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MLR Week 6 Preview

Photo Cred - Josh Fredlund


Week 6 of Major League Rugby. To think at this point in the season last year, we were almost three-quarters of the way done with the season. This week we've only got three games and not one is on CBS Sports. More bad news, they're all on at relatively the same time. So better gets those multi-screen setups rolling.

RUNY heads to Texas to face the SaberCats. Toronto heads to Glendale, Canada. Excuse me, Colorado, to face the Raptors. And NOLA goes on the road for the first time to Utah.

RUNY @ Houston SaberCats - Saturday, March 2nd (8pm ET)

TV - Facebook Watch, KUBE, SNY

Rugby United New York continues their road trip to start the season. They will need to get the bad taste out of their mouth from the loss to Seattle. RUNY had a strong start but let the Seawolves make a comeback by playing into their playing style. New York has to take this slap in the face and turn it into something positive.

This might be the matchup RUNY needs to get over last week. New York has looked like a strong team to begin the season, including a win at league leading NOLA. They will be at a disadvantage in the scrum, but will have the advantage in the backline. If RUNY can stay away or at least neutralize the SaberCats scrum advantage, they have a chance.

The Houston SaberCats woke up a little late in last week's matchup against the Toronto Arrows. The Arrows jumped out to a 17-3 lead before Houston started to wake up a little. It was too little, too late as Houston got shutdown each time they tried to make a comeback. Slow starts have dogged the SaberCats at times and it cost them the match against Toronto.

This game is one in which they can't have a slow start. RUNY can make them pay, in a hurry, for any defensive lapses. Houston will need to play a forward oriented game, as the SaberCats have one of the better packs in the league. By keeping the RUNY backs in check, Houston has a shot at doubling their win total. Injuries have hampered the SaberCats, but they can still create chaos.

Eod Picks: Aaron - RUNY, Corey - RUNY, Josh - RUNY, Liam - RUNY

Toronto Arrows @ Glendale Raptors - Saturday, March 2nd (9pm ET)

TV - www.9news.com, GameTV

The Toronto Arrows have got off to a middling start to the season. The Arrows have alternated wins and losses this season, so this might be their bad week. Against the SaberCats, Toronto got off to a strong start and was able to hold onto the lead, thanks to some strong defense. The Arrows offense has been able to secure leads, but the defense hasn't always been able to hang onto them.

Toronto might feel at home this week. It's expected to be cold and snowy in Glendale, Saturday night. The weather might not be a factor, but the altitude might. Toronto will need to hope their fitness holds up in the thin air of Colorado. If the Arrows want to win, they'll need to hang onto the ball and force the Raptors to play without the ball.

Finally, a home game for the Glendale Raptors. Although, it might not be the optimal weather conditions they were hoping for. Glendale was able to secure three points last week against Utah, thanks to a frantic, final 20 minutes that included two tries from John Ryberg, a length of the field try from Chad Gough, and an off the post conversion from Maximo de Achaval to secure the draw.

Against the Arrows, Glendale will need to play a full 80 minutes. The Raptors need to take advantage of the altitude and keep their foot on the gas. But, they will need to keep that in check and hang onto the ball. Butter fingers have been a real issue for Glendale this season. The Raptors can make long drives, but can't finish. In order to beat the Arrows, Glendale will need to finish.

Eod Picks: Aaron - Toronto, Corey - Toronto, Josh - Glendale, Liam - Toronto

NOLA Gold @ Utah Warriors - Saturday, March 2nd (9pm ET)

TV - ESPN+, KMYU

The NOLA Gold come off a bye week to take on the Utah Warriors. In their last match, the Gold lost to RUNY. In that match, the Gold let numerous chances go by the wayside. JP Eloff only converted on 40% of kicks in that match and it cost them the win. Tony Lamborn made an immediate impact in his first match for the Gold scoring a brace.

In this match, the Gold will be the favorites. The Warriors have gotten off to a slow start to the season. The Gold spread the field and can run at you from any angle. The Warriors defense has shown holes that NOLA can take advantage off. The Gold shouldn't have any trouble with the Warriors and should get back in the win column.

The Utah Warriors conditioning was their downfall last season and it still continues to haunt them. Against the Glendale Raptors, Utah jumped out to a 26-5 lead before squandering it and walking away with a draw. That match was all Utah for the first 60 minutes and then they disappeared. They let the Raptors score 21 points in the final 20 minutes to end in a draw.

Against the Gold, they'll need to be in top shape and then some. The Gold punish slow defense and will make the Warriors day look bleak if they aren't careful. Utah needs to play some ball control in this matchup. Make this a forward oriented game and force NOLA to slow it down. Otherwise, the Warriors will just get run off the field again.

Eod Picks: Aaron - NOLA, Corey - NOLA, Josh - NOLA, Liam - NOLA

~Josh Fredlund (Rosters to be added as they are released)