King Of The North: Week 10
With the conclusion of week 10, every MLR club has played 9 games. Ultimately, this gives us a clear look at where things stand as the hunt for the playoffs begins! The Arrows were idle as they enjoyed their much-needed bye-week. Unfortunately, the weekend’s games did not go in their favour as the Eastern Conference was 3-0 against Western Conference competition. The Arrows now sit 5th in the East with seven games remaining.
At the top of the East standings is Rugby ATL, who put in another epic defensive performance to defeat Seattle 25-6. The Canadians made a big impact in the game. Conor Keys had a great offload to set up Bautista Ezcurra’s first try. He also completed all his tackles on defense! However, Keys was not the only Canadian to stand out for RATL.
Captain Matt Heaton had another outstanding match for Rugby ATL. Heaton demonstrated an immense work rate throughout the match. RATL’s defense was one full display as Seattle struggled to put points on the board despite having the majority of the territory.
Ultimately, RATL prevented Seattle from scoring a try in the match and Heaton was a big reason for that. In the 64th minute, Seattle had an attacking lineout just metres away from the RATL in goal area. Heaton stalked at the back of the maul and when James Malcolm tried to break away, Heaton was there to wrap him up and prevent the grounding.
In a game where the RATL defense shined, Heaton demonstrated exactly why he is the captain as he led by example through the entire match. Heaton led his squad in tackles made and ruck arrivals (both attacking and defensive) during the match.
Heaton has been having an unreal year. Not only has he led his squad to the top of the East after 10 weeks, but he personally finds himself among the league leaders in tackles and defensive ruck arrivals. Heaton has been a force all year and to be honest, this crown has been long overdue. For being one of the best defensive players on the league’s best defense, Matt Heaton is crowned King of the North for week 10.
Honourable mentions go out to DTH van der Merwe and Lindsey Stevens for brilliant performances in the inaugural Cocktail Bowl. Josh Larsen was terrific once again.Unfortunately, this time it was in a losing effort as the Free Jacks fell to RUNY.
You can check out every try scored by a Canadian in week 9 and 10 in the video below!
Kings of the North 2021:
Week 1- DTH van der Merwe (LA) Week 2- Fraser Hurst (UTAH) Week 3- Lucas Rumball (TOR) Week 4- Corey Thomas (LA) Week 5- Ross Braude (TOR) Week 6- Ben LeSage (TOR) Week 7- Lachlan Kratz (NOLA) Week 8- Josh Larsen (NEFJ) Week 9- Michael Smith (SDL) Week 10- Matt Heaton (RATL)