MLR Week 5 Preview

Austin Elite Rugby 17 – San Diego Legion 45

Friday night saw the Austin Elite suffered their fifth consecutive defeat at the hands of San Diego Legion. Austin had reshuffled their team due to international players not being available but there were also some key players returning for them most notably the French half back duo of Mickaël Romera and Timothée Guillimin.

The Legion however have been in fine form and apart from losing to RUNY in their opening game of the season they have generally been quite convincing against their opponents. The Legion are a well balanced team. They have the stability in the best front row forward in the league and their back line is humming under the guidance of Joe Pietersen.

The first half was business as usual with San Diego scoring four converted tries to Austin’s one try and a penalty. Pietersen was terrific from the tee with all five of his conversion attempts successful. Austin rallied together and put some good moves together with 20 minutes or so to go but San Diego hit back and scored another try with just under 10 minutes to go to finish the game Austin 17 – San Diego 45.

Houston SaberCats 27 – Toronto Arrows 44

The Houston SaberCats Vs. Toronto Arrows was a much tighter affair the other aforementioned Friday night game. The Toronto Arrows were off to a flier in this game with winger Johnny Sherdian scoring on the 6th minute with Sam Malcolm adding the additional points. Malcolm kept the scoreboard ticking over in the first half kicking 2 penalties and converting 2 further tries to make the half time score 27 – 10 to Toronto.

The half time team talk must have worked for the SaberCats however and they emerged with a lot more intensity scoring 2 tries in the opening ten minutes of the half. However the boot of Sam Malcolm along with the work put in the first half always kept the SaberCats at arms length. A converted try on the 75th minute by veteran Canadian international Andy Wilson all but ended the game with the final score Houston 27 – Toronto 44.

The Arrows will be happy with their season so far being that all their games have been on the road with their record being 2 and 2, they move the Arrows up to 3rd position in the league.

Utah Warriors Vs. Glendale Raptors

Glendale Raptors visit the Utah Warriors on Saturday night with kick off again under lights with the Raptors in sixth position and the Warriors in eight position in the standings.

The Warriors came up short in only their second game of the season last week against San Diego Legion, losing 21-10. The Warriors competed well particularly in the second half and were unlucky not to secure a vital losing bonus point right at the end.

Glendale are off the back of a comprehensive win over the Austin Elite last week in which they ran out winners 24-13. Whilst Glendale had started off slowly in this game, once they found their rhythm, key players such as half back duo Carlo de Nysschen and Ata Malifa along with Harley Davidson on the wing and fullback Dylan Takaito-Simpson. Takaito-Simpson or DTS as he is known in the Glendale camp is particularly exciting having last week displayed electric pace and sublime offloading skills which has seen him included in the Week 4 MLR team of the week. 

Seattle Seawolves Vs. RUNY

RUNY are once again are on the road as they travel to Seattle and they will be hoping for their third win from three games.

RUNY have beaten the top two teams in the league in NOLA Gold and San Diego Legion. Last week saw Irish outhalf Cathal Marsh excel in a man of the match performance against the NOLA Gold in which the outhalf accumulated a total of seventeen points and also set up a try for in form winger Conor Wallace-Sims with a fantastic break.

Seattle’s confidence will also be high after they showed great determination to clinch a late win over the Toronto Arrows last week. Fullback showed how impressive he is kicking from the tee with a tally of 15 points for the game and slotting over two crucial penalties in the last ten minutes. It was flanker Eric Duechle who was the stand out performer winning the man of the match award and earning a place on the week 4 Team of the Week. 

Seattle are currently in fourth position in the table on 11 points while RUNY lie just beneath them in fifth position on 8 points, albeit Seattle have two games in hand.

Photo: Caean Couto

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