A weird week in the MLR schedule-wise calls for a rare Thursday Spoiler Alert. We started the year 4-2. In the crapshoot that is the early rounds, I’ll take it.
Seawolves v. Warriors
Both of these teams are genuine playoff contenders, but only one is playing like one. Both sides look like what they are. For the Seawolves, it’s a title contender built on elite defense. For the Warriors, its a team that has significant talent but didn’t have a preseason. While short weeks make for toss up games, I’ll take the team that looks professional.
Arrows v. Giltinis
The best team in American club rugby performed worse than the final shows last week, while the best team in Canadian club rugby played much better than the scoreline indicated. The Arrows will play as the home team, but it’ll be at a neutral site in Langford. That’ll greatly shorten LA’s travel and add to Toronto’s. Between LA’s injuries and absolute lack of discipline in round 1, Toronto will have plenty of chances.
Legion v. Jackals
The Legion looked a little loose in their debut, but the duel play makers in Pietersen and Hooley at a real attacking versatility. The Jackals will look a little better than last week, but you can bet the Legion will try to scrum early and often, knowing that they can push Dallas back and milk penalties. Dallas will need tremendous discipline to keep this close.
Winner: San Diego
Gold v. Rugby ATL
Probably the toughest match to predict this week. NOLA didn’t show anything to make them look elite against New England, but how should you weigh Atlanta’s success against DC? If its close, it could go either way, but there’s only one side with the potential to blow out the other.
SaberCats v. Rugby New York
LA gave Houston plenty of opportunities last weekend, and the Cats left plenty on the board. That didn’t stop them from knocking the Giltinis off their perch. New York was stuck with the Round 1 bye, so while they have an elite roster, they’ve yet to take the field. If the Roosters come out hitting on all cylinders, they’ll win this thing. But, as much as I try to ignore hype, Houston will probably look better with more game time under its belt. Sam Windsor might’ve spent four years in Houston, but I don’t see his return to Aveva being much more successful than any other of his appearances were.
Gilgronis v. Old Glory
If Houston received the toughest start to the season, Austin got the path of least resistance.
Austin ended up with a ‘preseason match that counts’ last weekend against Dallas. They’ll get a small step up when DC comes to town. There is a chance for a banana skin if Austin gets carried away and over-manages the lineup. That doesn’t mean the Austin reserves would fall to Old Glory either.