The seventh-best Colorado Raptors match of all time comes from their May 4, 2019 match against the Utah Warriors and is arguably the most complete match the Raptors have played since Major League Rugby began in 2018.
This match took place a week after the Raptors defeated Rugby United New York 20-16 in thrilling fashion. It also served as the start of the last quarter of the season for the Raptors. With just four matches to play, the Raptors were going to have to have a near-flawless final quarter of regular season play if they wanted to sneak into the playoffs.
In a match that they desperately needed to win to keep their playoff chances alive, the Raptors attack exploded for eight tries and a dominant 64-22 win over the Warriors. The 64 points that the Raptors scored on that Saturday in May is the most they have scored in a single match since the MLR was established. All nine tries were scored by players in the backline and it was the Raptors centers who stole the show.
Inside center Robbie Petzer and outside center Chad London had matches to remember in the big win over the Warriors. Petzer, who entered this particular match having scored 31 points on the 2019 season, used three tries, seven successful conversions, and one penalty goal to score 34 points in this match alone. Petzer gobbled up 102 meters on the ground while London led all players in the match with 143 meters gained en route to his two tries. Together, the centers were way too much for the Warriors to handle.
On top of keeping their playoff window wide open, the match also served as their third regular-season win over the Warriors. After playing their first match of the 2019 season to a draw, the Raptors picked up this big win to keep their undefeated record against the Warriors intact. To keep with the trend, the Raptors’ first win of the 2020 season also came at Infinity Park against the Utah Warriors.
Believe it or not, the Raptors actually trailed by two scores at one point in this match. After a sloppy start by both the Raptors and the Warriors, it was Utah that scored first with a Tim O’Malley penalty goal and a beautiful sling-shot try by fullback Josh Anderson. After going down 10-0 early, the Raptors woke up and played their best match all season long.
Petzer hit a penalty goal to get the Raptors on the board and then wing John Ryberg punched in a try to knot the match at ten points apiece. From there, it was all Raptors. Petzer punched in back-to-back tries to give the Raptors a cushion and then broke the line one more time before dishing a pass to London for the fourth try of the match. This gave the Raptors a 31-10 lead heading into the half.
The Raptors wasted no time getting started again in the second half. Scrum-half Shaun Davies got the scoring started in the 42nd minute before Utah’s Gannon Moore finally stopped the bleeding with a try of his own just 10 minutes later.
After that, it was Dylan Taikato-Simpson’s turn for a try as the Raptors regained control. London followed that up with his second try of the match on a ball dished to him by Petzer to give the Raptors a 52-17 lead heading into the 60-minute water break.
Petzer and London quickly got back to work following the water break. This time, it was London who found Petzer for his third try of the game. Utah added one more try late in the match but it was the Raptors who had the last laugh as Mika Kruse intercepted a Warrior pass and scurried in for the final points of the match. Petzer’s only blemish on an otherwise flawless performance was that he missed the final conversion.
Tries: John Ryberg, Robbie Petzer (3), Chad London (2), Shaun Davies, Dylan Taikato-Simpson, Mika Kruse
Conversions: Robbie Petzer (8/9)
Penalty Goals: Robbie Petzer (1/1)
Tries: Josh Anderson, Gannon Moore, Matt Jensen
Conversions: Tim O’Malley (2/2), Josh Reeves (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Tim O’Malley (1/1)