The 2019 season kicked off with the Toronto Arrows visiting NOLA Gold. The game was a fantastically exciting game, albeit it scrappy at times. First time viewers of the sport will certainly not have been disappointed with an action packed 9 try outing.
The first half was a dominant display by the Gold who led by 24 – 7 at half time. The Gold started the game with a serious statement of intent with an opening try from Australian Scott Gale on his debut for the Gold, followed by an impressive conversion by out-half JP Eloff right on the touch line. Toronto’s only real period of sustained pressure resulted in them pushing over the line from 5 yards out for a typical forwards try. The Gold however continued to show their superior attacking flair, dominating both possession and territory and a try by Tim Maupin on the 26th minute was the least they deserved.
A yellow card for Toronto Arrows winger Jack Evans on the 32nd minute meant the Arrows were down to 14 men for the last 5 minutes of the half and under heavy pressure. That pressure showed and two tries in quick succession meant the score was 24 – 7 at the end of the first half.
The half time team talk for the Arrows definitely did the trick as the Arrows started the second half like a completely different team. Five minutes into the second half and impressive winger Dan Moor scored in the corner after a patient build up. Moor was on the mark again 12 minutes later after quick hands by Spencer Jones set him up to score once again in the corner with a well finished try.
In what was an enthralling blow for blow second half the Gold scored the try of the game on the 67th minute. Sustained pressure was capped off by a wonderful solo effort in which the impressive JP Eloff crossed over for his second try of the game. Scott Gale added the two points to give the Gold a 12 point cushion with 12 minutes to play.
The action did not stop there however. In what was a blockbuster finish, the Arrows were awarded a penalty try on 70th minutes for a deliberate knock down in a try scoring position for the Arrows. The Gold responded almost immediately from the kick off, after an attempted box kick was blocked down and man of the match Tristan Blewett touched down to make it a 10 point game with 7 minutes to go. There was one more sting in the tail from the Arrows as Sheridan went alone despite support to cross over the line to set up a nervy finish.
It was not to be however and NOLA held out for the opening win of the season in what was a thoroughly exciting game and hopefully a great indication of things to come.