MLR Week 6 Wrapup: LA Remains Undefeated; Toronto Tops East; Robbie Povey BCRN Canadian Player of the Week; Canada-Eligible Starters Drop to 16 (8.8%) in Week Six from 24 (13.3%) in Week One
LA continues to march on as the only undefeated side. Toronto had a strong match to go 3-3 on the season and share top spot in the East with Atlanta at 16 points.
On March 23rd when Week 1 of MLR kicked off we ran some stats on the Canadian (eligible) players and starters in the league.
"...there were 35 Canadians in action with 24 getting the start for their teams. That works out to 12.68% of the players and 13.33% of the starters. Toronto accounted for 10 (42%) of the 24 Canadian starters with 14 (58%) getting the start on 10 other teams. Only Houston was without Canadian representation."
In Week 6 the numbers have decreased across the board, instead of 35 Canadian players in action there were 30 a drop from 12.68% to 10.8%. The number of starters dropped more dramatically from 24 (13.33%) in Week 1 to 16 (8.8%) in Week 6. The number of teams without Canadian players in the match day 23 rose from one to three. Toronto who had 10 Canadian starters in Week 1 have varied from 8 to 9 in subsequent weeks.
One of the bright spots from a Canadian player perspective in Week 6 was the performance of Rob Povey for Houston. The #10 scored three tries in Houston's close loss to Utah. Povey is the only Canadian in the league getting regular time at the key #10 position making him a strong contender for the national spot. Other contenders are Shane O'Leary playing for Rouen in the Pro D2 league in France. The incumbent #10 from the 2019 RWC is Peter Nelson who was last reported playing for Aurillac in the Pro D2.
There are four matches next weekend, 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. New England @ San Diego, DC @ LA, Toronto @ New Orleans and New York @ Seattle.
WEEK 6 RESULTS
MLR Week 6 Schedule and Canadian Content: New Orleans @ Atlanta; San Diego @ LA; Houston @ Utah - Sunday Toronto @ New York; New England @ DC; Seattle @ Austin
Action starts this week at 2:30pm PT as the NOLA @ Atlanta game has been moved up to 5:30 local time. Next up at 6pm PT are two matches, SD @ LA and Houston @ Utah. On Sunday it's Toronto @ New York, New England @ DC and Seattle @ Austin.
NOLA @ ATL
Matt Heaton comes back into the lineup at #7 while Conor Keys is in the Reserves. For NOLA Kyle Baillie returns at second row while Eric Howard is the backup hooker.
SD @ LA
DTH starts again on the wing, there's no Matt Giteau this week. Corey Thomas the Canada eligible second row is on the Reserves bench for LA. For San Diego it's Michael Smith and Travis Larsen looking to make an impact from the Reserves bench.
Houston @ Utah
Utah is the only side so far this week without Canadian content as Fraser Hurst isn't in the match 23. Houston will be starting Lucas Albornoz in the second row and Rob Povey at flyhalf. Nik Hildebrand will sub in from the Reserves to bolster the front row.
Toronto @ New York
Toronto have 9 Canada eligible starters in their XV, New York feature Quinn Ngawati as the lone Canadian. Quinn is moved from wing to inside centre and the head to head battle with veteran Patrick Parfrey will be one to watch.
New England @ DC
New England feature Josh Larsen at blindside flanker in this match. DC have no Canadians in the match with neither Doug Fraser or Ciaran Hearn showing in the match 23.
Seattle @ Austin
Austin the third team this week to feature no Canadian content, a first this season. Seattle just have two Canadians on the bench as front row replacements, Djustice Sears-Duru and Jake Ilnicki.