2020 MLR

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Flyin Ryan
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2020 MLR

Post by Flyin Ryan »

This is going to be a pretty lazy kickoff thread admittedly, but season starts Saturday. Now a 12-team league that exists everywhere it should except Vancouver, NorCal, and the Midwest.

U.S. national TV coverage this weekend which is now a Who's Who of the bargain basement cable sports networks.
Saturday Feb 8th
Colorado Raptors v. Houston Sabercats at noon on ESPNews.

Sunday Feb 9th
Seattle Seawolves v. San Diego Legion at 5pm on CBS Sports Network.
Toronto Arrows v. Austin at 8pm on FS2.
Last edited by Flyin Ryan on Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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comets
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by comets »

jesus they all get a game each apparently, shame one stations isn't carrying them all, easier to fin and watch ..i hears CBS Sports Network is carrying 10 games only..
goeagles
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

12 team league this year, 14 next year. And as far as locations go with no team, Northern California is top of the list. It'll be interesting to see how the new teams go.
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Working Class Rugger
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Working Class Rugger »

Flyin Ryan wrote:This is going to be a pretty lazy kickoff thread admittedly, but season starts Saturday. Now a 14-team league that exists everywhere it should except Vancouver and the Midwest.

U.S. national TV coverage this weekend which is now a Who's Who of the bargain basement cable sports networks.
Saturday Feb 8th
Colorado Raptors v. Houston Sabercats at noon on ESPNews.

Sunday Feb 9th
Seattle Seawolves v. San Diego Legion at 5pm on CBS Sports Network.
Toronto Arrows v. Austin at 8pm on FS2.
Not announced yet but TSN (TSN2 and TSN Direct) will be broadcasting the Arrows games this season. Big step up from GameTV.
CanNZ2000
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by CanNZ2000 »

Toronto Arrows will be on TSN (2) for their game against Austin. It has not been announced yet, as the guy above said, but is on their TV schedule. Big score by MLR on both sides of the border regarding TV deals. Getting on TSN is huge for the Arrows and gives a lot of credibility to both franchise and league.
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Working Class Rugger
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Working Class Rugger »

CanNZ2000 wrote:Toronto Arrows will be on TSN (2) for their game against Austin. It has not been announced yet, as the guy above said, but is on their TV schedule. Big score by MLR on both sides of the border regarding TV deals. Getting on TSN is huge for the Arrows and gives a lot of credibility to both franchise and league.
They're also getting their own weekly radio spot on Sauga 960 AM in Toronto.
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fonzeee
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by fonzeee »

goeagles wrote:12 team league this year, 14 next year. And as far as locations go with no team, Northern California is top of the list. It'll be interesting to see how the new teams go.
Kind of disappointing to see no team in NorCal...I guess no one has stepped forward with funding or something like that. Which is a shame as Sacramento drew excellent crowds for PRO Rugby.

Reminds me how MLS ignored St. Louis for so long despite it one of the few places to actually give a damn about soccer in this country.
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Demilich
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Demilich »

A bloke who came over and played a few games for my team in the Bay of Plenty comp a few years back, is now half-back for the new DC team.
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comets
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by comets »

Referees:

Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Scott Green
Derek Summers
Luke Rogan (Australia)
Chris Assmus (Canada)
Moe Chaudhry (Canada)
Lex Weiner
Mike O’Brien
Henrique Platais (Brazil)
looks like they got one decent referee, Nutbrown tired of being overlooked in soup rugby?
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jdogscoop
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by jdogscoop »

This is great for the game in North America.

It doesn't matter that some deserving sides aren't there yet. They will be.

What counts is the burgeoning coverage and roster moves.

On the Arrows!

:thumbup:
Morgan14
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Morgan14 »

Working Class Rugger wrote:
CanNZ2000 wrote:Toronto Arrows will be on TSN (2) for their game against Austin. It has not been announced yet, as the guy above said, but is on their TV schedule. Big score by MLR on both sides of the border regarding TV deals. Getting on TSN is huge for the Arrows and gives a lot of credibility to both franchise and league.
They're also getting their own weekly radio spot on Sauga 960 AM in Toronto.
Small steps but great stuff, these things will add up / compound over time

I should say the Tsn news isn't small, tbf. In the age of streaming, you'd think getting on terrestrial TV shouldn't be that big a deal, but as someone mentioned above it does speak to viability of the product
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by DraadkarD »

SaberCats 4life yo!
Heymans
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Heymans »

Gilgronis?

:? :?

Seriously?
CanNZ2000
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by CanNZ2000 »

Heymans wrote:Gilgronis?

