Spoiler Alert – Round 5

Many rugby coaches approach the campaign as 4 separate seasons of 4 games. I like to think of the MLR season as entering Part 2. Every team has played 4 matches and we now have a feel for each club. A couple clubs are truly elite. One team can’t seem to pull out a win no matter how hard another club wants to lose. While the Legion and Arrows might be excited for how the year is going, it makes sense that the Gilgronis would love to reset.

After going 3-3 last week, and 13-8-1 in the first quarter of the season, I wouldn’t mind a reset myself. However, I don’t see it getting significantly better, and why hide that this game is unpredictable. 

On that terrible Segway: my predictions.

Arrow @ Raptors

Kudos on the win last week, Colorado. Rene Ranger finally had the impact we expected. This team is not dead in the Wild West. Toronto won at well against a strong Atlanta squad. I’m not going to deep dive on this one. Colorado is middle of the pack. Toronto is in the two-team top tier. Even on the road, the Northerners are the pick.

Winner: Arrows

Free Jacks @ Gold

The Gold took a tough loss last week at home against the Legion. Honestly, Cam Dolan and the boys haven’t had the year I expected thus far. I think they still have the offensive potential to blow a game open. The Free Jacks are on the opposite trajectory following their Round 1 upset.  Sending the new kids on the road to the Shrine on a three-game losing streak? They’ll leave with that streak up to four.

Winner: Gold

Gilgronis @ SaberCats

Last week, I threw Austin a bone and gave them a nod against an Old Glory team that was beaten up and on the road. How was that generosity rewarded? Austin is the only winless team. Houston hasn’t met my expectations this year. They look okay. Not terrible. Not good. Just truly okay. Austin added some really interesting additions this week, bringing in 3 capped players. However, those additions aren’t going to walk in day one and change things on the road.

Winner: SaberCats

Warriors @ Seawolves

Did anyone have a more surprising Part 1 than Seattle? The two-time defending champions come in 1-3 with 6 playoff points. In the struggling West, that would still be good enough for a 3 seed in the playoffs. This team is still good. If you started with two road games and a home opener with Toronto, you’d start slow, too. The Warriors couldn’t get going against the Raptors. The most jarring thing about this matchup? It’s between the 2 Seed Warriors and 3 Seed Seawolves, and they both have a single win. This one will tell us a lot about both squads and could have playoff implications later on.

Winner: Seawolves

Rugby ATL @ Old Glory 

If I’m correct, this is the first matchup between a pair of expansion teams. Atlanta is playing a really unique defensive style with a surprisingly potent offense. Old Glory has arguably the worst scrum in the MLR, yet they keep winning. Watch out for the depth. Both teams have shied away from using their whole bench. A lead after 60 minutes is probably safe. I expect the home team to have that lead.

Winner: Old Glory

RUNY @ Legion

RUNY is the 2 Seed in the East, 3-1 and perfect after their Round 1 shocker. This team is looking like the team I said they’d be coming into the year.

They’re going on the road against a Legion team that’s just now hitting full strength. My sympathies.

Winner: Legion

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