MLR Week 5 Recap

Austin Elite Rugby 17 SD 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 26  Glendale Raptors 26

The Raptors travelled to Utah on the back of a convincing win against Austin Elite Rugby in which outhalf Ata Malifa put in a dazzling displaying showcasing his array of skills honed in the sevens game.

The Warriors on the other hand came up short in only their second game of the season last week against San Diego Legion, losing 21-10.

This was truly a game of two halves. Utah, mainly through the boot of Tim O’Malley propelled Utah to a 16-0 lead at the end of the first half. O’Malley had accumulated 11 of those 16 points by the end of the first half.

The second half however was Glendale’s half and in a ten minute period between the 62nd and 72nd minute they put 21 points on the board to level the scores at 26 a piece. That was to be the final score and the game ended 26-26 for the first draw of the MLR season.

Seattle Seawolves 33  RUNY 21

RUNY travelled to Seattle having 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.

Seattle RUNY
Photo: Rod Mar

Seattle however had reason to optimistic themselves however with a determined win over Toronto last week.

There were some stand out performances for Seattle, particularly in fullback Matt Turner who was a constant threat on the counter attack and winger Brock Staller was in flying form scoring two tries and kicking 4 from 4 conversions.

RUNY showed their class in parts of the game but were not at the same intensity level as they were in previous weeks. Read the full match report here.

Photo: Rod Mar.

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