Loss on the road brings record to 6-3
LEESBURG, VA. — Losses are always frustrating, although the Utah Warriors’ 36-22 loss to Old Glory DC on Saturday perhaps stung more than otherwise.
A slow start, too many missed opportunities and sloppy line-out execution all conspired to deal Utah its first loss in five weeks, leaving coaches and players frustrated with the result.
“We were slow getting into the match. We made a mistake early on and all the sudden we’re seeing ourselves playing from behind,” said Warriors coach Greg Cooper. “…and then giving away two tries late is just unacceptable.”
The beginning and end of the match proved the low points for the Warriors, with DC scoring two tries within the first 11 minutes to put Utah in a 14-0 hole. Utah did manage to battle back, but the final eight minutes were not kind, with Old Glory again putting up 14 straight points on two late tries to take away a 36-22 win.
“We had opportunities we didn’t take,” Cooper said. “But I’m probably more disappointed with the fact that we gave (DC) some soft stuff, and then our line-out just didn’t function.”
Utah did have its chances throughout, and managed to get on the board in the 17th minute with Lance Williams scoring a try, cutting the lead to 14-5 after a missed conversion kick.
A yellow card issued to Utah flyhalf Joel Hodgson in the 20th minute gave DC an automatic seven points, and was compounded with the disadvantage of playing man down for the subsequent 10 minutes.
But as Utah has managed all year, it rose despite the difficult man-down circumstance to score a try in the 29th minute, with Mika Kruse touching the ball down to cut the lead to 21-10.
DC added a penalty kick in the 33rd minute, pushing its lead to 24-10 before Williams took one of Utah’s successful lineouts in for the try in the 35th minute, cutting the lead to 24-17 at the break.
“We fought back, and that was obviously encouraging,” Cooper said.
Utah proved much better at the start of the second half, dominating possession throughout, although too many missed opportunities came about deep within DC’s territory. Utah did finally manage a try off a maul with Tuvere Vugakoto scoring a try in the 69th minute, cutting the lead to 24-22 before the rails sort of came off from there.
Old Glory struck fast, scoring in the 72nd and 75th minutes for the final score of 36-22, cutting the Warriors’ win streak at four.
The Warriors will enjoy a bye week before taking on the league-leading San Diego Legion at home on May 6.
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