Playoff hopes dashed after loss to Chicago
HERRIMAN, Utah — The Utah Warriors’ playoff hopes came to a crushing end on Saturday in a 26-24 loss to the Chicago Hounds.
In a game that often resembled a backyard brawl more than a rugby match, Chicago took full advantage in securing its second win of the season and leaving the home crowd stunned at the result.
“We made too many mistakes early on,” said Warriors coach Greg Cooper. “We had good opportunities, but simple spilling the ball — it was clearly disappointing.”
Utah held a 24-19 lead following a try made by Lance Williams in the 64th minute, but gave up a try to the Hounds on their last possession for the improbable loss.
“We were trying to get that fourth try and then, not only do we not get it, but we end up losing the game,” Cooper said. “So it’s not acceptable.”
Indeed procuring just a win wouldn’t be enough, in holding a nine point deficit to Houston entering the match. Utah needed that precious bonus point given for four tries scored, which was very much on the mind of all involved with just one game remaining for both teams after Saturday’s match.
And Utah had plenty of opportunity, but just couldn’t get the ball across the try line at critical junctures.
As mentioned, a slow start was a main contributing factor in the loss, with Chicago scoring a try in just the third minute to set the tone for the entire match. From there, Utah mishandled several opportunities before scoring its first try of the evening off a maul situation with Thomas Tu’avao providing the score to tie things at 7-7.
But just when Utah appeared poised to get things going, Chicago responded with another try just two minutes later to retake the lead at 14-7.
The Warriors’ most electric moment of the match came just before the half, with Joel Hodgson touching the ball down across the try line off an assist from Joe Mano to tie things at 14-14 entering the break.
The first half featured a lot of chippy play and somewhat surprisingly no yellow cards issued throughout, as Chicago worked well to get Utah off its typical high-octane attack.
“We never were really able to get our scrum going,” Cooper said. “And we really couldn’t with the referee — he sort of didn’t officiate the way we wanted it, so we were never able to get it going because we really felt we had an edge there.”
Chicago was issued a yellow card in the 57th minute, which Utah took advantage of in taking a 24-19 lead after the aforementioned try from Williams before incurring a brutal end to the game and indeed any remaining playoff hopes.
“It’s a game we should have won, but didn’t,” Cooper said.
With the loss Utah falls to 9-6 on the season and will play its final game of the season when traveling to New York a week from Saturday. Chicago improves to 2-13 on the year with the win.
LANDMARK 3-YEAR PARTNERSHIP FOR OFFICIAL KIT PARTNER OF MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY ANNOUNCED
HERRIMAN, Utah – The Utah Warriors have added Sebastian Pearson to their
The Rugby Alliance Officially Formed: Stade Toulousain and Utah Warriors Unite to Elevate Rugby to New Heights
SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 21, 2023) – Stade Toulousain, led by President
Largest Scrum in History Bested Guinness World Record after USA Eagles Victory over Stade Toulousain
SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 17, 2023) – A new Guinness World Record
SANDY, Utah (September 15, 2023) — Five Utah Warriors athletes will pull