Standard disclaimer: trying to project playoff teams, much less a champion, is a fool’s errand.
Fortunately, we’re fools.
Without further ado, here’s how we see the season unfolding. Feel free to correct me in the comments.
Eastern Conference Playoff:
- NOLA Gold
- Toronto Arrows
- Rugby United New York
The Eastern Conference is easy to pick but hard to seed. My nod goes to the oldest franchise in the conference at the one seed. Toronto’s growth is incredibly fast, so I’ll give them the nod at the two seed, especially with their backs. I think RUNY could have one of the better scrums in the MLR. While I’m excited to see three new sides, you simply can’t expect these three to hit the ground seriously until late in the season, by which this thing will be over.
Western Conference Playoff:
- San Diego Legion
- Seattle SeaWolves
- Houston SaberCats
San Diego might be the most talented side 1 through 23 in the MLR, including the league’s top fly half in Joe Pieterson. I gave them the one seed over the rival SeaWolves. Seattle has every ability to win this conference, but a new coaching system could lead to a few early hiccups that will bite the SeaWolves in the final standings. As for the SaberCats, I think you could reasonably go with Colorado or Utah at the third seed. Anyone outside of Austin will have a chance to crash the party, but Sam Windsor gives me confidence in the Cats.
Championship Series – Round 1
Rugby United New York over Toronto Arrows
Seattle SeaWolves over Houston SaberCats
Championship Series – Conference Finals
NOLA Gold over Rugby United New York
San Diego Legion over Seattle SeaWolves
San Diego Legion over NOLA Gold