Warriors fall to LA in final 2022 home match
HERRIMAN — Costly mental errors cost the Utah Warriors big during Saturday’s 39-32 loss to the Los Angeles Giltinis.
It marked the final home game of the 2022 season for the 4-11 Warriors with players disappointed in the final result, yet proud of how they continued to battle throughout. Los Angeles improved to 11-4 with the win.
“Discipline was again crucial in this game,” said Warriors flanker Lance Williams. “(Los Angeles) took a pretty big advantage because of that…We made it too hard on ourselves to complete this game.”
The Warriors were issued three yellow cards during the match, two of which immediately led to tries scored by the Giltinis.
The second yellow card was issued to Connor Burns during the 44th minute, which came on top of one dealt out to Joe Mano in the 38th minute. LA capitalized immediately, crossing the try line for a 27-17 on a maul.
The third was given to Niall Saunders in the game’s 56th minute, which was again followed up by a Los Angeles try just one minute later, this time extending the lead to 32-17.
That’s not to say Utah didn’t prove resilient despite dealing with a playing one and even two players down throughout most of the second half.
Jurie Van Vuuren scored a try just one minute into the second half to cut the lead to 20-17 before Olive Kilifi scored one of his own in the 68th minute to draw within a 32-25 margin.
“Scoring two tries down one or two men is amazing against a team like Los Angeles,” Williams said.
Leading off the scoring for the Warriors was Chad Gough, playing in the final home game of his career. According to Gough, one of his more notable teammates took the lead in helping ensure he crossed the try line one final time.
“It felt great,” Gough said. “First thing Lance Williams told me was to get the ball early and that we were going to score. So credit goes to him…I threw it in straight and the big guys carried me across, so I can’t really take all the credit for the maul. I just sat back and let them do it ahead of me.”
Indeed Williams, who typical runs the ball during maul situations made certain to give it to Gough in the 25th minute, mindful of allowing him notice in his final game.
Altogether Utah matched Los Angeles throughout, scoring just as many tries, although the Giltinis proved more accurate in conversion kicks, and had one more penalty kick, ultimately providing the 39-32 winning margin.
With the loss Utah falls to 4-11 on the season and will wrap up play next Saturday when traveling to take on the Dallas Jackals.
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