Warriors defeated by NOLA on the road

NEW ORLEANS — The Utah Warriors were handed a 21-14 loss to the NOLA Gold on Saturday in yet another game where a slow start and accuracy issues caused a late charge to come up just short.

Battling through brutal humid conditions in New Orleans, the visiting Warriors competed in a way that was pleasing to their head coach Greg Cooper, although the final result is yet again cause for consternation.

“We had the energy that I thought we lacked last week,” Cooper said. “But the inaccuracy let us down.”

NOLA got off to a fast start, touching the ball across the try line for an early 7-0 lead in just the third minute. Utah gained momentum after that, however, but consecutive missed penalty kicks, on top of not being able to touch the ball down after crossing the try line maintained the early deficit.

Then, as time was set to expire after a change of possession, NOLA took advantage of a bit of chaos on the field to break away for a second try just before the break. It was a tough pill to swallow, although Cooper related a positive feeling in the halftime locker room despite the late try.

“They were still positive at that half, because they knew that we had them under pressure,” Cooper said. “We had a go at it, but unfortunately when you get that many points behind, even if you don’t really deserve to be that far behind, it makes it tough. But we didn’t fall apart, and that’s important.”

The Gold led off the second half scoring with another try in the 48th minute to stretch its lead to 21-0. A few minutes later saw Warriors star wing Joe Mano leave the game with injury as things seemed to be slipping away.

But as Cooper mentioned Utah gathered itself and finished out strong despite everything working against it.

Nic Souchon scored Utah’s first points of the evening, touching the ball down across the try line after a well-executed maul in the 65th minute. Then it was seldom-used fullback Lopeti Aisea scoring his first points for the Warriors, taking the ball into the try zone on the edge before touching it down effectively to cut the lead to 21-14 as time expired.

Aisea’s try earned the Warriors a bonus point, which could prove crucial in the final regular season standings.

“Every point will count,” Cooper said. “But we have to start getting wins. Every little point we can get is important, but we need to get some wins or it won’t be enough.”

Overall Cooper was positive regarding how his team responded following last week’s 20-19 loss on the road to the Miami Sharks last week.

“I think we’re a fit team and we don’t go away, and we showed that today,” Cooper said. “We won’t use the conditions as an excuse, and we were finishing stronger than they were, I felt.”

With the loss Utah falls to 4-7 on the year and will now head into a bye week before playing a crucial home match versus the San Diego Legion on June 1.


"I was able to bring my family to three games. It was a lot of fun for all the kids, my wife, and myself. The atmosphere is very family-friendly for even my youngest kids. I had 4 children attend the pregame Jr. Warriors clinics on 2 separate occasions; they had a lot of fun with those experiences and it was a very positive and encouraging environment."