Round 5 | First XV, Player of the Week
Loosehead Prop, Rob Brouwer (Toronto Arrows) – Rob put himself in position to make a difference, providing the needed stability in the scrum for the Arrows to execute off their attacking platform. Brouwer completed 11 tackles on defense and carried the ball three times for 13 meters.
Hooker, Chad Gough (Glendale Raptors) – In what was the most brilliant surge off the bench from the weekend, the former All-American burst through the Utah defensive line on a sprint, scoring a try from 90 meters out to shift the tempo in favor of the Raptors. This burst of energy from Chad helped turn the momentum, keeping the Raptors from earning from what it seemed to be a certain loss.
Tighthead Prop, Paddy Ryan (San Diego Legion) – Paddy is seeing a pattern here — he’s been the en forme tighthead of the League for several weeks, dominating in scrummage. This time it was against Austin loosehead prop Simon Courcoul. In the loose, Ryan racked up 58 meters gained from 12 carries and one offload.
Left Lock, Ben Mitchell (Austin Elite) – The Captain continues to lead his team in the most arduous of conditions. As the top lineout threat, he completed six lineout takes and one lineout steal against San Diego. Mitchell carried the ball nine times for 50 meters, scoring a try at the opportune moment to keep Austin within reach.
Right Lock, Brad Tucker (Seattle Seawolves) – Brad went to work for the Seawolves on Sunday carrying the ball through the midfield on 11 carries gaining 54 meters. The all-grit workhorse made 24 tackles to hold the momentum in Seattle’s favor.
Blindside Flanker, Kyle Sumsion (Rugby United New York) – Kyle has always been known for completing the small tasks and taking care of the dirty work. He executed on his famed style of play, attacking the ruck with abandon to stabilize the breakdown for New York’s attack. Carrying the ball 13 times to gain 78 meters on attack, Kyle also completed 14 tackles on defense.
Openside Flanker, Devin Short (San Diego Legion) – The young openside for San Diego continues to make an impact for his team, this time making nine hard carries for 50 meters, with a line-break and a tackle-break. Short scored a try which all but sealed the fate of the match for the Legion in the first half.
No 8., Ross Deacon (Rugby United New York) – The powerful No 8. put on an excellent display of hard running in the match. Deacon scored the perfect try when he grabbed the ball from the back of a New York scrum, shifting the momentum in NY’s favor. Ross led RUNY in carries with 16, gaining 112 meters in the process, whilst completing 12 tackles.
Scrum-half, Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion) – After a monstrous match from the left wing, Nate slotted to scrum-half in place of the Nick Boyer — this time running the attack for the Legion and scoring a try. Augspurger gained 93 meters from 10 carries and completed 14 tackles on defense.
Fly-half, Sam Malcolm (Toronto Arrows) – Malcolm scored 100% of Toronto’s kicks, going 8-for-8 from the tee for 19 points. Putting the ball in play with his foot eight times for 254 meters, Malcolm placed the Arrows in great position to capitalize upon and dictate the tempo throughout the night against the Houston SaberCats.
Left Wing, Malacchi Esdale (Houston SaberCats) – Esdale capitalized on his support Friday night by scoring a try at the 51-minute mark, putting pressure back on the Arrows’ defense.
Inside Center, Gannon Moore (Utah Warriors) – Moore sent a message with his first start for the Warriors by scoring two tries with a mix of key support running and pure speed. He gained the hard meters: carrying the ball 12 times for 138 meters and also completing 11 tackles on defense.
Outside Center, Dan Moor (Toronto Arrows) – Dan put the pressure on the SaberCats by leading the Arrows defense with 14 hard tackles. On attack, he gained 47 meters on five carries.
Right Wing, Brock Staller (Seattle Seawolves) – Brock displayed excellent vision and speed with his two tries for the Seawolves. He added to his points scored with four made conversions for a total of 18 points. He added to his points scored with four made conversions for a total of 18 points. Brock gained 156 meters from seven carries and completed all nine of his tackles.
Fullback, Mat Turner (Seattle Seawolves) – The Seattle fullback knows when to make himself a nuisance to the opposition — he carried the ball on nine occasions gaining 102 meters with two offloads. Turner exemplified a great playmaker on attack with the perfect pass into the hands of Eric Duechle to put the first points on the board during the match. On defense, he held down the backstop with 13 tackles.
Player of the Week: Fly-Half, Brock Staller (Seattle Seawolves) – Be dynamic! Brock displayed excellent vision with his two tries for the Seawolves — the first when he capitalized off a miscue from Ben Foden and sprinted in for the try from 80 meters out. The second, when Staller hawked down a Ben Cima kick-in-play to dot it down behind the defense, effectively ending any threat from Rugby United New York.
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