:? :?

Seriously?
Gonorrhea was taken but a local strip club.
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Ted.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Ted. »

Morgan14 wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:
CanNZ2000 wrote:Toronto Arrows will be on TSN (2) for their game against Austin. It has not been announced yet, as the guy above said, but is on their TV schedule. Big score by MLR on both sides of the border regarding TV deals. Getting on TSN is huge for the Arrows and gives a lot of credibility to both franchise and league.
They're also getting their own weekly radio spot on Sauga 960 AM in Toronto.
Small steps but great stuff, these things will add up / compound over time

I should say the Tsn news isn't small, tbf. In the age of streaming, you'd think getting on terrestrial TV shouldn't be that big a deal, but as someone mentioned above it does speak to viability of the product
The big deal is getting OSB production crews and cameras to a game.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

fonzeee wrote:
goeagles wrote:12 team league this year, 14 next year. And as far as locations go with no team, Northern California is top of the list. It'll be interesting to see how the new teams go.
Kind of disappointing to see no team in NorCal...I guess no one has stepped forward with funding or something like that. Which is a shame as Sacramento drew excellent crowds for PRO Rugby.

Reminds me how MLS ignored St. Louis for so long despite it one of the few places to actually give a damn about soccer in this country.
My understanding is it's not a lack of interest from the league but that no serious proposals have been put forward by potential ownership groups in NorCal. I'd love a Sac team and would invest in it if possible.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

Lineups tomorrow:

HOUSTON SABERCATS
1 Valdemar Lee-Lo, 2 Diego Fortuny, 3 Charlie Connolly, 4 Kyle Breytenbach, 5 Victor Comptat, 6 Cecil Garber, 7 Diego Magno, 8 Adriaan Booysen, 9 De Wet Roos (capt.), 10 Sam Windsor, 11 Malacchi Esdale, 12 Tiaan Loots, 13 Matías Freyre, 14 Zach Pangelinan, 15 Osea Kolinisau

Replacements: 16 CJ Burke, 17 Boyd Wiggins, 18 Nicolás Solveyra, 19 Robert Meeson, 20 Luke Beauchamp, 21 Jake Christmann, 22 Taylor Howden, 23 Kieran Farmer

COLORADO RAPTORS
1 Zak Taulafo, 2 Chad Gough, 3 Marco Fepulea’i, 4 Michael Curry, 5 Luke White (capt.), 6 Brendan Daly, 7 Mike Stewart, 8 Sam Slade, 9 Carlo de Nysschen, 10 Tomás Quinlan, 11 John Ryberg, 12 Robbie Petzer, 13 Chad London, 14 Mika Kruse, 15 Mason Emerson

Replacements: 16 Jay Finau, 17 Xendy Tatibouët, 18 Kelepi Fifita, 19 Kody O’Neil, 20 Connor Cook, 21 Ata Malifa, 22 Rene Ranger, 23 Nick Boyer

Date: Saturday, February 8
Venue: AVEVA Stadium, Houston
Kickoff: 11:00 local (09:00 Pacific, 10:00 Mountain, 12:00 Eastern)
Referee: Scott Green (USA)
Assistants: Joey Swatzell (USA) & Greg Varnell (USA)
Broadcasts: ESPN News, Facebook





NOLA GOLD
1 Matt Harmon, 2 Eric Howard, 3 Dino Waldren, 4 Ignacio Dotti, 5 Kyle Baillie (capt.), 6 Moni Tonga’uiha, 7 Malcolm May, 8 Cam Dolan, 9 Holden Yungert, 10 Scott Gale, 11 Julián Domínguez, 12 Con Foley, 13 Carl Meyer, 14 Tim Maupin, 15 Robbie Coleman

Replacements: 16 Lindsey Stevens, 17 Kevin Sullivan, 18 Ben Tarr, 19 Nikola Bursic, 20 Billy Stewart, 21 Kevin O’Connor, 22 Ross Depperschmidt, 23 Shawn Riley

OLD GLORY DC
1 Jake Turnbull, 2 Max Lum, 3 Gordon Fullerton, 4 Tevita Naqali, 5 Api Naikatini, 6 Travis Larsen, 7 Mungo Mason (co-capt.), 8 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, 9 Danny Tusitala, 10 Jason Robertson, 11 Renata Roberts-Te Nana, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 13 Thretton Palamo (co-capt.), 14 Doug Fraser, 15 Dylan Taikato-Simpson

