also in the playoffs.
New England started the game with more energy and looked like a team with a 12-1 record when they jumped out to an 11-0 lead thanks to two penalty goals from John Poland and a try from Mills Sanerivi at the end of a driving maul.
Before the water break, the Toronto Arrows started a strong comeback. They were bending but not breaking, and they were motivated by the fact that their season was on the line.
Toronto Arrows started thinking of a way to break through the Free Jacks’ stubborn defensive line when they chose to kick for the corner instead of taking a shot on goal when Malcolm was in position. After a few passes, they got the ball close to the 5-meter line, where Quattrin saw an opening and dodged two defenders to score. After the conversion, the score was 11-7.
Quattrin went from being happy to shocked in a short amount of time. The hooker was given a harsh yellow card less than two minutes after scoring his try because the TMO thought the Holland Landing, Ontario, native had made a chop tackle that warranted a trip to the sin bin.
Even though they were short a player, the Toronto Arrows kept up the pressure and took the lead when Malcolm was called for two penalties in quick succession.
The Kiwi scored his 11th point of the half just as Quattrin walked back onto the field and kicked another penalty goal to put Toronto Arrows ahead 16-11, a score that would stand until halftime.
Minutes after the game started again, Sanerivi was sent to the bin for making a dangerous tackle that hit Mieresa in the head. From the next lineout, du Toit was the first to catch the overthrown ball. The center caught the defense off guard as he sped through the line to score between the posts.
Mieres had to leave the field to get an HIA, but he was back on the field quickly, so he wouldn’t have to wait long for his second try in as many games. After New England did something bad again just before the three-quarter mark, the Uruguayan raced down the sideline and dove for the left corner. He contorted his body to stay in bounds as he landed in midair for a try that looked like something out of a movie.
After the water break, New England answered by working through several phases to bring the ball close before substitute Quentin Newcomer pushed over. The goal by Mitch Wilson cut Toronto’s lead to 10.
The Free Jacks kept trying to score in order to close the gap, but the Toronto Arrows’ defense held strong. Hood then won the game with an insurance point after a strong Toronto Arrows scrum deep in New England territory. Ross Braude found the Australian speedster in full flight, and the winger repeated Mieresa’s earlier score by jumping horizontally and touching down in the right corner.
Fourth-placed Toronto Arrows (8-6, 40 points) has a big game away against third-placed Rugby ATL (8-5, 42 points*) in Week 17 of the season, on Saturday, May 28. The 2022 Fire and Ice Cup will be played at Silverbacks Park at 3 p.m. ET, and the winner will have a lock on a playoff spot.