After amassing a dominant 17-3 half-time lead at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, the Arrows dug deep with a late try and strong defensive stand in the dying moments of the match to secure the franchise’s first-ever victory.
“Through all three matches against MLR opponents during our spring season, the Arrows players and staff have prepared and performed at a level that demonstrates their professionalism,” said Arrows co-founder Bill Webb. “This is a young team, with three-quarters of our players still in university. Their commitment to this program has been second-to-none, balancing a thorough travel and training schedule with the rigours of school, including writing their exams. I’ve been impressed and heartened by their dedication this season, and I know they’re quite eager to play in front of a home crowd this Saturday.”
The Arrows’ first home game, kicking off at 4:30 p.m., will feature a rematch against the newly-announced MLR associate club Rugby United New York. The two clubs first met on Mar. 17, with RUNY emerging victorious at Mazzella Field in New Rochelle, NY.
Heading into the final few days before matchday, ticket sales have been strong for the Arrows inaugural home match.
“We want to thank our supporters from across Canada, including our commercial sponsors, Rugby Canada, Rugby Ontario and their fellow PSOs, as well as the grassroots backing of local clubs, who have been incredibly supportive of what we’re putting together,” said Webb. “Our fans have been outstanding thus far, supporting our team from afar while we’ve played on the road for our first three games. Now that our first home game is quickly approaching, it’s a chance for our fans to show their support in-person. Our guys will get a big boost from the roar of the crowd.”
“We are evaluating entry into Major League Rugby during our six-match R&D due-diligence exhibition season. We’re gauging fan support over our series of home games, including those announced, as well as those yet to be announced. The growing fan support, feedback and attendance are vital over the coming months. We know the players are committed, and we’re pleased to provide a chance for our fans to support elite, professional-level rugby in Ontario.”
For fans heading to the Arrows’ home opener this Saturday, please note that the match venue has been shifted to York University’s Alumni Stadium. While the match was originally scheduled to played on the adjacent York Lions Stadium (located just steps away from York Alumni Stadium), York University officials advised the club that due to the prolonged spell of cold, wet weather, the natural grass at York Lions Stadium is not yet ready for competition.
York University officials are confident that the playing surface will be ready for the Arrows’ next home match: a fixture against Boston Mystic River Rugby Club on Saturday, May 5 (4:30 p.m. kickoff).
“We’re looking forward to playing on the natural grass surface against Boston, and perhaps additional matches later this season,” added Webb. “We’ll have more information in the coming weeks.”
Tickets to Ontario’s home opener can be purchased online for a discounted rate, as well as at the gate on the day of the match.
Online tickets can be purchased for $15. General admission at the gate is $20, along with free entry for all youth (under-16) and American citizens (with passport).