Last weekend we reached the halfway point of the MLR 2019 season and with the business end of the season fast approaching RUNY, Glendale raptors, Toronto Arrows and San Diego will have been happiest on Monday morning.
Austin Elite Rugby 11 – RUNY 19
Austin Elite put in the performance of their season last week as they narrowly lost out to table toppers NOLA Gold in the final minutes of the game. They would have been hoping for a similar performance to challenge RUNY however both teams had an error strewn day which included a total of 14 knock ons in the first half alone. Unfortunately, it does not get any easier for Austin Elite who travel to San Diego next week with San Diego looking very good against the Seawolves.
RUNY made several changes to their side against Austin which showed just how much strength in depth they have. RUNY have the additional benefit of a week off next week before hosting San Diego in week 12.
Toronto Arrows 64 – Utah Warriors 31
The Arrows took down the Warriors in an incredibly exciting game and a game which set a record for most amount of points scored in an MLR game. The Arrows have played all their away games and now play a stretch of 8 home games. With the Arrows 6 points behind Raptors in 3rd place (who have a game in hand) this could prove to be perfect scheduling for the Canadians.
The Warriors will take solace from coming from 19-0 down within the opening 15 minutes to being within a score of Toronto at half time but in reality this is one to right off for the Warriors and start from scratch. The Arrows host NOLA Gold in week 11 who in the past couple of weeks have shown they are at least human.
NOLA Gold 33 – Glendale Raptors 34
NOLA Gold will be rueing an opportunity to have put some light between them and RUNY in their narrow defeat to Glendale Raptors, instead the gap is just one point. NOLA may have cause for concern having narrowly grinded out a win against bottom of the table Austin Elite Rugby in week 9 and it doesn’t get an easier travelling to Toronto in week 11.
The Raptors through Shaun Davies pulling the strings at scrum-half put in their best performance of the season so far. Starting off with a blistering pace set them up to get points on the board early which is essential against a NOLA side that doesn’t give up. The Raptors also showed they have a reliable bench with Luke White and Malon Al-Jiboori both having huge impacts when they came on.
The Raptors take on the SaberCats in week 11 at home and you would have to think this is a game they would target for the W.
Seattle Seawolves 22 – San Diego Legion 28
This was an absolutely bruising encounter between Seattle Seawolves and San Diego Legion which saw the referee issue 4 yellow cards and a red card. The Seawolves looked a little shell shocked in the opening half hour as San Diego racked up 14 points and looked dominant through Joe Pietersen’s kicking game.
The Seawolves travel to the Utah Warriors as they will be hoping to get back to winning ways on the road.
San Diego Legion showed incredible intensity particularly in the first half through their offence and the speed and aggression of their defensive line. The experienced Paddy Ryan was the main man leading the charge. The Legion also showed their tactical prowess with Joe Pietersen pinning the Seawolves back through an excellent territorial kicking game in the first half.
The Legion host Austin Elite Rugby next week and while on paper this would seem to be a good game for the Legion, be wary of the wounded beast who need to win their first game soon.