Hanco Germishuys’s second try of the game proved to be the winner as Rugby United New York defeated Toronto 31-24 in Major League Rugby play Saturday, handing the Arrows their fifth straight loss.
His 45th-minute try was a repeat of his first, coming off a rolling maul.
Mitch Richardson’s converted try in the 61st minute, thanks to Joaquin Tuculet’s acrobatic one-handed offload near the New York try-line, cut the RUNY lead to one score but Toronto (4-10-0) could not close the gap,
The Arrows won 53-12 when the teams met April 25. Toronto, mathematically eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, has gone 1-7-0 since then, while RUNY went 6-2-0.
RUNY (9-4-0) was coming off a 29-28 loss to the Utah Warriors that snapped a three-game winning streak.
Kickoff was delayed 30 minutes because there was no ambulance at Lupo Family Field at Life University. The players retreated to find shade in the 29-degree Celsius conditions while they awaited its arrival.
Toronto is sharing Rugby ATL’s facilities during the pandemic.
Tuculet and Mike Sheppard scored tries for Toronto. Will Kelly kicked two conversions and a penalty. Toronto was also awarded an automatic conversion.
Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Ben Foden and Ben Bonasso also scored tries for RUNY. Harry Bennett booted two conversions. RUNY also had an automatic conversion.
Eight members of the Arrows will now head to England to join Canada coach Kingsley Jones for test matches against No. 6 Wales and No. 3 England on July 3 and 19, respectively.
Of the eight, only prop Tyler Rowland and fly half Will Kelly started Saturday with prop Cole Keith coming off the bench. Scrum half Ross Braude, centre Ben LeSage, centre/fullback Patrick Parfrey, hooker Andrew Quattrin and flanker Lucas Rumball were rested.
Despite such absences, the Arrows matchday 23 featured 11 internationals.
With co-captains LeSage and Rumball out, centre Guiseppe du Toit of Maple Ridge, B.C., became the fifth player to captain the Arrows in an MLR match, following LeSage, Rumball, Dan Moor and Sam Malcolm.
No. 8 Ronan Foley made his first start for Toronto. Fly half Sam Malcom, the Arrows’ all-time leading scorer who has rejoined the club after a sting in Japan, came off the bench late in the first half.
Toronto’s Kobe Faust came on in the second half, becoming the youngest player (at 19 years one month 25 days) to ever feature in an MLR game.
Winger Quinn Ngawati, who is also part of the Canadian touring party, started for RUNY.
Toronto went ahead 3-0 in the fifth minute on a Kelly penalty kick. New York pulled ahead 5-3 five minutes later when Germishuys touched down to cap off a rolling maul off a lineout after RUNY kicked to touch on a Toronto penalty for a ruck infraction.
The Arrows took back the lead in the 17th minute, taking advantage of a Ngawati handling error. Tayler Adams collected the ball and raced down the wing, passing to Tuculet for the converted try and a 10-5 edge.
RUNY’s Cakaubalavu scored in the corner three minutes later. Replays seemed to show he fumbled the grounding but the try was awarded, making it a 10-10 tie.
Back to-back tries by Foden and Bonasso moved RUNY ahead 24-10 late in the half. Foden, a former England international, capped off a team try with Ngawati making the final pass. Then Bonasso scored on a long solo run, beating several Arrows defenders before touching down under the posts.
Sheppard ended RUNY’s 19-point run, bulling his way over under the posts as the first half ended to cut the New York lead to 24-17.
Toronto will be without the touring Canadians and three Uruguayan internationals for its two remaining games in the regular season.