Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week.

If I’m being honest, I don’t have a ton to say about Round 12 in this week’s Grab Bag.

I continue to be impressed by Rugby ATL, the New England Free Jacks, and the Austin Gilgronis, and I enjoyed watching the matches last weekend.

As I’ll touch on a little further down the page, I am happy to see Old Glory D.C. pick up a few wins and I’m bummed to see the Dallas Jackals’ inaugural season slipping away from them.

I’m excited to watch Rugby ATL and the L.A. Giltinis lock horns in Atlanta in Round 13. It’s going to be awesome.

Now let’s get into the Grab Bag!

Big Stars

UFC Heavyweight Derrick Lewis is must-see T.V. when he steps into the octagon and when he steps in front of a microphone. I’m glad to see he was on his A-game when he dropped by the Houston SaberCats match on Saturday afternoon.

Paid appearance or not, it’s cool to start to see some more well-known celebrities show their faces at Major League Rugby matches this season.

Matt Courtright is one of the biggest Seattle Seawolves fans that I know, and he had a cool moment a few weeks ago with Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin where he got to introduce him to the crowd at Starfire Stadium and lead the famous “Sea Wall” chant.

Last year, the Seawolves put the internet in a pretzel when they teased the signing of former NFL tight end Luke Willson.

About a month ago, Five for Fighting revealed himself to be a Dallas Jackals fan as he caught their match against the Giltinis in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

I’m looking forward to seeing more and more celebrities make appearances at rugby matches moving forward.

The Jackals

It’s probably not a secret at this point, but I am rooting for the Dallas Jackals.

It’s not good for the competition to have a team go winless, and a team with a whole bunch of American Raptors on it certainly has a soft spot in my heart. I thought that if they couldn’t pull out a victory against Old Glory D.C. in Round 12 (they didn’t), then it would be tough for them to win a match in 2021.

During their rough inaugural season, the Jackals have to count the little victories. If they don’t it will drive them crazy. What they can be proud of is that both of their tries in their 50-10 loss to Old Glory on Saturday night were awesome.

On the other hand, congrats to Old Glory for picking up the pieces of their season and stringing two victories in a row together. Winning builds confidence and it also builds momentum. Old Glory would be silly to focus on the short term. They can use the remainder of this season to put some more good performances together and build that confidence and momentum for 2023.

Every financial planner on the planet will tell you that it’s never too early to start planning for the future, and that’s what Old Glory – and Dallas for that matter – is doing right now.

Rest in Peace, Pedrie Wannenburg

The news of Pedrie Wannenburg’s passing rocked the rugby world on Saturday morning.

I remember how big of a deal it was that he came to play with the Denver Stampede of PRO Rugby back in 2016, and I was fortunate to cover his first match as a player/coach with the Austin Elite back in 2018.

Rugby in the United States – and rugby in general – is in a better place because of Pedrie Wannenburg. May he Rest in Peace.

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @DNVR Rugby.

Colton Strickler
Author

Colton Strickler is a Colorado guy through and through. He is a Wheat Ridge Farmer and a Colorado State Ram. He has been involved in the Colorado rugby community in some capacity since 2011. He was Major League Rugby's lead writer in 2018 and 2019 before joining DNVR Rugby.

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