Warriors Face NOLA In Pivotal Week 10 Matchup
New Orleans, LA — The Utah Warriors look to rebound from their Week Nine loss to the LA Giltinis as they are back on the road to face the NOLA Gold this Saturday.
The Warriors enter the matchup with a 4-4 record and currently sit in third-place in Major League Ruby’s Western Division.
The Gold, meanwhile, will try to bounce back from a 43-17 loss at the hands of the San Diego Legion last week. New Orleans, who enters Week 10 in third-place in MLR’s Eastern Division with a 4-3-1 record, are led by eight man Cam Dolan and Julian Dominguez at wing.
“NOLA is a team that loves shifting the ball to the edges and they play a really exciting brand of rugby,” said Warriors Assistant Coach Shaun Davies. “The Gold get a lot of energy from having ball-in-hand and hopefully we can hold onto the ball in the right areas of the field and frustrate them by not giving them the possession they want.”
Utah hopes this match against NOLA will go differently than the two teams’ prior three meetings. The Warriors are winless against the Gold in, suffering a 46-43 loss in the inaugural 2018 season followed by 21-19 & 28-19 losses in 2019. This match also marks the first time the two teams will meet since 2019 after their match that was originally scheduled for March 13, 2020, was cancelled just one day before the Warriors were scheduled to fly to New Orleans, as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“Last year, when the season was unfortunately called off, NOLA was the team we were scheduled to play before finding out the day before it had been cancelled,” said Davies. “So, to now have a shot at them over a year later, going into Week 10 with both teams jockeying for playoff position, it’s an exciting matchup.”
The Warriors will continue to lean on fly-half Hagen Schulte along with scrum-half Michael Baska as they prepare their game plan for their matchup against the Gold.
“The NOLA match is going to require a massive team effort for us to put ourselves in a winning position,” said Utah Head Coach Shawn Pittman. “We will continue to lean on our consistent performers. Guys like Hagen, Michael Baska and the rest of our wings will need to perform at their best in order for us to win, with the dangerous players NOLA has on the edges.”
While Utah will still be without full back Cliven Loubser as he continues to rehab from injury, the Warriors received good news this week that center Tyler Fisher will make his return to the active roster.
“Tyler coming back this weekend, with the way he’s been playing prior to his injury, is massive,” said Davies. “He brings some real grit to the back line and I’m excited to see what he’s able to do this week with the opportunity coming off the bench.”
This week’s match can be streamed on the KSL TV App along with The Rugby Network beginning at 6 PM MT. Fans can also listen along to the action on ESPN 700 and ESPN 960 AM.
UTAH WARRIORS VS. NOLA Gold
Date: May 22, 2021
Time: 6:00 p.m. MDT
Where: Gold Mine Stadium (Metairie, Louisiana)
Broadcast: KSL and The Rugby Network
Radio: ESPN 700 and ESPN 960
1. Franco van den Berg
2. Sama Malolo
3. Angus MacLellan
4. Jurie Van Vuuren
5. Aston Fortuin
6. Tommy Tu’avao
7. Bailey Wilson
8. Lance Williams
9. Michael Baska
10. Hagen Schulte
11. James Vaifale
12. Derek Ellingson
13. Calvin Whiting
14. Mika Kruse
15. Mikey Te’o
16. Ratu Vugakoto
17. Alex Tucci
18. Paul Mullen
19. Saia ‘Uhila
20. Mike Gieselman
21. Fraser Hurst
22. Tyler Fisher
23. Chad Gough
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