MLR Week 9 Recap

2 games took place this weekend with NOLA Gold hosting Austin Elite Rugby and Glendale Raptors travelled to Brooklyn to take on RUNY. Utah Warriors took on the Houston SaberCats on Thursday night in what was the SaberCats last game at Constellation Field before moving to their rugby specific stadium Aveva Stadium.

Houston SaberCats 29 – Utah Warriors 27

The SaberCats started the game off fantastically with 2 tries in the opening 15 minutes. This laid the foundations for the SaberCats and although the Warriors did respond with 2 tries of their own in the first half, Sam Windsor kept the scoreboard ticking over to keep the Warriors at arms length.

Photo: Houston SaberCats Facebook
Photo: Houston SaberCats Facebook

The second half proved to be a battle of the kickers with Sam Windsor (who would go on to win the man of the match award) trading blows with Utah Warriors kicker Tim O’Malley. Twelve of the second halves 19 points came from the boot of either Windsor or O’Malley.

This was the SaberCats second win of the season and pushed them to 7th place, 2 points ahead of the Warriors.

NOLA Gold 35 – Austin Elite 31

USRN had predicted that this would be another straight forward win for the Gold given their recent form in their week 9 Preview. This game proved to be anything but a formality for the Gold.

The first half looked like it was going to be business as usual with the Gold dominating for most of the game albeit Austin did have moments where they threatened. The first half score was 21-12 at halftime.

The Elite however had a blistering period starting on the 57th when they scored 3 unanswered tries in a 10 minute period. This meant Austin were leading by 3 points with just over 10 minutes to play.

NOLA however showed why they are top of the table and pulled their get out of jail card with substitute scrum half Michael Baska offering a great support line to touch down in the 78th minute and clinch the game for NOLA.

NOLA go 3 points clear of RUNY at the top of the league, while Austin Elite Rugby remain bottom of the table still in search of their first win of the season.

RUNY 31 – Glendale Raptors 19

Glendale started out the better team with a strong opening few minutes however once RUNY weathered the Raptors storm they looked comfortable throughout the first half, running in 4 tries to Glendale’s 1 leaving the score 24-7 at half time.

The RUNY forward pack had an excellent game collectively, with the lineout functioning on all cylinders. RUNY scored two of their tries directly from a lineout with James Denise and Dylan Fawsitt claiming the rewards.

Photo: Justin Purdy

Glendale threatened to make a comeback in the second half scoring a try almost directly after the restart and again in the 65th minute to make the scoreline 31-19, however the foundations were laid by RUNY with their first half display and they held on to see out the game 31-19.

RUNY moved into second position in the table, 3 points behind NOLA Gold. Glendale Raptors move into 4th position 2 points behind the Seawolves.

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