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.
I was in Seattle this weekend for what has turned into an annual trip for me.
I always make sure to catch a Seattle Seawolves match when I am in town.
My first trip to Starfire Sports Complex came when I was on assignment for Major League Rugby over Easter weekend in 2019.
The Seawolves were in the middle of their title defense, and they would have their hands full in a primetime game on Easter Sunday with a NOLA Gold team that barely missed the playoffs that season. That was my first taste of Starfire.
My second trip came during the record-breaking heatwave that dominated the Pacific Northwest towards the end of last June. The LA Giltinis were also in town that weekend, and they handed the Seawolves a loss on that hot day.
Coincidentally, the Giltinis were again in town during my most recent visit to Starfire stadium, and I once again saw them defeat the Seawolves on a much cooler day than I did nine months ago.
If you haven’t caught a match at Starfire, I would recommend that you put it on your list.
It’s everything great about rugby. The fans are friendly. They’ve always made me feel welcome.
On top of that, they are always into the match. They get loud when the Seawolves are on defense and jump to their feet when Seattle strings together some offense and threatens to score. Regardless of how well the team is doing that particular season, the atmosphere is fun.
At the end of the day, rugby is supposed to be fun.
Now let’s get into the Grab Bag!
Trouble in Dallas
Dallas’ tough inaugural season became infinitely tougher over the last week.
While I was hanging out in The Watershed Pub & Kitchen before the Seawolves played the Giltinis on Saturday, I overheard someone say something about several members of the Dallas Jackals suffering injuries from an incident in which a walkway collapsed the weekend prior.
I really didn’t think anything of it until I saw the Jackals release a statement regarding the seriousness of the incident the very next day.
According to the release, nine players were injured in the incident and will miss time away from rugby as a result. The players involve include:
Alejandro Torres – 1-2 weeks
Conrado Roura – 1-2 weeks
Eric Naposki – 1-2 weeks
Luke Rizzo – 1-2 weeks
Carlo de Nysschen – 2-3 weeks
Kelly Kolberg – 2-3 weeks
Todd Gleave – 2-3 weeks
Ned Hodson – 6+ weeks
Henry Trinder – Surgery required, 3+ months
Fortunately, none of the injuries are life-threatening.
“First and foremost, we are extremely grateful the injuries to our players, while serious in terms of the impact on their seasons, were not life-threatening,” Dallas Jackals general manager Elaine Vassie said in the statement. “Looking at the height of the walkway that collapsed resulting in 9 players falling around 7 feet to the ground, without diminishing the injuries sustained nor the shock to all players involved, the outcome could have been much much worse.”
According to the release, the club will not comment further on the incident as players explore the possibility of taking legal action.
Situations like these put rugby in perspective. A reality that exists in this situation though is what the Jackals do now with a significant portion of their team on the injury report. They’ve already acquired Charlie Hola in a trade with the NOLA Gold, and have added Carson Shoemaker, Augusto Bohme, and Jack Webster on short-term loans from the Utah Warriors, Seattle Seawolves, and Gold, respectively.
This incident certainly will not help in the search for their first-ever win, but I think it’s safe to say they’ve got a ton of people pulling for them in the second half of the season.
Try of the Week
Welcome back to @usmlr, Paul Lasike ?@utwarriorsrugby #MLR2022 pic.twitter.com/yL6GsKAAfz
— The Rugby Network (@therugbynetwork) March 27, 2022
Paul Lasike is back to running hard lines in Major League Rugby. That’s fun to see.
Hit of the Week
The home crowd at Zions Bank Stadium are fired upppppp after this huge tackle from @utwarriorsrugby's Tomasi Tonga ?#MLR2022 @usmlr pic.twitter.com/v8FHl4hyHM
— The Rugby Network (@therugbynetwork) March 26, 2022
I enjoyed this tackle. It looked like something that would happen in a cartoon.
Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @DNVR Rugby.