Utah Warriors capitalize on mistakes to knock out Austin Gilgronis

SALT LAKE CITY – For the second time this season, underdogs Utah Warriors beat one of Major League Rugby’s best opponents, dropping Austin Gilgronis 22-8 on Saturday night.

The Warriors (4-10, 26 points) returned to Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, UT, where they hosted Austin Gilgronis (10-4, 48 points) on Saturday, May 21.

The Warriors snapped a six-game losing streak earlier in May with a 44-26 victory over Rugby ATL, the third-best team in the East.

Austin jumped on the scoreboard first, taking advantage of a Utah penalty to score a try in the 12th minute. The Gilgronis missed the conversion, leaving them with a 5-0 lead.

The Warriors responded 15 minutes later when a 27th-minute breakout led to Utah’s first down of the game. Calvin Whiting added the conversion to make it 7-5 Warriors.

Trailing 7-5, Austin took advantage of a Warrior penalty by adding a three-point free kick. Austin took an 8-7 lead with the goal.

Utah came close to getting a try early in the second half, but instead settled for three after an Austin penalty kick led to the Warrior goal that put Utah ahead 10-8.

Several minutes of both teams essentially banging their heads against a wall ensued as the defenses shut down any advantage for the first part of the second half.

Neither team got on the scoreboard as the score remained tied until Paul Lasike added a huge try for the Warriors. The 65th-minute goal put Utah ahead 15-8. Whiting’s conversion gave Utah a 17-8 two-point advantage.

Leading by nine with just seven minutes left, Niall Saunders scored a long try to put Utah ahead 22-8. Whiting’s conversion went right.

Utah’s defense dominated the final 40 minutes, giving Austin no chance to score in the half.

The Warriors stay home for their second consecutive game at Zions Bank Stadium. League-leading LA Giltinis (10-4, 49 points) arrives in town for a game scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (MST) on Saturday, May 28.

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