MLR Regular Season Wraps-Up: Semi-Finals Toronto @ Seattle and New York @ San Diego: MATCH VIDEOS
The MLR playoffs have arrived, a semi-final this coming weekend and the final the following weekend. Then for some of the players into their respective national team camps to prepare for the summer tests. Toronto failed to get a bonus point win which would have seen them host the Seawolves, now they have to travel west. BC rugby fans are as likely to support the Seawolves as they are the Arrows, both have a large contingent of Canadian players. Seattle have long been part of the BC leagues and their close proximity may give them the edge in BC based support.
The other semi sees San Diego host RUNY, San Diego will have home field advantage in the final if they make it past New York. From MLR Rugby
Austin Elite Rugby 26 – 38 Seattle Seawolves
The Seattle Seawolves defeated Austin Elite Rugby 38-26 on Sunday to earn an opportunity to defend their title by securing their spot in the MLR Championship Series.
Seattle (11-4-1) used a perfect day in the kicking department from wing Brock Staller and a two-try performance from Brad Tucker to defeat the visiting Elite (0-16). Despite finding themselves in a big hole, Austin used three tries in the final 15 minutes of the match to give the Seawolves a bit of a scare. Staller led all scorers in the match with 13 points.
Seattle picked up five points in the victory to secure the second seed in the MLR Championship Series. They finish the regular season with 58 points in the league table. Austin picked up the four-try bonus point in the loss. They finish the season in ninth place with five points.
The Seawolves will take on the third-place Toronto Arrows at Starfire Stadium on Sunday, June 9 at 9 PM ET.
FULL MATCH VIDEO
Rugby United New York 20 – 22 Toronto Arrows
The Toronto Arrows used a drop goal in the match’s final minutes to defeat Rugby United New York 22-20 and punch their ticket to the MLR Championship Series in their first season.
Sunday’s win over RUNY (11-5) was the seventh-straight victory for an Arrows (11-5) team that played their final eight matches at home. With their back against the wall, Toronto got a boost from their fly-half, Sam Malcolm, when he nailed a drop goal in the 76th minute of the match. The Arrows hung on for the final few minutes to earn their trip to the semifinals.
The Arrows picked up five points in the victory to move into third place with 57 points heading into the semifinals. RUNY picked up a bonus point in the loss to give them 54 points on the season. Despite dropping the match to the Arrows, RUNY also earned a trip to the playoffs with the NOLA Gold’s 22-10 Week 19 loss to the San Diego Legion. RUNY will head into the MLR Championship Series as the fourth seed.
RUNY will take on the top-seeded Legion on Sunday, June 9 at 5 PM ET while the Arrows will take on the second place Seattle Seawolves on Sunday, June 9 at 9 PM ET.
Glendale Raptors 17 – 32 Houston SaberCats
The Houston SaberCats defeated the Glendale Raptors 32-17 on Wednesday evening to extend their win streak to three matches in a row.
The SaberCats (5-10) got a big performance out of fly-half Sam Windsor to hand the Raptors (7-7-2) their third-straight loss to close out the season. Windsor nailed three of his four conversions, two of his three penalty goal attempts and scored two tries to lead all scorers in the match with 22 points. Raptors wing Harley Davidson also scored two tries of his own in the loss to lead the Raptors in scoring with 10 points.
Houston picked up five points in the win to give them 25 points in the league table. They currently sit in seventh place with one match to play. Glendale didn’t pick up any points in the loss. Regardless of what happens in the rest of the fixtures, the Raptors will finish the season in sixth place with 43 points.
NOLA Gold 10 – 22 San Diego Legion
The San Diego Legion locked up the top seed heading into the MLR Championship Series with their 22-10 victory over the NOLA Gold on Sunday evening.
The Legion (12-3-1) used three first-half tries to jump on the Gold (9-7) early before settling in and relying on their solid defense to close out the match. The match was the Legion’s third-straight victory and the Gold’s fourth-straight loss. The loss served as the final nail in NOLA’s coffin as it eliminated them from playoff contention. Legion fly-half Joe Pietersen nailed two of his three conversions and his lone penalty goal attempt to lead all scorers in the match with seven points.
San Diego picked up five points in the match to finish the regular season with 61 points in the table while the Gold picked up a bonus point in the loss to finish in fifth place with 53 points. NOLA finished just one point behind fourth-place Rugby United New York.
The Legion will take on RUNY at Torero Stadium on Sunday, June 9 at 5 PM ET.