MLR Week One Review: Toronto Arrows Lose First Match in New Orleans; Houston Edge Austin; New York Defeat San Diego, Seattle Come Back Win Over Glendale: MATCH VIDEOS Toronto Arrows 31 @ New Orleans Gold 36
Two tries by Dan Moor and an opening try by John Moonlight weren't enough to give Toronto their first win in the MLR but the 5 tries gives them their first points in the standings, along with a BP for keeping the score within 7. Canadian Eric Howard scored one for the home side in their 6 try BP win. Next week Toronto have a bye while NOLA host Glendale Raptors.
Try: John Moonlight 23'
Dan Moor 45', 58'
Penalty Try 71'
Avery Oitomen 76'
Con: Sam Malcolm (2/4) 24', 46'
Cards: Jack Evans
Try: Scott Gale 2'
Tim Maupin 26'
Eric Howard 35'
Con Foley 37'
JP Eloff 68'
Tristan Blewett 73'
Con: JP Eloff (2/4) 3', 36'
Scott Gale (1/2) 69'
Cards: Tim Maupin
FULL MATCH VIDEO
Toronto Arrows Roster Houston Sabercats 21 @ Austin Elite 20
Despite being outscored 2 tries to none, the visiting Sabercats rode the boot of Sam Windsor to victory with 7 penalties. Canadian Josh Larsen scored one of the tries for Austin. Next week Austin host Utah while Houston have the bye.
Try: Chris Schade 12'
Josh Larsen 59'
Con: Mickaël Romera (1/1) 13'
Timothée Guillimin (1/1) 60'
Pen: Mickaël Romera (1/2) 40'
Timothée Guillimin (1/1) 73'
Cards: Peni Tagive
Pen: Sam Windsor (7/7) 2', 8', 16', 34', 52', 67', 79'
Cards: Jamie Dever Rugby United New York 25 @ San Diego Legion 23
Try: Nick Boyer 37'
Joe Pieterson 71'
Con: Joe Pieterson (2/2) 38', 72'
Pen: Joe Pieterson (3/3) 44', 50', 61'
Cards: Chris Turori
Try: Chris Mattina 9'
Connor Wallace-Sims 23'
Penalty Try 75'
Con: Cathal Marsh (1/2) 10'
Pen: Cathal Marsh (2/2) 35', 63'
Cards: Matt Hughston Glendale Raptors 18 @ Seattle Seawolves 20
A rematch from last year's final saw the Seawolves comeback from a 18-10 deficit to win the game. Brock Staller was man of the match scoring Seattle's last 10 points. Phil Mack came out of the match around the 50 minute mark, George Barton also got in the game for the last quarter and at one point was playing blindside flanker.
Try: Tim Metcher 28'
Brock Staller 61'
Con: Brock Staller (2/2) 29', 62'
Pen: Brock Staller (2/3) 25', 74'
Drop: Mat Turner (0/1)
Try: Dylan Taikato-Simpson 42'c
John Ryberg 44'm
Con: Will Magie (1/2) 43'
Pen: Will Magie (2/3) 24', 40' Canadians in the League
There are many more Canadians in the league this year with Toronto Arrows carrying an almost all Canadian lineup. Seattle are next with 6 Canadians including the legendary Phil Mack. Four teams have no Canadian content and five do, with Austin, Glendale, New Orleans adding new faces.
Toronto Arrows @ NOLA Gold 12pm PT
Houston SaberCats @ Austin Elite Rugby 5PM PT
Rugby United NY @ San Diego Legion 2pm PT
Glendale Raptors @ Seattle Seawolves 7:30PM PT
New Orleans Gold
Rugby United New York
San Diego Legion
Josh van Horne
Tom van Horne
Guiseppe du Toit
none from MLR Rugby
Salt Lake City, UT; January 24, 2019: Major League Rugby kicks off its second season this weekend, with North America’s only fully professional club rugby championship set to feature top North American talent including veterans of the USA Eagles and Canada national sides, joined by overseas crowd-pleasers drawn from every corner of the rugby world.
Alongside the best North American talent, MLR’s cosmopolitan clubs will field players from more than 20 countries this weekend. Top athletes from the United States and Canada will take the pitch alongside players from across South America, the Pacific Islands, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. With over 40 players who have proven themselves in the fifteen-a-side international test arena and global sevens circuit, fans can expect a feast of world-class rugby over MLR’s expanded 75-game Season 2.
Among the North American Test rugby mainstays are USA Eagles’ No.8 Cam Dolan and Canada’s evergreen 50-cap prop Hubert Buydens, both important leaders for NOLA Gold. Seattle Seawolves’ player-coach Phil Mack boasts nearly 100 caps for Canada’s sevens and fifteens sides combined. San Diego Legion’s veteran second row Louis Stanfill brings three Rugby World Cups and 50 USA caps’ worth of experience to the Southern California coast. The Glendale Raptors’ new back-row signing Hanco Germishuys has emerged as one of the Eagles’ brightest young talents after the national team’s promising Summer and Autumn series.
Returning after a blistering start to his MLR career, Tonata Lauti will look to better his league-leading tally of nine tries in this year’s 16-game regular season on the Utah Warriors’ wing. Lauti can expect competition for leading try scorer from last season’s seven-try runner-up, Glendale Raptors’ winger Harley Davidson. Sam Windsor, meanwhile, will hope to repeat the form that earned him leading points scorer last time out, racking up 103 points from flyhalf with the Houston SaberCats in Season 1.
Fetu’u Vainikolo, Tonga’s record international try scorer, will bring explosive firepower to the Utah backline. Houston’s Osea Kolinisau skippered the Rio 2016 sevens team that brought home Fiji’s first ever Olympic gold medal, a side that also featured San Diego Legion signing Jasa Veremalua. Newcomers Rugby United New York will look to hit the ground running, spurred on by marquee signing Ben Foden, a 34-cap Six Nations Championship winning back with England. The other new addition to the MLR line-up, the Toronto Arrows, have supplied a quarter of the Canada squad for the upcoming Americas Rugby Championship, with Jamie Mackenzie, Lucas Rumball, Theo Sauder and Mike Sheppard all featuring in Canada’s Rugby World Cup qualifier win over Hong Kong to secure their place at the Japan 2019 tournament.
The Austin Elite midfield is bolstered by the addition of Australia-born center Ratu Peni Tagive, whose career has spanned stints with Australia’s NRL and the Fiji world cup squad in rugby league, and back-to-back Big 12 Championship wins as a defensive end for Baylor University’s American football team. Off the field, women’s Eagles international Tiffanny Faaee became the first ever female coach of a professional US men’s team when she joined RUNY this off-season.
“We gave the clubs a mandate to go out and recruit elite North American talent that makes fans sit up and take notice, and they’ve done just that” said MLR Commissioner Dean Howes. “The quality and the depth of these rosters is truly impressive. Our original teams are stronger across the board, and Toronto and New York have shown they’re here to succeed immediately. Top players competing together week-in, week-out can only be a good thing for the future of rugby in North America. The game is gathering momentum here and MLR fans are in for some sensational rugby. We can’t wait for kick-off.”
MLR is a professional rugby league launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR will be the pinnacle of American rugby, and provide a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes.
The teams competing in MLR Season 2 are Austin Elite, Glendale Raptors, Houston SaberCats, New Orleans Gold, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, Utah Warriors plus new additions Rugby United New York and Toronto Arrows. Agreements are already in place to add at least a further four teams from major North American markets for Season 3.