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MLR Week 7 Results: Blowouts & Comebacks

Photo Cred - Josh Fredlund

Week 7 of Major League Rugby is in the books. RUNY rumbled over the Warriors in Utah. Glendale completed the season sweep of the Austin Elite. Seattle won the tale of two halves. And Toronto played a fantastic second half to come from behind to beat San Diego.

RUNY Handles The Altitude 47-21

Rugby United New York headed to Herriman, Utah and walked out with a win. Another snowy night, although not as bad as last week, was in store in Utah. The snow had no affect on New York as they outscored Utah seven tries to three. The only blight on RUNY was giving up a last minute try that made the score seem closer than it actually was.

RUNY's scrum was up to the task on the day. They even forced the referee to call for a penalty try as the Warriors scrum collapsed under the pressure from New York. Cathal Marsh headed off with an injury, but that didn't slow New York down as Chris Mattina took over kicking duties. Both Connor Wallace-Sims and Mark O'Keefe scored two trys on the day. 

The Utah Warriors looked to take a big step forward last week. This week, RUNY made it look like they made no progress at all. The snowy conditions affected Utah more than New York, as the Warriors couldn't connect on passes and played sloppily all match. Franco van den Berg was sent to the bin on the collapsed scrum that resulted in a penalty try for RUNY.

John Cullen was really the only Warrior that seemed to want to play this day. He finished with a brace including that last second try to make the score closer. Josh Anderson was the other try scorer on the day for Utah. Anderson went on an 80 meter solo-journey for the try. Utah still has somethings to work on if they want to make the playoffs for the second season in a row.

RUNY gets ready for their first home match at MCU Park, when they host the Toronto Arrows on Friday. Utah gets the week off, before they head to Houston to face the SaberCats on Thursday, March 21st.

Glendale Roll Over The Austin Elite 38-19

After a slow start to the season, the Glendale Raptors are now unbeaten in their last four matches. In warmer than last week conditions, the Raptors swept the season series with the Elite. This time with a five try performance. John Ryberg continued his impressive performance this season and is certainly putting his hand up for team of the year consideration.

Five different Raptors scored trys on the day. Ryberg, Brendan Daly, Harley Davidson, Chad London, and Chad Gough all crossed the try line for the Raptors during this match. Glendale seemed to have their way with the Elite during this match, though there were lapses at times. The Raptors have gotten better at hanging onto the ball and are becoming more dangerous as the season goes on.

The Austin Elite continue to struggle. Missing pieces to the Americas Rugby Championship certainly hasn't helped, but something has to change for the Elite. Once they have a full team, something might turn around. We saw a key addition for Austin have a huge impact. Moe Abdelmonem started, scored a try, and had four turnovers in his first match for the Elite.

Rodrigo Silva back from injury, shows he will be a key player for Austin as the season goes on. Silva scored a try on the day and was a nuisance for the Raptors on the day. Sione Fangaiuiha scored a late try for Austin as they looked to earn a four try bonus point, but the Elite came up just short as they couldn't hang onto the ball at the end of the match.

Glendale stays home, as they host the San Diego Legion. Meanwhile, the Austin Elite head home as they host the Seattle Seawolves in their last match at Dell Diamond.
Austin vs Glendale 3.9.2019

Seattle Won The Tale Of Two Halves 27-14

The Seattle Seawolves used a strong second half performance to overcome a slow start against the Houston SaberCats. Seattle outscored Houston 24-6 in the second half. The Seawolves took an early 3-0 lead against Houston and then proceeded to go to sleep for the rest of the half offensively. The SeaWall defense kept the 8-3 halftime score from being worse.

Jeremy Lenaerts, Sequoyah Burke-Combs, and Eric Duechle crossed the try line for the Seawolves. Brock Staller uncharacteristically missed two penalty kicks that he should've made. After getting pushed around in the first half, the Seawolves woke up in the second half and started winning the set pieces. Seattle looks slow at times, but is dangerous if you let them get going.

The Houston SaberCats have to be wondering what they need to do. They had all of the momentum in the first half, but couldn't capitalize on their opportunities. In the second half, they didn't have much possession and when they did, it usually was given right back to Seattle. The Fijian connection between Osea Kolinisau and Josua Vici worked when it happened, but it didn't happen enough.

The first half was all Houston. They won the set piece and they were just pushing the Seawolves back at every opportunity. They just couldn't break through the SeaWall and it wore them down. In the second half, it looked like all energy was drained from the SaberCats. Seattle had their way and Houston could do nothing to stop them.

The Seawolves now head to Texas to face the Austin Elite, in Austin's last game at Dell Diamond. The Houston SaberCats get ready to host the league leading NOLA Gold.

Toronto Come From Behind To Beat San Diego 27-20

Maybe the Toronto Arrows were waiting for the San Diego air to defrost them from last week's match against Glendale. Whatever was the cause of the slow start for Toronto, it will be forgotten as the Arrows scored 24 straight points to win the match. The Toronto defense looked like swiss cheese early, but slowly melted together to prevent San Diego from scoring late in the match.

Avery Oitomen continues to be the surprise of the season for Major League Rugby. The 19 year old, scoring a brace on the day, now has five tries for the season. Oitomen is playing like a seasoned veteran at times, and at other times he looks like the 19 year old rookie he his. Mike Sheppard plowed his way across the try line and Sam Malcolm added a late penalty goal to seal the victory for Toronto.

The San Diego Legion will have to be wondering what happened. They were up 20-3 and let the Arrows march all over them in the second half in route to 24 unanswered points. The Legion got off to a hot start, scoring two tries in the first twenty minutes of the match. Joe Pietersen added a drop goal in the second half to extend the Legion lead to 20-3 before their defense fell apart.

Jordan Manihera was announced as a new signing two days before game day and made an immediate impact in his first start for the Legion. With his first touch of the ball, Manihera went through an Arrows arm tackle to dot down for the try. Unfortunately, Manihera went off with an injury 10 minutes before halftime. Psalm Wooching was the other try scorer on the day for the Legion. Wooching's try could be disputed as it wasn't clear he got it down.

The Toronto Arrows head back east to face Rugby United New York in the first east coast rivalry matchup. While the Legion head to Colorado to face the red hot Raptors.


~Josh Fredlund