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MLR Week 4 Results: RUNY Takes Down The Gold

Photo Cred - Josh Fredlund

We're down to two undefeated teams left. Rugby United New York went down to Louisiana and left with a victory. San Diego dominates the Utah Warriors. Glendale picks up their first win in Austin. And Seattle leaves it late, as they beat the Arrows with two last minute penalty kicks.

RUNY Downs NOLA 27-24

Technical difficulties aside, this was a great back and forth match between two top teams in Major League Rugby. Cathal Marsh was Man of the Match on the day. The Irishman finished the day with 17 points, a try, and a try assist. Marsh was all over the pitch on the day and kicked the winning penalty in the 72nd minute.

Discipline was an issue once again for RUNY and if it wasn't for NOLA being off on their kicks, they would've lost this game. They probably should've lost this game, but RUNY were able to take convert their opportunities when they were given. Dylan Fawsitt was another key man for RUNY. After being sent to the sin bin for collapsing the maul, Fawsitt responded by scoring a try of his own.

The NOLA Gold will be disappointed with their performance. For a good portion of the match, the Gold were the better team. They just couldn't convert their chances when they were given. Multiple missed kicks from easy positions were their downfall on the day. With the return of a couple internationals, it looked like NOLA would run rampant on the league, but RUNY shut that down.

Big signing Tony Lamborn made an immediate impact in his first start. Lamborn was able to get a brace on the day, with a try in each half. JP Eloff will be wondering what happened during this match. The normally reliable kicker, only converted 40% of his kicks on the day. His penalty from close in, bounced off the uprights. The game could've gone the other way if Eloff had been more accurate.

RUNY now heads west on I-10 as they head to Houston to face the SaberCats. NOLA get a week off before heading west to Utah to face the Warriors in the Gold's first road trip of the season.

San Diego Starts Fast, Holds On For 21-10 Victory

The San Diego Legion win certainly wasn't pretty, but sometimes victories aren't going to be. The Legion opened the scoring with a penalty kick from Joe Pietersen. Pietersen certainly is putting his name up for selection as the flyhalf of the season. JP du Plessis scored a try in the corner and Devin Short scored one in the same corner for the Legion's trys on the day.

The Legion will be upset with themselves as they let a couple of chances close to the try line go. One thing they can take away from that is the fact that they didn't allow the Warriors to score off of their mistakes. The Legion's cover defense definitely stepped up today, while San Diego's scrum took a step backwards today at points. Utah seemed to have the Legion's number early on.

The big matchup of the day was the scrum matchup between Franco van den Berg and Paddy Ryan. van den Berg, the Warriors loosehead, was playing mind games with Paddy Ryan in the scrums. Franco earned multiple scrum penalties for the Warriors on the day. With the replacement front rows, the Legion took over in the set piece. The lone bright spot of the day for the Warriors was their long maul try.

The early byes in the season have not done the Warriors any favors. Utah had an exhibition match against the New England Free Jacks during their previous bye week. But it doesn't look like the Warriors were able to take anything from it. They had multiple handling issues and couldn't take advantage of their chances when given.

The Legion head east to Austin, to face the Elite in their first road match of the season. The Warriors head home for their first home match of the season, when they host the Glendale Raptors.

Glendale Walks Out Of Austin With A 24-13 Victory

The Glendale Raptors needed something to go their way and it finally happened thanks to the skill of the old man Ata Malifa. Malifa was the Raptors spark tonight. Starting at the flyhalf position, Malifa scored the Raptors first try of the game with a great dummy and line break through the Austin defense. He also had the try assist on Carlo de Nysschen's try.

The Raptors started this game just like they've played their other games, with handling errors galore. Glendale had numerous scoring opportunities go to waste early due to handling errors. They eventually got it together to earn the full five point victory. Dylan Taikato-Simpson had definitely put his hand up for best newcomer in the league, if not best fullback.

The Austin Elite have to be wondering what they have to do. In Austin's other matches, they had the opportunity to win but couldn't put it away in the end. This match they started strong but couldn't compete with Glendale, as the Raptors stepped on the gas and never let up. The Elite might have to go back to the drawing board.

They had some good moments during this match. Rikus Zwart's try before halftime looked to give them the momentum, but a missed try looked to have taken it away. Austin was after the loose ball, but couldn't ground the ball and knocked it on in the try zone. Captain Ben Mitchell played hard for the full 80 minutes and was rewarded with a try near the end of the match.

Glendale continues their road trip, when the travel to Utah to face their Rocky Mountain rivals in the Warriors. Austin now gets to welcome the San Diego Legion to Dell Diamond.

Seattle Leaves It Late Again, Walk Away With 35-30 Victory

The Seattle Seawolves once again wait till the last 10 minutes of the match to come away with the victory. Seattle beat Glendale during Week 1 with a penalty kick in the 74th minute. Against Toronto, Brock Staller converted two penalty kicks in the last 10 minutes to give Seattle the victory. The Seawolves got trys from Olive Kilifi, Eric Duchele, Shalom Suniula, and Ben Cima.

Seattle prided themselves on their defense last season and at the beginning of the season. But these last two weeks it looks more like a SeaSieve, than a SeaWall. Only Toronto handling errors prevented them from earning a bonus point for scoring four trys. Seattle will need patch up their SeaWall, otherwise they could be on the outside looking in come playoff time.

The Toronto Arrows were in front for the majority of this match. However, they could never really pull away. Each score the Arrows had, was answered by the Seawolves. Even in the second half, when the Arrows were up by 13 points, Seattle was able to come up with some sort of answer. Marcello Wainwright, Kolby Francis, Andrew Ferguson were the try scorers on the day for Toronto.

Two issues cropped up at the end of the match for the Arrows. One, they developed Raptors syndrome and couldn't hang onto the ball when they needed to. And two, this can kind of be contributed to this being their first season, but the Seawolves were the fitter team. This was really apparent at the end, when Seattle's fitness won them the match.

The Seawolves get ready to host Rugby United New York in the CBS Sports Game of the Week on Sunday. While Toronto gets a short week as they head to Houston on Friday to face the SaberCats. 

Standings After Week 4

H/T to u/ColonelFogsworth on Reddit for the table.

~Josh Fredlund