Marcello Wainwright and his Toronto Arrows were beaten 21-14 by Rugby ATL in their Major League Rugby season opener at Atlantaís Lupo Family Field.
The game at Life University's Lupo Family Field was Toronto's first since March 6th, 2020, when it lost 22-19 at the Colorado Raptors. The league cancelled then cancelled the season due to the global pandemic.
Trailing 21-14, Toronto endured a long period of Atlanta dominance late in the second half. But with five minutes remaining, the Arrows returned fire with a fine run down the right flank by Uruguayan winger Leandro Leivas.
Atlanta was penalized near its goal-line, allowing Toronto to kick for touch and set up a lineout. But the Arrows were penalized for an infraction at the breakdown as they looked to tie the score after winning the lineout.
A subsequent Toronto attack was negated by another penalty before a limited number of fans in the stands.
The Arrows will be staying in the Atlanta suburb for some time, taking up residence there due to pandemic-related border restrictions. Toronto's travelling party of 30 players and eight staff will spend the first few weeks in a hotel, reviewing other local housing options after that.
The hope is the third-year team may be able to return home to host games at some point in the season.
Due to constraints on training back home, the Arrows went into the match without playing any pre-season games.
Toronto led 7-0 and 14-7 but trailed 21-14 at the half.
Jack McRogers and Tomas de la Vega scored tries for Toronto. Andrew Ferguson kicked two conversions.
Chance Wenglewski, Johan Momsen and Nethling Gericke scored tries for Rugby ATL. Bautista Ezcurra kicked three conversions.