Round 10 | First XV, Player of the Week
- Loosehead Prop, Rob Brouwer (Toronto Arrows) – Brouwer created a dominant attacking scrum for Toronto, forcing his opposite Angus MacLellan to commit three scrum penalties. Brouwer scored the Arrows’ first of nine tries within the opening five minutes, and would eventually gain 34 meters on six tough carries through the Utah defense. Brouwer held down the interior of the pitch with 13 tackles.
- Hooker, Eric Howard (New Orleans Gold) – Howard led NOLA from the front with two tries and 27 meters gained on six carries. On defense, Howard tenaciously hit the breakdown, bringing Raptor ball carriers to the ground a total of 16 times.
- Tighthead Prop, Paddy Ryan (San Diego Legion) – Another week, same theme. The Legion’s Paddy Ryan dominates the scrum regardless of who he was facing, with this week victim’s being the Seawolves’ Oli Kilifi and Kellen Gordon. On defense, Ryan anchored the front row with 13 tackles.
- Left Lock, Mike Sheppard (Toronto Arrows) – Sheppard stuffed the Utah attack, corralling Warrior ball carriers into the dirt for a game-high 21 tackles. He broke through the Warrior defense for 60 meters on eight carries, including a line-break and key offload. Sheppard set the tone for the Arrows’ second try, conducting an attentive and up-tempo attack.
- Right Lock, Brad Tucker (Seattle Seawolves) – Tucker helmed the almost-Seawolves comeback, affecting the match in all three major components. He rushed for 56 meters gained on 14 carries, one tackle-break, and two offloads. In the aerial game, he completed five lineout takes. On defense, Tucker executed 11 tackles.
- Blindside Flanker, Lucas Rumball (Toronto Arrows) – Lucas was everywhere! He scored a try in the 44th minute, carried the ball 13 times for 79 meters, two tackle-breaks, and two offloads. Lucas added five lineout takes and disrupted the Utah set-piece with a lineout steal. On defense, he completed 14 tackles.
- Openside Flanker, Psalm Wooching (San Diego Legion) – Wooching showcased his rugby development in what was a homecoming for the flanker after having played linebacker and running back for the University of Washington. Reminiscent of his ball-hawking skills on the gridiron, Wooching totaled 17 tackles in his team’s victory over the Seawolves. On offense, Wooching grinded out 11 carries for 73 meters, two offloads, and rounded out his performance with three lineout takes in the set-piece.
- No 8., Hanco Germishuys (Glendale Raptors) – The Hammer displayed his power for the second week in a row, pummeling NOLA for 146 meters on 18 carries, one line-break, four tackle-breaks, and one offload. In a new strategic development, the Raptors successfully utilized Germishuys as a lineout threat, with the No. 8 finishing with two lineout takes and a lineout steal. On defense, Hanco added 13 hard tackles.
- Scrum-half, Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion) – Another day, another excellent Augspurger effort. Nate hustled everywhere, showcasing fantastic vision and quickness to complete 20 tackles — mostly on men twice his size. He altered the match with his kicking, finishing with nine kicks for 244 meters. His Coup De Grace was batting Phil Mack’s arm to create a loose ball that was collected by Jasa Veremalua for a try.
- Fly-half, Will Magie (Glendale Raptors) – Magie’s unselfishness was instrumental in the Raptors attack, quickly distributing the ball to set up his teammates in space. By the final whistle, the Raptors gained an astonishing 1072 meters. Magie scored nine points from three conversions and one penalty.
- Left Wing, Sione Fangaiuiha (Austin Elite) – Occasionally, wingers must do the dirty work, which Fangaiuiha did during his 80-minute shift with, securing 12 tackles to limit the New York attack and keep Austin within striking distance.
- Inside Center, JP du Plessis (San Diego Legion) – What’s not to like with JP? He performed two stunning offloads, ran through traffic for 62 meters on nine carries, and led the Legion defense with 26 tackles. What can’t he do?
- Outside Center, Chris Mattina (Rugby United New York) – Mattina stepped up in the absence of Cathal Marsh, drilling two crucial conversions for 4 points, gaining 83 meters on nine carries, and completed one tackle-break and one offload.
- Right Wing, Tonata Lauti (Utah Warriors) – Lauti continues to showcase himself as one of the premier strike runners in Major League Rugby, gashing the Arrow defense for 193 meters on 15 carries, adding three line-breaks, two offloads, and a try.
- Fullback, Ben Foden (Rugby United New York) – Foden brings vision that others do not, dancing through Austin Elite defensive lines for 60 meters on eight carries and an offload.
Player of the Week: Lock, Mike Sheppard (Toronto Arrows) – Sheppard proved to be the Arrow’s leader in the team’s 34-point blowout win over the Warriors. Whether as a ball runner or defender, he was always in the correct position. Sheppard led the team in tackles and was one of nine different Arrows to score a try, and he recorded a try-assist to League-leading try scorer Avery Oitomen in the second half.
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