Marcello Wainwright and his Toronto Arrows teammates saved their most impressive performance of the 2019 Major League Rugby season for their most important match to date, and did so against the defending league champions.
The Arrows defeated the Seattle Seawolves 29-7, pushing the Canadian club closer to a coveted top-four position in the MLR standings.
The hosts dominated the early stages of the match at York Alumni Stadium, but were made to wait until the 25th minute before putting their first points on the board through the boot of Sam Malcolm.
Toronto added to its lead just minutes later. After continuing to pen the Seawolves inside their own territory, Mike Sheppard stormed through Seattle’s defensive line to score the match’s first try.
Coming out of the interval with an eight-point advantage, the Arrows didn’t have to wait long to see their lead grow. Guiseppe du Toit started the scoring play with an inspired run that led the inside-center to the goal line, and Leandro Leivas was first on the scene to guide the ball across.
The Seawolves received a lifeline in the 62nd minute through a piercing try from Shalom Suniula, but the visitors’ momentum would prove to be short-lived.
The moment of the match came in the 70th minute from captain Dan Moor. After Cole Keith stole an errant Seattle pass, the ball made its way to Moor on the right side. Seeing an opening, the Toronto native burst through the Seawolves’ line and outpaced fullback Mat Turner to score memorable 65-metre try.
With work still to be done to secure a crucial bonus point, the Arrows did well to keep up their momentum and march straight back into Seattle territory. After stringing together several probing phases, Toronto received its payoff through Paul Ciulini, whose dive across the whitewash in the 74th minute secured all five points for the hosts.
“This was our best defensive performance of the season,” said Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn. “We did well to shut the door on an explosive Seattle team, and we took our chances when they came to us. Our guys have a lot to be proud of after that effort.”