King Of The North: Week 15
Well, this was a bit of a bizarre week for the Canadians in MLR. With the summer tests looming, many Canadians found themselves out of the lineup as they were rested and preparing for Canada’s match with Wales this weekend. As a result, there were significantly fewer Canadians featured across MLR this week. Even weirder, only Quinn Ngawati found himself a winning side this week as Rugby United New York defeated the Toronto Arrows 31-24.
However, despite the small numbers, plenty of Canadians put on a show this week.
Two weeks ago, Travis Larsen was traded from the San Diego Legion to the Seattle Seawolves alongside Victor Comptat. The terms of the deal and what San Diego got in return were not disclosed. Larsen found himself a part of a loaded back-row in San Diego that really limited his playing time. Since the trade, Larsen has been unleashed in the Pacific Northwest. Larsen had a massive performance against the Gilgronis and he received Seattle’s Leader of the Forward Pack award for the match.
Last week, I merely gave his brilliant performance an honourable mention. Obviously, that upset him and he came for not just another Leader of the Forward Pack award, but King of the North Crown!
Larsen was relentless as the Seawolves battled the juggernaut LA Giltinis. Larsen put in a massive 80-minute shift with a monstrous work rate. Larsen had 28 combined ruck arrivals in the match, a team leading 13 tackles, and 11 carries for 37 metres. It wasn’t just the number of rucks that Larsen was present at that was impressive, he made a huge impact when he arrived as well.
Ruck after ruck, Giltini defenders were launched backwards by powerful cleanouts from Larsen. Over the course of the game, Larsen was instrumental in helping the Seawolves secure the ball and allowed JP Smith to keep a high pace through plenty of quick balls.
The Seawolves have struggled mightily this year, but trading for Larsen has become a bright spot as their season winds down. For a brilliant performance in the breakdown two weeks in a row, Travis Larsen is crowned King of the North for week 15.
Honourable mentions go out to Quinn Ngawati for simply being on a winning team this week. Nik Hildebrand put in a brilliant 78-minute performance against Utah. It was easily the young prop’s best MLR game so far. John Sheridan was solid in defense for the Arrows and was absolutely robbed of a highlight reel try saving tackle by a terrible call from the officials.
Mitch Richardson dotted down for the second time in three games. Mike Sheppard was also brilliant and also managed to pick up a try. You can see both those tries 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) Week 11- Matt Heaton (RATL) Week 12- Rumball (TOR) & Smith (SDL) Week 13 - DTH van der Merwe (LA) Week 14- Lucas Rumball (TOR) Week 15- Travis Larsen (SEA)