As we covered in the week 4 preview, the big question today was whether the NOLA Gold could go four and 0 and go nine points clear ahead of San Diego at the top of the table. The excitement on NOLA’s side was justified with the much anticipated New Zealander Tony Lamborn making his debut for the Gold.
It was RUNY however who started out on the front foot putting together some nice moves through their impressive backline. This pressure resulted in a penalty on the 7th minute. Having turned some kickable opportunities, RUNY went to the line on two occasions after the Gold had been pinged but it was third times a charm and Marsh slotted over the penalty to make it 3-0 within 10 minutes.
This however proved to be the wake up call NOLA Gold needed and their impressive lineout once again proved dividends for them. The Gold gathered from the lineout and pushed over for a well organized and controlled forwards try on the 16th minute. The conversion was subsequently slotted over leaving the score at 3-7 to the Gold. NOLA then struck again through Lamborn who scored his first of 2 tries for the afternoon showing great strength to push over, again from a NOLA lineout.
RUNY then sparked into life with a majestic break from Cathal Marsh who controlled the game excellently today. Marsh broke the Gold defence before setting up Connor Wallace-Sims to touch down under the posts to leave an easy conversion for Marsh to make it a 7 point score.
In what was a tit for tat first half, NOLA responded with a wonderful try of their own on the half hour mark. NOLA winger Tikoisuva finished off a flowing move in which each of NOLA’s backs was involved. There was to be more action however as RUNY’s impressive fly half Cathal Marsh scored the 5th try of the first half on the 35th minute, showing great strength to go through the gap.
The second half started out a little tamer with the first score of the half not coming until the 54th minute through the man making his debut Tony Lamborn. Whilst Lamborn’s nickname is the beast, it was his control at the base of the scrum that set up this try to put him in for his second of the game. A little under 10 minutes later and it was the RUNY forwards who were showing their organization skills with Dylan Fawsitt the man to touch down from a maul having just come back onto the pitch from a sin binning.
On the 73rd minute with the sides tied 24 a piece, the man of the hour Cathal Marsh stepped up and slotted a penalty to give RUNY the lead for only the second time in the game meaning the game was 24 – 27 in RUNY’s favour. RUNY proved they had enough to see the game out and the final score ended NOLA Gold 24 RUNY 27.
NOLA Gold remain top in the standings with 17 points having gained 2 bonus points from today’s game whilst RUNY move up to 3rd place.