This was an incredibly exciting game and a perfect illustration of what the MLR is all about – fast paced, exciting and competitive.
Toronto visited Utah in their last away game before a stretch of 8 home games starting next weekend and they could not have hoped for a better trip on the road. The Arrows smashed 2 records today, scoring a total of 9 tries and a total of 64 points which is the most amount of tries and total points scored in the MLR this season.
Toronto started off the a blistering start leading the Warriors 19-0 after just 14 minutes played with their forwards completely dominating the Utah Warriors pack. The Arrows forwards displayed their strength and grit but also their technical ability through a perfectly executed training ground move which saw prop Rob Brouwer gather the ball off the back of the line out and go over under the posts.
Just before the water break on the 18th minute the Warriors crossed the line to touch down through flanker Jackson Kaka. This kick started the Warriors best period in the game scoring another (penalty) try on the 23rd minute. The Toronto scrum half Ferguson was pinged for tripping Tonata Lauti in a try scoring position. Ferguson was subsequently sin binned and the penalty try was awarded, granting the Warriors the maximum 7 points to bring the score 14-19 to the Arrows after just 23 minutes played.
The Warriors then levelled the game on the 27th minute through a clever piece of play by the experienced Fetuʻu Vainikolo who spotted a gap at the side of the ruck and touched down in the corner making the score 19-19.
The Arrows bounced back just before half time with Kolby Francis picking the ball from the base of the ruck and powering over, to secure the bonus point for the Arrows at the end of the first half.
There was no let up in this game as the second half started off at just as frantic a pace as the first half. The impressive Lucas Rumball got his reward for a fantastic day’s work with a try on 44 minutes. Rumball showed great body position to get down low and drive over the line to make the score 19-33.
On the 50th minute Toronto scored the first of 3 tries in a 10 minute period. Tries from Wainwright, Oitomen and Mieres proved to be all too damaging for the Utah Warriors and was essentially the nail in the coffin as the Arrows led 54-26 going into the second water break on the 60 minute mark.
In what was an exceptionally dominant offensive performance by the Arrows, there were moments of delight for Warriors supporters. One such moment was when the electric Tonata Lauti flatfooted his opposite number with a devastating shuffle and beat another 3 defenders to score for what has to be a contender for try of the season.
The Arrows have finished their batch of games on the road and will return to Canada to host teams up north for the next 8 games. Home advantage, combined with their current form could prove to be the deciding factor in the Arrows season come play-off time.