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Glendale Cruises To Victory Over NOLA 38-14

In very windy conditions in Glendale, Colorado the Glendale Raptors were able to score three tries in each half and cruise to victory over NOLA Gold Rugby. This was a fantastic match, it showed why Glendale is the preseason favorites, but it also showed that Glendale still have a few things to work on.

There were handling errors from both sides. This was NOLA's third preseason match and if they don't start cleaning up the simple errors it could be a long season for the Gold. The Raptors will have to calm down and not back talk so much. Glendale received three yellow cards in the match. And they all could've been avoided.

Overall, this was a great match. Both teams showed promise and this could be the start of something great for the American rugby community. Early on, it looks like Major League Rugby could be a success, so let's hope it continues.

Now to the match. The first attempt at points came from NOLA. John Stapleon missed wide on his penalty kick attempt after a yellow card to Casey Rock for a high tackle. Bryce Campbell got the scoring started with a beautiful try off an inside switch. Will Magie with the conversion and the Raptors led 7-0.

Zach Fenoglio got a try of his own. The Raptors hooker was able to dot down after a maul from the lineout. Harley Davidson, yes that it his name, with some quick moves on the wing and he was able to dot down near the posts. Magie with the conversion and the Raptors led 19-0.

Matt Hughston was able to ensure that NOLA wasn't shut out in the first half. After a yellow card to John Quill for repeated infringement, Hughston was able to pick and go over the line. Stapleton with the conversion and NOLA entered halftime trailing 19-7.

Harley Davidson got the scoring started in the second half. Davidson's second try of the match came quickly after the Raptors were able to steal the ball back after kicking off the second half. Maximo de Achaval took over kicking duties in the second half, his conversion put the Raptors up 26-7.

Some back and forth action took place over the next 20 minutes. Ata Malifa finally broke through and was able to dot down for the try. Blake Rogers helped set up this try with a nice line break. de Achaval's conversion was off the uprights and the Raptors led 31-7.

Michael Baska added a second try for the Gold. After Luke White was sent off with a yellow card for back talk to the official, NOLA made some nice line breaks before Baska was able to dot down for the try. Taylor Howden made the conversion and NOLA trailed 31-14.

Glendale U-23 player Mikaele Kruse saw some game action and scored a try. After an interception by Peter Dahl, Dahl was able to offload to Kruse who side stepped his way around NOLA defenders and dotted down under the posts. de Achaval with the conversion to make the final score 38-14.

This was a great match. Glendale saw their first action of the preseason and NOLA was able to get some more game time in. You could tell by the end that the altitude was starting to take effect. While it did take longer than I expected, you could tell.

Glendale now has three weeks off before they head to Utah to take on the Warriors on March 30th. NOLA gets a week to rest before they host Houston in a return match from a couple weeks ago.
NOLA Gold vs Glendale Raptors - 03/10/2018

Man of the Match:
NOLA Gold: Taylor Howden
Glendale Raptors: Harley Davidson


Tries: Matt Hughston (39), Michael Baska (75)

Cons: John Stapleton 1/1, Taylor Howden 1/1

Pens: John Stapleton 0/1 (8)


Tries: Bryce Campbell (19), Zach Fenoglio (24), Harley Davidson 2 (36, 42)
Ata Malifa (59), Mikaele Kruse (79)

Cons: Will Magie 2/3, Maximo de Achaval 2/3

Yellow Cards: Casey Rock (8), John Quill (38), Luke White (74)

~Josh Fredlund
Photos by Josh Fredlund