This Sunday is the beginning of the playoff section of the league, with San Diego Legion taking on RUNY and the Toronto Arrows playing the Seattle Seawolves. The winners of each game will face off in the MLR Championship final which will take place a week later on June 16th.
San Diego Legion vs RUNY
Torero Stadium at 5pm EST
San Diego who topped the table with 61 points will take on 4th place RUNY. As top seeds, San Diego will have home advantage for the game in Torero Stadium which you can purchase tickets for here. The game will also be televised on CBSSN.
San Diego Legion have had a terrific 2019 season and in particular, the second half of the season. San Diego lost just 3 games all season with 1 of those losses being the opening game of the season in a loss to RUNY. The notable game which saw San Diego put their hand up as a title contender has to be the Seattle Seawolves game back in March. An incredibly physical game which saw the issuing of 4 yellow cards showed how much grit and determination this Legion side have. San Diego’s defence was also incredible that day and set the tone and benchmark for the remainder of their season.
RUNY by contrast had a bright opening to the season beating teams such as San Diego Legion, NOLA Gold and the Toronto Arrows in the opening months of the season. The second half of the season however, saw them lose to all of the teams above them in the standings and since April they have registered 4 losses.
Another point of concern all season for RUNY has been the lack of bonus points which they have accumulated. RUNY accumulated 10 bonus points in the regular season with 5 of these coming since the beginning of May.
RUNY have had major players shine for them this season most notably Dylan Fawsitt and Mike Petri however due to injuries they have seen the side chop and change considerably throughout the season.
This is a battle of 2 well structured teams who’s game management has for the most part been excellent all season. Home advantage could play a crucial role for the Legion as will the battle of the forwards. Both teams have strong physical packs which could see the Legion shade it.
Prediction: San Diego Legion.
Seattle Seawolves vs Toronto Arrows
Starfire Sports at 9pm EST
The second vs third seed game also takes place on Sunday at the later time of 9pm Eastern. The Seawolves have the home advantage in this tie having finished the regular season in second place in the standings on 58 points while the Arrows finished the season in 3rd place on 57 points. The game will be televised on CBSSN after the first clash.
The Arrows had a difficult start to the season as they were on the road for the first 8 games of the season, losing 4 games in this period. The second half of the season however saw them beat San Diego Legion, RUNY, Glendale Raptors and the Seattle Seawolves. The Arrows have at times been absolutely sensational this season. In March they set a record for the most amount of points scored in the MLR when they demolished the Utah Warriors 64-31, scoring nine tries in the process.
The Toronto Arrows are in a rich vein of form right now and are currently 5 from 5.
Seattle Seawolves have been pretty reliable all season having only lost 4 games the entire season. Unfortunately the Seawolves have hit somewhat of a blip in recent weeks by their standards in drawing against Utah Warriors and losing to the Toronto Arrows in which they lost 29-7 in what was a pretty convincing win for the Arrows.
The Seawolves have proved that they can perform to the highest standard when necessary and wins against RUNY, NOLA Gold and Glendale Raptors in recent months proves that they can rise to the occasion and beat very good teams.
The togetherness of the Toronto Arrows team and their incredible recent form might just be enough to see them over the finish line and claim their spot in the MLR Championship decider.
Prediction: Toronto Arrows.