Well Major League Rugby certainly didn’t disappoint in round 1. Two of the expansion sides picked up wins. We also had a mixture of teams kicking on and others showing they some work.
This is still a young league and there will be sides that get it wrong over the off season. An example of that is possibly RUNY who concentrated on headline grabbing signings rather than growing the team.
Here’s how Round 1 went down:
Utah Warriors v New England Free Jacks – New England Free Jacks by 15
Utah are a team that a lot of pundits think will struggle this season. I gave them the benefit of the doubt last weekend and it cost me. The Free Jacks on the other hand have shown they have worked hard in the off season. Good use of their exhibition games last year and it looks like they are really ready for this competition.
Rugby United New York v Austin Gilgronis Rugby – United New York by 5
As I said at the top, RUNY have perhaps gone for the headlines rather than building a team. In someways you can understand that to try and drive ticket sales. But winning will also work on that front. They should find it easier this weekend, first up they have had a week in Vagas to get used to the place. Second they are playing a team that hasn’t won in over a year.
Toronto Arrows v Houston SaberCats – Toronto Arrows by 7
Toronto are the opposite to RUNY. Building off what worked well for their playoff run last year rather than trying to grab headlines. Everyone expected them to beat Austin but they still had to deliver and that they did.
The SaberCats had a good start to the season with a win over the Raptors. However this Arrows side looks good and it’s going to take really good sides to stop them. The SaberCats are heading in the right direction and it’s going to be good to watch them grow during the season.
Old Glory DC v Seattle Seawolves – Seattle Seawolves by 15
The American Rugby Pod had Old Glory as the best of the expansion teams. In the end they were the only ones not to get a win on the opening weekend. Things only get tougher as well as they are visited by the two times champions.
Sure Seattle lost their opening game but that was up against the team they met in the final last year. They will know that it’s not who wins now but who wins in June. The last two seasons the Seawolves have finished second on the ladder only to go on and win the big dance. This is going to be a comfortable away win.
San Diego Legion v Colorado Raptors – San Diego Legion by 10
San Diego really set-out their stall last weekend with that win over Seattle. It’s tough to see anyone beating them at home where they were really strong last season too.
The Raptors certainly are not the team there were two seasons ago. They came into the opening season so much more professional than the other sides. They have all closed that gap since and the Raptors need to reinvent themselves. That’s not going to happen in time for this weekend.
New Orleans Gold v Rugby ATL – New Orleans Gold by 7
NOLA got a comfortable win last weekend and showed that they are really going to be a force at home again. This is something that we saw last year as well. The question is going to be how they cope when they have to go on the road. That’s a question for later in the season though.
ATL had a great start with their win over Utah. This weekend though is a totally different prospect as they take on a much tougher outfit. This is about keeping it as close as possible and learning from the experience I feel.
Record So Far
Well Round 1 was a shocker 3 from 6 or 50%
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