DON’T LET THE GOLD GET HOT: NOLA BESTS UTAH, 37-14
For a second week in a row, NOLA Gold Rugby proved why they are a premier team in the MLR, beating the Utah Warriors 37-14 on Saturday, March 18th. There are no two ways about it: the Gold throttled the Warriors throughout the duration of this contest.
After a dismal opening three weeks, the Gold look like a rejuvenated squad of raucous ruggers. From the get-go, the Gold maintained a healthy level of industry, grit, and drive, scattering defensive Warriors at will. Jack Webster opened the scoring in the 7th minute, dicing the legs of a dumbfounded defender before making a nimble cut into the corner of the tryzone. The LSU product was a late addition to the starting lineup and made his presence felt early.
Ten minutes later, Rodney Iona and Cael Hodgson combined for an ingenious try to put the Gold two scores ahead. With the finesse of a ballet dancer and vision of a telescope, “Hot Rod” kicked a slow-rolling grubber into the back corner of the tryzone where Hodgson swiftly touched it down for a successful try. This try was truly a dazzling display of dramatics and acrobatics. An abnormally strong gust of wind pushed the conversion kick wide to keep the Gold at 10-0 to the good.
The remainder of the first half was a mosaic of Gold athleticism and imagination. Pat O’Toole made hookers everywhere proud by slicing the Utah defense in half with agility that is normally associated with wingers and scrum-halfs. Such a try could come on no better day for the Irish man, as the matchday theme was in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The native of the Emerald Isle has proved to be a real gem at the Gold Mine. One minute before the break, Luke Campbell finished off an end-to-end piece of excellent teamwork to break the tryline for a fourth time in the first half. The Gold went into their home locker room up by 25 after 40 minutes of play.
After the break, Utah showed meager intent to level the scoreline but ultimately fell flat. They secured two tries throughout the second 40 minutes of play, but so did the Gold. NOLA tries came from Malcolm May and JP Du Plessis in the 69th and 78th minutes, respectively. May earned man of the match honors for a thorough end-to-end effort throughout 80 minutes. Looking towards Matchweek 6, the Gold are in a prime position to maintain their momentum and surge to the top of the Eastern Conference.
The Gold scored 6 tries on Saturday, garnering a valuable extra point in the MLR table standings. Don’t let the Gold get hot!