King of the North: Week 5
It was another wild week in Major League Rugby! Four of the six matches were decided by four points or less. The other two featured a bevy of Canadian tries as the Toronto Arrows had a record setting night against Seattle and the LA Giltinis found themselves in a shootout with the Houston SaberCats.
Ultimately, across the six games, Canadians dotted down for 10 tries over the weekend. That accompanied by a number of great defensive and all-around performances made this one of the toughest King of the North to crown yet.
The Toronto Arrows had their best performance of the season on Saturday morning. As what often happens when the Arrows have a great game, many Canadians stood out. Lucas Rumball continues to show why he is the best player in MLR by adding to his absurd breakdown steal totals. Pat Parfrey made 14 tackles and had a try (earning the MLR player of the week). Ben LeSage, Jack McRogers, and the list goes on and on of players that helped the Arrows put in a complete 80 minutes. There were plenty of candidates but, it is time to hand out the crown.
Scrumhalf Ross Braude had a phenomenal game for the Arrows. Braude’s tactical kicking was in fine form. He was able to put the Seawolves under pressure with pinpoint box kicks. The kicks were always on target and gave the Arrows kick chase time to cause plenty of havoc when the ball came down. Often this resulted in a knock-on or the Arrows regathering the ball. Braude also had a few great clearance kicks.
Ultimately, Braude was instrumental in ensuring the Arrows stayed in the right parts of the park finishing with 57% territory.
Off a lineout, Braude fired the ball off to Taylor Adams, and the back line worked some magic. Braude followed up the play by running a great support line to gather a Gaston Mieres offload and dot down his first MLR try. Braude would continue to provide the offense as he hit Parfrey with a beautiful flat pass that completely froze the Seawolves defense. Parfrey trotted in for the try.
Throughout the match, Braude did well to generate plenty of quick balls for the Arrows. The high tempo allowed the Seawolves little opportunity to regain their shape in defense.
As a bonus, the South African-born Braude has been binge watching the Trailer Park Boys as he embraces the great Canadian culture. Braude offered up a review of the series so far, including why Ricky is his favourite character.
Binge-watching the Trailer Park Boys alone is worthy of the honourable mention category. When you play this well on top of that, you get crowned King of the North!
I already mentioned a handful of players as honourable mentions. Rumball, Parfrey, LeSage, all could have been worthy recipients. Around the league. Robbie Povey had two tries as Houston gave LA a run for their money. Lucas Albornoz was also fantastic for Houston.
On the other side of the ball, DTH van der Merwe and Lindsey Stevens dotted down tries of their own. Josh Larsen was excellent for the Free Jacks in a rare appearance at blindside flanker. Quinn Ngawati had a try and made 100% of his tackles for Rugby United New York.
As always you can watch every Canadian try in the video below: