King Of The North: Week 9
We have officially reached the midway point of the 2021 MLR season! Week 9 was once again full of excitement! The Arrows earned a 19-10 victory over the Houston SaberCats to head into the bye week on a winning note. Doug Fraser now has tries in back-to-back games since his return to the lineup. His effort this week earned Try of the Week honours as well. Corey Thomas had another great game for the Giltinis as he scored a try and put in a solid shift in defense.
Thomas’ effort was enough to earn a spot on the MLR team of the week, however it wasn’t enough to earn him another King of the North Crown.
The San Diego Legion have had a difficult first half of 2021. They began their season away from home in Las Vegas, but have since returned to southern California. They have been ravaged by injuries this season and struggled as a result. However, they returned to their winning ways this past weekend with a 43-17 routing of the NOLA Gold. The win will allow them to build some positive momentum as they head into a much-needed bye week.
A big reason for their victory was openside flanker Michael Smith. The former UBC Thunderbird captain had an unreal game especially on the defensive side of the ball. Smith led his squad in tackles made, attacking ruck arrivals, and defensive ruck arrivals. Smith also added a lineout steal in the match. All of this came in his 2nd straight full 80-minute shift for the Legion.
Smith looked brilliant as part of a great Legion back row with USA Eagles Psalm Wooching and David Tameilau. Smith made his MLR debut against the LA Giltinis in week 6. Smith picked up a breakdown steal immediately and had quite the efficient two-minute outing. His performance started inspired some to begin campaigning to #FreeMikeSmith! It appears that the Legion have been listening. However, in this match against NOLA, Smith wasn’t just freed, he was unleashed.
For leading his team in tackles and being an absolute monster at the breakdown while the Legion picked up their biggest win of the year, Michael Smith is awarded the King of the North Crown for week 9!
This week’s honourable mentions go out to Lucas Rumball for continuing to show why he should be leading candidate for MVP. Paul Ciulini for teleporting from ruck to ruck against the SaberCats. Karsten Leitner for putting in a full 80-minute shift in his MLR debut for the Seattle Seawolves. Finally, shoutout to Lindsey Stevens for scoring a try in LA’s week 10 win against Austin.
King of the North usually comes out on Friday and I just want to acknowledge the oddity that is a Wednesday night match kicking off the week.
Unfortunately, no try video this week. Life just gets in the way sometimes, but I will make up for it next week. Doug Fraser and Corey Thomas both picked up tries this week.
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)