WEEK TWO | FIRST XV
1. LOOSEHEAD PROP, TENDAI MTAWARIRA – OLD GLORY DC
Not often can one shift the fortunes of an entire team. The Beast settled down the Old Glory set piece at the scrum and lineout to give his team a chance. In the open field he bruisingly carried ten times for 40 meters and one offload. On the break down he led by example with 24 ruck arrivals and completed 7 tackles on defense.
2. HOOKER, DEAN MUIR – SAN DIEGO LEGION
Muir really set the tone for the San Diego set-piece attack making sure their scrum is on cue and making sure his lineout throws are on target. On attack he had three carries for ten meters gained, one of those carries yielding his try. He put in solid work around the break down with 11 ruck arrivals.
3. TIGHTHEAD PROP, MASON PEDERSON – AUSTIN GILGRONIS
Pedersen settled the Gilgronis scrum down, but his attacking play was the needed contribution. With four carries for 35 meters and a try, he put in a hard effort at the breakdown with 27 ruck arrivals. On defense he completed 13 tackles, one being a highlight reel tackle of NY’s Mathieu Bastareaud.
4. LEFT LOCK, IGNACIO DOTTI – NOLA GOLD
The bright spot for the Gold on a damp night. Dotti burst through the line for a 40-meter gain without the benefit of his left boot. He contributed with hard defense laying out numerous hits and working the breakdown to give Scott Gale time to Marshall the Gold’s attack.
5. RIGHT LOCK, NATE BRAKELY – RUGBY UNITED NEW YORK
Brakely was an animal around the breakdown with 40 attacking ruck arrivals and 7 defensive ruck arrivals. On attack he had nine carries for 20 hard meters and two offloads. In the aerial game he secured 10 lineout takes to secure NY’s set-piece opportunities. On defense he completed 18 tackles.
6. BLINDSIDE FLANKER, KYLE SUMSION – RUGBY UNITED NEW YORK
Sumsion had monster game shedding tacklers to create two tackle breaks on his 14 carries for 100 meters gain and scoring a try. At the breakdown he had 15 ruck arrivals and completed 11 tackles on defense.
7. OPENSIDE FLANKER, MUNGO MASON – OLD GLORY DC
Mungo had a monster game with the ball in hand on 15 carries for 143 meters, his powerful running allowed him to make four tackle breaks. On defense he had 11 tackles and a massive intercept that shifted major momentum in the match as he sprinted for a 50-meter gain. At the breakdown he had 28 ruck arrivals.
8. NO 8, RIEKERT HATTINGH – SEATTLE SEAWOLVES
The physical leader of the Seawolves, Riekert got his hands dirty early and often with 30 ruck arrivals at the breakdown. On attack he carried nine times for 57 meters, an offload, and Seattle’s lone try. On defense he completed 9 tackles.
9. SCRUM-HALF, DE WET ROOS – HOUSTON SABERCATS
Roos was the spark that Houston needed for its fire, he scored their first try by chasing down a Windsor chip kick and a second try with a blindside quick carry. On attack he had 5 carries for 68 meters, a line break, two tackle breaks, and one offload. On defense he completed eight tackles.
10. FLY-HALF, JASON ROBERTSON – OLD GLORY DC
Robertson went after it with the ball in hand. Carrying nine times for 90 meters he created two line breaks, a tackle break, an offload, and two tries. He added eight additional points with two penalties and a conversion. He put the Seattle attack in poor positions with his 13 kicks for 404 meters.
11. LEFT WING, FETU’U VAINIKOLO – UTAH WARRIORS
Vainikolo returned to the starting line up in week two and did not disappoint with a try, eight carries for101 meters, a line break, a tackle break, an offload, 4 tackles in defense. At the breakdown he inserted himself physically with 12 ruck arrivals.
12. INSIDE CENTER, MA’A NONU – SAN DIEGO LEGION
Nonu’s ability as a passer is just first class. The Legion get the benefit of having two great distributor in Burton and Nonu, this time though he tucked one of his three carries for 29 meters and scored his first Major League Rugby try.
13. OUTSIDE CENTER, TROY LOCKYEAR – RUGBY UNITED NEW YORK
With his Roosters debut, Lockyear had his coming out party in attack with two tries, 12 carries for 175 meters, three line breaks, two tackle breaks, two offloads. On defense he had six tackles and a massive interception to seal to put the crown on this match. At the breakdown he contributed with, 7 ruck arrivals.
14. RIGHT WING, MIKAELE KRUSE – COLORADO RAPTORS
Kruse displays his amazing young talent as he glided through the San Diego defense with ferocity on his three carries for 70 meters. He scored a beautiful try as he picked off a pass from Ma’a Nonu and sprinted to put it under the posts.
15. FULLBACK, SAM MALCOM – TORONTO ARROWS
Malcolm is an attacking player, he made nine carries for 103 meters, a line break, two tackle breaks, and two offloads. It isn’t Malcolm’s attacking presence that changes things for the Arrows, it is his consistent ability to make crisp passes that find his teammates in space to make positive ground.