Raptors fly past NOLA

Photo Credit: Seth McConnell

Raptors put up more than 50 again.

By Marco Cummings

GLENDALE – The Glendale Raptors men took to the road over the weekend, facing an unfamiliar foe in New Orleans Rugby Club, winners of recent USA Rugby National Championships at the D2 and D3 levels. As such, many within the Glendale camp labeled New Orleans as a dark horse candidate in this spring’s Major Rugby Championship (MRC).

Despite the quality of the opponent, Glendale not only won for a third-straight week, but also put up more than 50 points yet again in a 59-5 victory.

“We didn’t have any game film on NOLA so didn’t know what to expect,” explained Raptors head coach David Williams. “With any team we respect that they are going to be good players and play to their system. They had some good ball carriers which we handled within our defensive system and then it was up to the team to create and take opportunities we created.”

After some feeling out of their opposition, the Raptors put forth a dominant first half performance with four tries in the stanza, building up a 24-0 halftime lead. Scrum half Mose Timoteo served as a leader and organizing voice for the Raptors as they looked to control their pattern.

Glendale built its lead to 38-5 deep into the second half, led by additional tries from Justin Pauga and solid ball carrying from Connor Cook and Logan Collins. Pauga added another try to put the score at 45-5 late and additional tries from Giorgi Tsverava and Max Statler capped the win at 59-5.

Despite another dominant performance, one which was arguably their best to date after three matches this season, Coach Williams still sees room for improvement in Glendale.

“We scored another 50 points, but left a few points on the board which was disappointing,” he explained. “Our shape and systems are something to constantly work on. Individual skills are always a focus to work on as well. We are progressing well as a team which is great to see and just need a few more finishing touches.”

Those are just some of the many items on the agenda this week for the Raptors, who head back home to prepare for the team’s upcoming match on Feb. 25 against the Austin Huns (3 p.m.) at Infinity Park.

“We need to cut down our mistakes and have a good training week leading into our match against Austin,” emphasized Williams.