MLR Week 7 | First XV, Player of the Week
MLR Week 7 | First XV, Player of the Week
By Aaron Castro, League Correspondent
Photo: Aaron Cornia
- Loosehead Prop, Hubert Buydens (NOLA Gold) – Hubert anchored the left side of the New Orleans scrum, helping to win fifteen of sixteen put-ins by Holden Yungert on restarts. His work rate at the ruck kept New Orleans off their back foot in the first half.
- Hooker, Lindsey Stevens (Houston SaberCats) – Skeeter’s presence at the hook accounted for winning 100% of SaberCat Scrums and stealing a put-in from Seawolves scrum-half Phil Mack.
- Tighthead Prop, Paul Mullen (Houston SaberCats) – Paul put up his third solid start for the SaberCats, giving Connor Murphy a stable platform to begin his attack on SaberCat scrum restarts. His work-rate with the ball and around the ruck kept the Seawolves honest.
- Left Lock, Matt Jensen (Utah Warriors) – Matt continues to be the in-form lock in Major League Rugby. A threat in the lineout, he’s come into his own when he carries the ball. Agile in the open field, he kicks the ball down the pitch as if it was second nature.
- Right Lock, Matt Trouville (Houston SaberCats) – Another Matt! Matt’s shift into the engine room for the SaberCats scrum has paid dividends in establishing a stable attacking platform on restarts.
- Blindside Flanker, Eric Duechle (Seattle Seawolves) – The Beast’s wake was felt across the pitch with tremendous work-rate on offense and defense. When the SaberCats carried the ball, he proffered punishing tackles from tramline to tramline.
- Openside Flanker, Matt Hughston (NOLA Gold) – Matt Hughston played like a true warrior. He led the Gold in the first half with his defensive work rate around the ruck and in the open field with a high tackle rate.
- No 8., Pedrie Wannenburg (Austin Elite) – When the old Springbok put his hand up for selection and came out of retirement, you knew he had miles to go yet. On Friday night he contributed with punishing carries throughout the match. With great vision, he saw the gap in the Warrior’s defensive-line, collecting the ball and setting it down over the try-line for five points.
- Scrum-half, Shaun Davies (Glendale Raptors) – Shaun’s ball distribution throughout the match kept the Raptors on pace for the largest victory of the MLR season. Yet it’s been his athletic runs off rucks that have changed and made his game all the more potent for the Raptors attack.
- Fly-half, Timothée Guillimin (Austin Elite) – Timothée’s form throughout the season continues to get better and better. With a high wind on Friday, he adjusted his point of attack on kicks in the second half, totalling sixteen points on four penalties and two conversions.
- Blindside Wing, Peter Tiberio (Seattle Seawolves) – Tiberio scoring from the wing in each match is a sure thing, as he accounted for five points against the SaberCats. His defensive work-rate in the open field kept the likes of Houston’s Esdale and Vici at-bay.
- Inside Center, Bryce Campbell (Glendale Raptors) – Bryce’s ball distribution in the mid-field has improved this season. Against the Gold, he displayed tremendous vision when he kicked and recovered his own grubber kick for a try.
- Outside Center, William Rasileka (Seattle Seawolves) – Willy continues to anchor the mid-field with Shalom Suniula, contributing to the SeaWall defense with his high tackle efficiency. He was also a factor on offense by continuing to cycle the ball, helping to catch the SaberCats off guard.
- Openside Wing, Tonata Lauti (Utah Warriors) – Tonata at pace with the ball in hand proved to be very evasive against the Austin defense, scoring two tries for Utah.
- Fullback, Zinzan Elan-Puttick (Austin Elite) – Since coming back from injury Zin-Zan has been brilliant in the backfield, providing the safety net on defense. His support running and sure hands have made him a scoring machine with two tries against the Utah Warriors.
Player of Week: Fly-Half, Will Magie (Glendale Raptors) – Will’s performance in Week Seven demonstrated why he’s the in-form Fly-Half for Major League Rugby, gaining positive meters on every carry and tackling hard on defense. His keen vision and timing led to an intercept try, and he was responsible for 17 of the Raptors’ points with a try and six conversions.
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