Round 14 | First XV, Player of the Week
- Loosehead Prop, Rob Brouwer (Toronto Arrows) – Brouwer stabilized his side’s scrum going up against the Seawolves tighthead in Tim Metcher. His eight carries fatigued the Seawolves, driving down their tackle rate. On defense, he completed seven tackles and contested numerous rucks to slow Seattle’s tempo.
- Hooker, Dylan Fawsitt (Rugby United New York) – Different week, same Butcher. He sliced Glendale’s defense for 43 meters on 10 carries. On defense, he completed 10 tackles to slow down the Raptors high-flying attack.
- Tighthead Prop, Marco Fepulea’i (Glendale Raptors) – Fepulea’i held it down for another week as Glendale surged at home, defeating the visiting RUNY. Fepulea’i’ affected the game on both sides, carrying the ball for 34 meters and recording 10 tackles.
- Left Lock, Mike Sheppard (Toronto Arrows) – Shep just continues to be a leader in the pack in every match. He ran through various Seawolves defenders for 78 meters, including one line-break. He broke the stalemate in the first half by scoring a try after a Toronto maul. On defense, he routinely caught ball carries off of first and second phases to finish with 11 tackles.
- Right Lock, Keni Nasoqeque (San Diego Legion) – The powerful Fijian churned through the SaberCats defensive line with his four carries, ultimately gaining 28 meters. Nasoqeqe scored San Diego’s final try at the end of the third quarter, tiptoeing around the edge of the SaberCats defense. His energy carried over to the defense, completing 10 tackles.
- Blindside Flanker, Brad Tucker (Seattle Seawolves) – When in doubt, Brad Tucker will always go to work. Putting on an 80-minute shift against Toronto, he made 11 carries for 68 meters. On defense, he again led the League with 28 tackles in Week 14. Toronto was having issues with their aerial game throughout the match due to Tucker — stealing two lineouts and a nuisance on all others.
- Openside Flanker, Arawa Elkington (Utah Warriors) – Arawa opened up scoring in the second half for the Warriors off a perfect pass from Tim O’Malley to score a try at minute 41. On attack, he finished the day with four carries for 42 meters and an offload. With his spirited defense around the breakdown and in the open field, he completed 15 tackles to limit the rising Austin attack in the second half.
- No 8., Marcello Wainwright (Toronto Arrows) – Marcello was the backbone of the Toronto defense, completing 21 total tackles and stopping the Seattle attack. On attack, he gained 36 hard meters on eight carries.
- Scrum-half, Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion) – Nate, the Great, continues to have excellent matches for San Diego. Quick carries off the breakdown or great support lines, it matters not. He cut up the SaberCats defense with for 122 meters on seven carries, and two line-breaks. Nate flipped the burners on a try with three minutes left in the first half, killing any momentum the SaberCats hoped to gain.
- Fly-half, Joe Pietersen (San Diego Legion) – The General rolled the dice again, and he came up in the black. He intercepted a pass from Sam Windsor after bursting through the SaberCats line, which went into the air before he corralled the ball under the posts. On attack, he totaled 13 points with four conversions, four carries for 79 meters, and one offload.
- Left Wing, Dan Moor (Toronto Arrows) – Dan shot the Arrow through Seattle’s heart with a gigantic burst down the touchline to score Toronto’s third try of the match in the 70th minute, making it all but over. He finished with 19 carries for 172 meters, a line-break, a tackle-break, and an offload on attack. Moor completed 6 tackles on defense against the Seawolves.
- Inside Center, Chad London (Glendale Raptors) – Chad impacted the entirety of the game with 7 carries for 84 meters, a line-break, two tackle-breaks, and 14 tackles on defense. However, his last carry for the Raptors on Friday night captured the victory as he evaded two tacklers to score a try right in the 79th minute against New York.
- Outside Center, Roland Suniula (Seattle Seawolves) – In Roland’s first start for the Seawolves, he put Seattle on his back with 17 carries for 145 meters, a line-break, four tackle breaks, and three offloads. Making the right cuts, he put the Seawolves in position to eventually capitalize midway through the second half. On defense, he led the midfield by completing 14 tackles.
- Right Wing, Deion Mikesell (Houston SaberCats) – The talent and power that Deion Mikesell brought the SaberCats was apparent as pushed through three defenders to dot down a try, giving Houston their only hope of the first half. On attack, he made five carries for 42 meters and a line-break. He completed three tackles on defense.
- Fullback, Mike Te’o (San Diego Legion) – Mikey Te’o’s season for the Legion hasn’t been a revelation as much as it has been a relief. Following injury last year, it was unknown the player he’d be. Now, he’s clearly the most dynamic full back in Major League Rugby. He proved it again in Week 14, opening the Legion’s first scoring salvo with a try six minutes in. He finished the match with eight carries for 92 meters, two tackle-breaks, one offload, and three tackles in defense.
Player of the Week: Wing, Dan Moor (Toronto Arrows) – Without Moor’s leadership, it’s hard to know what kind of team the Arrows would have been on Saturday or this season. He’s led on and off the field, makes the right tactical decisions, and does what is necessary when he’s in control. Dan Moor took the yoke of the Arrows and pulled the wagon as he gained 172 meters and “Shot the Arrow” through the Seawolves to end any speculation of the result at the end of the second half.
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