MLR Week 3 | First XV, Player of the Week
MLR Week 3 | First XV, Player of the Week
By Aaron Castro, League Correspondent
- Loosehead Prop, Jake Turnbull (Houston SaberCats) – Jake provided the outside anchor for the SaberCats scrum against the Legion. He helped the ‘Cats scrum restarts to 100% efficiency and stealing a SD restart in the process.
- Hooker, Pat Blair (San Diego Legion) – The USA Eagle played with intensity on the pitch and especially within the rucks. His powerful running led to San Diego’s first try of the second half against the SaberCats.
- Tighthead Prop, Angus MacLellan (Utah Warriors) – Angus provided the right side anchor in a Warriors scrum that has continued to improve from week to week, earning 100% scrum-efficiency against the Raptors. His excellent footwork with the ball led to Utah’s first try of the match.
- Left Lock, Ben Mitchell (Austin Elite) – Ben continues to be a great threat in the lineout for Austin, but Thursday night he continued to show he’s the complete package at lock. With excellent spatial awareness, he earned a try assist with a pass to Ned Hodson.
- Right Lock, Albert Harmon (San Diego Legion) – Albert’s significant impact was felt in the scrum for San Diego as they gained and maintained parity throughout the match. His contribution in the lineout proved significant — this effort gave teammate Tony Purpura the opportunity to score the final try of the match.
- Blindside Flanker, John Sullivan (NOLA Gold) – The brightspot for NOLA on Thursday Night as Sullivan covered the entire pitch challenging rucks. When John received the ball, he made it count: meters gained and two tries scored, breaking through multiple defender in the process.
- Openside Flanker, Hanco Germishuys (Austin Elite) – Hanco’s two tries set him apart as a true threat on the openside. He remains unstoppable with the ball, breaking through several defenders en route for both tries.
- No 8., Cam Dolan (San Diego Legion) – Cam’s continuous threat in the lineout and on defense for the Legion demonstrates represents why has 34 international caps for USA Rugby. He makes the maul calls at the right time that lead to crucial meters gained, putting the Legion in proper position to run their attack.
- Scrum-half, Connor Murphy (Houston SaberCats) – Connor’s ball speed at the scrum and rucks puts his receivers in great positions to make impact plays. In the second half, he controlled the Houston scrum to gain ground and earn multiple scrum penalties against the Legion.
- Fly-half, Sam Windsor (Houston SaberCats) – Sam’s kicking and running gave the SaberCats a chance for victory during the entire match. With five penalties, a try and two conversions, Sam was a scoring machine, amounting to 24 points.
- Blindside Wing, Ryan Matyas (San Diego Legion) – Ryan continues to be a threat in the open field with excellent vision and powerful running. He tore a long gash through the SaberCats’ defense on Friday, earning him a try assist to seal Anthony Salaber’s hat trick.
- Inside Center, Bryce Campbell (Glendale Raptors) – Due to the loss of several players, Bryce has been forced into a greater leadership role on offense and defense. The place he was most needed on Saturday was offense, and he delivered: bursting through the Utah defense for a try in 71st minute.
- Outside Center, Roland Suniula (Austin Elite) – Roland’s chemistry with his brother, Andrew Suniula, allowed him to bruise the New Orleans defense on Thursday night. Punishing carries on offense and high tackle rate helped lift Austin to their first victory of the season.
- Openside Wing, Harley Davidson (Glendale Raptors) – For Harley, every week is the same, but for those watching they saw another component of his game. Harley’s powerful running in space and into contact earned him a try and a try assist against Utah.
- Fullback, Dylan Audsley (San Diego Legion) – Dylan’s outstanding kicks in the backfield relieved pressure often for San Diego. Audsley went 7 of 7 from the tee which, led to fourteen points for the Legion.
Player of Week: Outside Center, Anthony Salaber (San Diego Legion) – Anthony continues to show polish each week with excellent support running that puts him in place to receive timely offloads. Combined with his vision, footwork and pace, he scored a hat trick for San Diego in the first 35 minutes, which helped rocket the Legion to second in the Major League Rugby Standings.
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