Round Five Preview
LA Looks to Roll Out West, Eastern Conference Foes Jockey for Position in Full Slate of Week 5 Action
Week Four’s results proved no one is safe as upsets dashed the hopes of prognosticators across the league. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s action. Only LA remains undefeated, while some pivotal outcomes in the East could shake up the standings once again. It’s a full schedule of games, as no one is on bye this week.
Take a look ahead at the weekend action:
Seattle Seawolves at Toronto Arrows
Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET | Stream on The Rugby Network
Seattle and Toronto entered the season as two of the league’s favorites. Four weeks in, and they currently occupy the two bottom spots in the standings.
Toronto got off the mat and doubled up Old Glory DC in Week 3, only to follow that up with a dud against LA. Seattle could showed signs of life with its win over Utah, which came in as the top team in the league.
What’s at stake: This is a win both teams need to have. The East is wide open right now but Tornto can’t expect to contend if it drops to 1-4. Seattle’s situation is less dire, as it has a game in hand over most of the teams in the West; a 2-2 record after four games would position the team to get back into the mix.
Bold Prediction: Seattle wins its second to send a message that it’s not done yet. 23-16 Seawolves.
New England Free Jacks at NOLA Gold
Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET | Stream on The Rugby Network
This is a pivotal Eastern Conference clash between the third and fourth place teams in the Conference, respectively. New England comes off of its bye while NOLA looked rusting coming out of its own versus Austin last week.
What’s at Stake: The winner will find itself up near the top of the Conference, while the loser will still be in the mix, but closer to the basement than the attic.
Bold Prediction: NOLA Gold seemed to find the spark in the second half last week before losing the comeback bid at the death. The Gold defend home turf with a better start this time around, 31-27.
Utah Warriors at San Diego Legion
Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET | Watch on CBS Sports Network
Utah let one slip away versus Seattle last week and saw two teams jump by for the top spot in the standings. The Legion returns home to San Diego after adopting Las Vegas as its temporary home and has to be disappointed after a 1-3 start. The cavalry that seemed to be on its way went home early as Chris Robshaw exited his debut with a dislocated shoulder in the second half.
What’s at Stake: San Diego absolutely needs a win to get out of its funk and start digging out of the hole. Utah is disappointed in its own right, dropping two straight after a 2-0 start.
Bold Prediction: San Diego will be fired up to be home but will it be enough? It’s simply too hard to pick this team as a winner right now. Utah might be on a two game skid but has been the much more consistent team. Warriors win it 21-20.
LA Giltinis at Houston Sabercats
Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET. | Stream on The Rugby Network
LA earned another bonus point win Saturday, its third in three matches. Houston looked like lifeless in its previous two games, both shutout losses, then exploded for 34 points in its upset victory over San Diego.
What’s at Stake: What’s left to be said about the LA Giltinis? They’ve scored 40 or more points in every game and have yet to play a fully competitive match. It simply needs to keep winning to stay on top of the league. The Sabercats can claw back into the playoff picture with a second straight upset win.
Bold prediction: Houston impressed as in the ‘Cats’ return to its Week One form. It’s just impossible to pick against the Giltinis right now. 41-24 LA.
Rugby ATL at Austin Gilgronis
Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET | Stream on The Rugby Network
Rugby ATL returns with a commitment to defense after being exposed by the New York attack a week ago. Austin is riding high, flipping the script from 0-2 to 2-2. It welcomes Isaac Ross just in time after seeing its starting second row leave due to injury in the victory last week.
What’s at Stake: Depending on the rest of the results, the winner could find itself on top of its respective conference at the end of the weekend.
Bold Prediction: Austin made a statement that it is ready to contend after its road win over NOLA last weekend. Back at home, it defends home serve over a gritty Atlanta side. 24-18, Gilgronis.
Old Glory DC at Rugby United New York
Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET | Stream on The Rugby Network
New York put itself in strong position in the Eastern Conference with its win over Atlanta last week; though still tied at the top New York has the game in hand and head to head advantage. Old Glory wants to get back on track after entering its bye on a sour note, getting doubled up by Toronto. DC returns Jason Robertson but will be without centers Doug Fraser and Ciaran Hearn for some time yet.
What’s at Stake: Rugby United New York could take control of the East with a win. Old Glory needs the victory to get back in the top half of the conference standings.
Bold Prediction: With its fourth different starting backline in four games, the injuries are taking their toll against Old Glory. It’s hard to take the visitors coming out of the bye with a new look against one that looked ready to click coming out of its own a week ago. 31-24 New York.
We’re disappointed and saddened to announce the withdrawal of the New York
(Nov. 27, 2023) – Major League Rugby (MLR), which represents the highest
Written by Joe Harvey | Photos by Davey Wilson When Jayson Potroz
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