Round 15 | First XV, Player of the Week
- Loosehead Prop, Rob Brouwer (Toronto Arrows) – Rob Brouwer set the tone up front for the Arrows with a 74-minute outing against the tough Paddy Ryan of San Diego. Brouwer’s physical impact and field awareness helped establish the main attacking platform for the Arrows to move around the park. In the open field, Brouwer added 17 meters on four. On defense, Brouwer hit the rucks hard and completed 10 tackles.
- Hooker, Dylan Fawsitt (Rugby United New York) – On a rainy day on Coney Island, the Butcher churned his legs for two hard-fought tries, one early in the match, the other near the end serving as icing on the cake for RUNY’s victory. .On attack, he totaled 46 meters gained, including one tackle-break. On defense, Fawsitt challenged ball-carriers around the pitch and completed 12 tackles.
- Tighthead Prop, Paddy Ryan (Rugby United New York) – Ryan is back from injury and helped set the Rooster’s attacking platform against Houston’s, which is arguably the best scrum in the league. Ryan had nine hard carries in the middle of the pitch for 34 meters, including a try. On defense, he added three tackles.
- Left Lock, Mike Sheppard (Toronto Arrows) – Sometimes you don’t get to be glamorous and score points, but that doesn’t make you any less crucial for team success. That day was Sunday for Shep. He cleaned up numerous messes, like diving on loose balls to gain and maintain possession for Toronto. Facing the stingy San Diego defense, he totaled 13 carries, 58 meters, a tackle-break, and an offload. On defense, he completed 10 tackles and had three lineout takes in the set piece
- Right Lock, Luke White (Glendale Raptors) – In Season 1, Luke was asked to move into the engine room, and filled the void quite well. In Season 2, the lock has continued along that path with a tremendously high work rate for Glendale. He gashed the Utah defense with 18 carries for 114 meters. On defense, he completed nine tackles to slow down the Warriors’ response.
- Blindside Flanker, Ignacio Dotti (New Orleans Gold) – Ignacio had a superb day around the park for the Gold. The NOLA flanker scored a try following an offload from JP Eloff midway through the second quarter. On attack, he totaled seven carries for 72 meters, one tackle-break, and one offload. On defense, he held it down in the interior of the pitch with 12 tackles. He contributed to aerial game by completing two lineout takes.
- Openside Flanker, Dominique Bailey (Austin Elite) – One of the few bright spots on Saturday for the Austin side was young flanker Dominique Bailey. He emptied the tank in an impressive 70-meter try, avoiding any would-be Gold tackler. Bailey complemented his offensive success with a staggering 15 completed tackles on defense.
- No 8., Murphy Taramai (Glendale Raptors) – Murphy has helped settle down the back row of the Glendale Raptors since joining the Colorado-based side. His final stat line balanced nicely with 13 carries on attack and 13 tackles on defense. He ran for 87 meters, including one tackle-break and one offload. In the air, he established the Glendale set-piece with two lineout takes, while also stealing one of the Warriors’ lineout takes.
- Scrum-half, Jamie Mackenzie (Toronto Arrows) – Jamie Mackenzie’s scrum managing held the Legion at bay. At the breakdown, he kept the more than half of Toronto’s rucks under 3-seconds, and over 90% under 6-seconds, as the Arrows attacked the line speed of the stout San Diego defense. On attack, he generated 18 meters and two offloads. On defense, he contributed five tackles, with his six kicks carried for 111 meters.
- Fly-half, Sam Malcolm (Toronto Arrows) – Sam kicked 100% from the tee with three conversions and two penalty kicks for a total of 13 points. On attack, he carried for 34 meters, which led to a few key ball swings to the outside. On defense, he completed 10 tackles much-needed tackles in the Arrows upset over the Legion.
- Left Wing, John Ryberg (Glendale Raptors) – Ever the finisher, John’s five carries resulted in 72 meters and one impressive tackle-break. Dylan Taikato-Simpson’s kick to the corner connected with a streaking Ryberg, who outran the defense and touched it down for a try. On defense, he completed five tackles.
- Inside Center, Robbie Petzer (Glendale Raptors) – Robbie set the MLR single-game points record on Saturday night against the Warriors scoring a hat-trick and going nine for ten off the tee. Petzer still had the energy for defense even, finishing with 13 tackles.
- Outside Center, Gannon Moore (Utah Warriors) – The USA Eagle was one of the few bright spots for the Warriors, scoring a try right under the posts after using his peerless speed. The workhorse finished with 104 meters gained on 10 carries, one line-break, one tackle-break, and three offloads. On defense against a relentless Glendale attack, Moore added 13 tackles.
- Right Wing, Gaston Mieres (Toronto Arrows) – Gaston, a dynamic Uruguayan international, shredded the vaunted Legion defense for 146 meters, two line-breaks, and two offloads on Sunday afternoon.
- Fullback, Dylan Taikato-Simpson (Glendale Raptors) – DTS put on a masterclass performance from the fullback position by using the kicking game to put Utah in precarious positions, finishing with 10 kicks in-play for a whopping 416 meters. In addition to kicking, DTS’ field-awareness was top-tier as well. With a careful kick to the corner, Simpson put wing Ryberg in position to collect the ball and score a try. Simpson continued his stellar effort in the second half by making a one-handed snag in stride, dishing the ball off to Davies for a try-assist. The icing on the cake for Simpson was a try of his own in the 56th minute. On attack, he finished the match with nine carries for 114 meters, three line-breaks, and three offloads.
Player of the Week: Inside Center, Robbie Petzer (Glendale Raptors) – Petzer not only seized the MLR single-game scoring record, but he also obliterated it. Robbie Petzer put the Raptors on his back in a much-needed victory for his team to keep their playoff hopes alive. Plenty of words can be said about his record-breaking performance, but the final stateline says enough: three tries, 34 points, 102 meters gained on six carries, three linebreaks, one offload, and 13 tackles.
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