The Toronto Arrows found themselves trailing by 17 points after 51 minutes on the road against the San Diego Legion. But in the span of 14 minutes, the Arrows completely changed the game with 21 unanswered points, salvaging the victory and earning the Team of the Week Award. Mark O’Keeffe secured the Player of the Week Award by combining a prolific offensive performance with a commanding defensive effort in Rugby United New York’s latest win over the Utah Warriors.
After mustering just three points in the first half in San Diego, the Arrows’ resurgence began in the 52nd minute when 19-year-old Canadian winger Avery Oitomen broke the gain line and ran through the last defender to close the deficit to 10. Three minutes later, Oitomen scored his second from a few meters out, with the Sam Malcolm conversion making the score 20-17. Mike Sheppard completed the comeback by smashing through the Legion defense for the go-ahead try with 15 to play. To cap off the night, Malcolm kicked his second penalty goal, totaling 24 unanswered points for the Arrows in the win. The 21-point comeback victory is the largest in the 2019 MLR season.
In RUNY’s 41-27 win over the Utah Warriors, center Mark O’Keeffe made his presence felt from the off. Seven minutes in, O’Keeffe put Conor Wallace-Sims over with a quick swing pass. Two minutes later O’Keeffe picked off a Warrior pass, running the interception 70 meters for the try and extending the lead to 14-0. His second try a minute from time added gloss to a commanding all-round performance. O’Keeffe carried the ball seven times for 182 meters in total, more than any RUNY player. On defense, his nine tackles tied for second most.
MLR’s First XV of Week 7:
Loosehead Prop (No. 1), Jamie Dever, Houston SaberCats
Hooker (No. 2), Andrew Quattrin, Toronto Arrows
Tighthead Prop (No. 3), Paddy Ryan, San Diego Legion
Lock (No. 4), Ben Mitchell, Austin Elite Rugby
Lock (No. 5), Matt Jensen, Utah Warriors
Blindside Flanker (No. 6), Brendan Daly, Glendale Raptors
Openside Flanker (No. 7), Mohamed Abdelmonem, Austin Elite Rugby
No. 8, John Cullen, Utah Warriors
Scrum-half (No. 9), Nate Augspurger, San Diego Legion
Fly-half (No. 10), Chris Mattina, Rugby United New York
Wing (No. 11), Sequoyah Burke-Combs, Seattle Seawolves
Inside Center (No. 12), Mark O’Keeffe, Rugby United New York
Outside Center (No. 13), Chad London, Glendale Raptors
Wing (No. 14), Avery Oitomen, Toronto Arrows
Fullback (No. 15), Dylan Taikato-Simpson, Glendale Raptors