MLR WEEK 17 WRAP-UP
Houston SaberCats 27 – 20 NOLA Gold
The Houston SaberCats muddied Major League Rugby’s playoff picture by upsetting second place NOLA Gold 27-20 on the road to kick off the action in Week 17.
Houston (3-10) used a big performance from fly-half Sam Windsor to hand NOLA (9-5) their second consecutive home loss on Saturday afternoon. Windsor scored a try, hit all three of his conversions and two of his three penalty goal attempts to lead all scorers in the match with 17 points. Fullback J.P. Eloff used his boot to lead NOLA in scoring with 10 points.
The SaberCats picked up four points in the table to give them 15 total points on the season. They trail the seventh-place Utah Warriors by two points. On top of that, their victory also prevented NOLA from securing a playoff spot for at least one more week. NOLA remains in second place in the table with 52 total points. They trail the first place San Diego Legion by five points.
NOLA will look to get back in the win column when they travel to take on fourth place Rugby United New York on Sunday, May 26. Houston will look to build upon their win on Saturday, May 26 when they welcome Austin Elite Rugby (0-14) to town.
San Diego Legion 31 – 21 Utah Warriors
The first place San Diego Legion went on the road to defeat the Utah Warriors 31-21 to pick up their second consecutive victory on Saturday evening.
The Legion (11-3-1) received tries from Jordan Manihera, Savenaca Totovosau, Nate Augspurger, and Mikey Te’o to down the Warriors (2-11-1) at home. Totovosau led all scorers in the match with 10 points on two tries. The Warriors received tries from Jeremy Leber, Johhny Ika, and John Cullen in the loss.
San Diego secured five extremely valuable bonus points in the victory. The Legion is the first team in 2019 to secure their playoff position, and with 57 total points on the season, the Legion have provided themselves with a five-point cushion between the second place NOLA Gold. The Warriors remain in seventh place with 17 points in the table.
The Warriors will try to get back in the win column on Sunday, May 26 when they travel up to Washington to take on the third-place Seattle Seawolves (10-4) while the Legion will enjoy a week off before hosting NOLA Gold for a rematch that will carry with it extremely significant playoff implications on Sunday, June 2.
Austin Elite Rugby 7 – 27 Rugby United New York
Rugby United New York knocked off Austin Elite Rugby 27-7 on Sunday afternoon to slide back into the fourth and final playoff spot with two matches to play.
Despite some issues in the kicking department, RUNY was able to defeat Austin with a flurry of tries from Luke Hume, Michael St. Claire, Dylan Fawsitt, Connor Wallace-Sims, and Mike Petri. Austin’s points came on Andrew Suniula’s lone try and Zinzan Elan-Puttick’s conversion in the 73rd minute. Wallace-Sims led all scorers in the match with seven points.
RUNY picked up their ninth bonus point of the season during their victory on Sunday to give them 49 total points. They will enter Week 18 in fourth place. Austin remains in ninth place with four points in the table following the loss.
Austin’s next opportunity to pick up a victory will come on Saturday, May 25 when they travel to Houston to take on the SaberCats (3-10) while RUNY will host the second place NOLA Gold on Sunday, May 26 in what could very well be a playoff preview.
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