Utah Warriors Get Critical Victory Over Austin Gilgronis
HERRIMAN, Utah – The Utah Warriors downed the Austin Gilgronis to improve to 5-5 on the season and take hold of second place in MLR’s Western Division Saturday night.
The Warriors took an early lead when Calvin Whiting kicked for 3 in the second minute of the match. Quickly after, Aston Fortuin scored the first try of the night, [describe a little about try here], putting the Warriors at 10-0 in the first nine minutes of the game.
“I think it set a pretty good precedent for what we were trying to do in this game,” said Warriors Head Coach Shawn Pittman. “Our early lead gave us a massive advantage, especially in the back end of the game when they started to put points on the board. But that played a vital role in our success today.”
The Gilgronis were unable to halt the Warriors early momentum, and it wasn’t long before Matt Jensen and Mika Kruse each put up unanswered tries, advancing the score to 24-0, and closing out the Gilgronis in the first half.
The second half began with the Gilgronis adding their first points of the night to the board with a successful penalty attempt, making the score 24-3.
Bailey Wilson opened the Warriors’ scoring in the second half when the flanker stole a Austin pass and took it the other way to advance the Warriors’ lead even further. Austin answered back with their own try, but three minutes later Te’o [describe try here, work it into telling the updated score].
Austin was able to put up two more tries of their own, but a steal and a try by Chad Gough secured the Utah win at 45-24.
Coach Pittman pointed towards fly-half Calvin Whiting, who filled in for an injured Hagen Schulte, as a player who played a crucial role in Utah’s victory.
“Calvin was probably one of the main reasons we won this game,” said Pittman. “He defended brilliantly in that 10 spot and he attacked amazingly well when he had ball-in-hand. He also created space on a couple of kicks that put us on the front foot.”
The Warriors now have sole possession of second place in MLR’s Western Division, an accomplishment that Pittman will play vital in the final weeks of the season.
“It’s pretty vital for the season,” said Pittman. “It’s pretty important that we got these points, especially from a team like Austin who is in a similar position to us. Now, looking to Seattle and San Diego, we need points consistently to continue on this trajectory and remain in second place.”