Bye weeks for four teams meant that Round 7 of Major League Rugby was a little lighter than normal, but it certainly didn’t lack action or suspense.
The table in the Eastern Conference continues to be determined by razor-thin margins while the West continues to be a two-horse race for second place.
The Los Angeles Giltinis kicked off the month of May by continuing their stranglehold on the entire competition with another dominant win over Old Glory D.C. on Saturday night. The Giltinis used a 47-17 thumping to improve to 6-0 on the season and remain in first place with 30 table points. Sitting next to their perfect record in the table is a whopping +146 point differential and a +26 try differential. They’ll likely face their toughest challenge of the season next week when they travel to take on third-place Rugby United New York next Sunday afternoon.
The Giltinis locking up with Old Glory was actually the second match of a doubleheader at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The New England Free Jacks returned to the site of their first match of the year for a matchup against the San Diego Legion. The Legion, who has bounced around home grounds this season while they wait for things to cool down at Torero Stadium, didn’t have the best showing on. Saturday afternoon. New England was in control from whistle to whistle. They took a 21-0 lead into the half and left the Los Angeles Coliseum with a 33-17 victory in hand to improve to 3-3 on the season. The Legion is in the middle of a two-game skid but will have a chance to steal a victory over the struggling Seattle Seawolves on the road next Sunday at Starfire Stadium. While a win last weekend keep the Free Jacks right in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference, they will have their hands full next weekend when they welcome the second-place Austin Gilgronis to town.
While Saturday’s fixtures consisted of two big blowouts, Sunday’s fixtures were much more competitive. The Toronto Arrows traveled down to The Big Easy to take on NOLA Gold for the first of two Sunday matches in the MLR. It was a tale of two halves for both sides. The Arrows used a patient approach to take a 14-0 lead over the Gold into the half. Then the Gold woke up. They capitalized on their chances in the second half to beat the Arrows 22-14 and improve to 3-2-1 on the season. The victory boosted them into fourth place in the table for the time being with 19 table points. Toronto’s monster two-game win streak came to an end on Sunday, but they remain in the mix in the Eastern Conference with 16 table points.
The weekend’s final match was a Sunday night showdown between the Seattle Seawolves and Rugby United New York. After starting the season with five straight away matches, the Seawolves were hoping to capitalize on the home-field advantage that they’ve established through the first few MLR seasons on Sunday night. While they played much better than they in their four previous losses, they unraveled in the second half to drop a 23-21 heartbreaker to RUNY. The Seawolves took a 21-6 lead into the half, but weren’t able to seal the deal against the now top team in the East. Seattle remains in last place with seven table points with the loss, but will have a chance to gain some ground when they take on the 10th place San Diego Legion at home in Round 8. The win bumped RUNY into first place in the East and third place in the overall table with 19 points.