Replacements: 16 Dante Lopresti, 17 Wale Williams, 18 Will Vakalahi, 19 Jack McLean, 20 Matt Hughston, 21 Michael Reid, 22 Mike Dabulas, 23 Dylan Pieterse

Date: Saturday, February 8
Venue: The Gold Mine, New Orleans
Kickoff: 15:00 local (13:00 Pacific, 16:00 Eastern)
Referee: Luke Rogan (USA)
Assistants: Moe Chaudhry (Canada) & Allen Alongi (USA)
Broadcasts: Cox Sports TV, ESPN+, Facebook, NBC Sports Washington
CanNZ2000
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by CanNZ2000 »

goeagles wrote:
fonzeee wrote:
goeagles wrote:12 team league this year, 14 next year. And as far as locations go with no team, Northern California is top of the list. It'll be interesting to see how the new teams go.
Kind of disappointing to see no team in NorCal...I guess no one has stepped forward with funding or something like that. Which is a shame as Sacramento drew excellent crowds for PRO Rugby.

Reminds me how MLS ignored St. Louis for so long despite it one of the few places to actually give a damn about soccer in this country.
My understanding is it's not a lack of interest from the league but that no serious proposals have been put forward by potential ownership groups in NorCal. I'd love a Sac team and would invest in it if possible.
So, it is a Vancouver situation.
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fonzeee
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by fonzeee »

CanNZ2000 wrote:
Heymans wrote:Gilgronis?

:? :?

Seriously?
Gonorrhea was taken but a local strip club.
Was wondering wtf this was about...wish I had remained ignorant...

Edit: The release says it's named after a made-up cocktail?! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Ali's Choice
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Ali's Choice »

7 Mungo Mason (co-capt.),
Wasn't this Gort's alternate login circa 2005? ;)
goeagles
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

Houston beat Colorado in the first game. Set piece an issue again for Colorado. :x
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YOYO
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by YOYO »

Former Leinster squad player (outhalf) Cathal Marsh talks about his time playing for RUNY. There are over 20 Irish players playing in the league.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/ ... 22132.html
Spoiler: show
[quote] The Wall Street ferry, New York rugby and Mathieu Bastareaud - How an Irish invasion is trying to make it in America

February 07 2020 04:39 PM
Nothing reminds Cathal Marsh of how different his life is now quite like the morning commute to work.

The days of a quick drive down to Leinster’s enviable high-performance HQ in UCD have been replaced by something altogether different; he definitely didn’t pass as many world-famous landmarks travelling through Clonskeagh.

Wall Street is his starting destination on work-days, but unlike so many people his age, he won’t be wearing a suit and tie trying to make it big in the world of New York high finance – instead he hops on a ferry across the water en route to training with Rugby United New York (RUNY).

The former Leinster out-half had a decision to make when he finished up with the province in 2018 and the option he took, like so many Irish before him, was to head stateside.

Ad
Major League Rugby (MLR) was entering into its second year and RUNY wanted an out-half to guide them into their inaugural season in the competition.

Cathal Marsh at Rugby United New York training. Credit: RUNY Instagram.
2
Cathal Marsh at Rugby United New York training. Credit: RUNY Instagram.
The 28-year-old is now entering year two, starting against the New England Free Jacks on Saturday, with some high-profile additions to the team to keep him company as well as the use of a top-notch training facility.

But there’s an obvious 'you’re a long way from home' moment he gets every day on the way to work.

"You can take a 20-minute ferry from Wall Street to Staten Island, and you go past the Statue of Liberty, which is a bit mad every morning," he says.

"It's not too bad of a commute for New York standards. It's something different."

While geographically he is far away from the rugby environment where he nurtured his skills, there are plenty reminders of home when he looks around the league, where an increasingly large number of Irish players pursuing professional rugby.

In New York alone, the owner is Irish, the coach is Irish, the captain is Irish and there are ten Irishmen in the squad – not quite enough to fill out Liam Neeson’s Gangs of New York posse but a decent diaspora all the same.

Seven of the 12 MLR teams have at least one Irish player in their squad, while there are over 20 in total including Dylan Fawsitt, a former Blackrock College forward who has won 12 caps for USA and featured at the World Cup in Japan, and was named New York skipper before this season.

From former provincial players like Marsh, to All-Ireland league players looking for an entry into professional rugby as well as an adventure, America is an attractive option.

"It has been a great opportunity and it's another avenue for Irish players who miss out on the provinces or

"Teams are scouting well and there are some good AIL players who are over with us in New York, the likes of Will Leonard and Mark O'Keeffe, and there are some others in Boston and San Diego and around the league."

While the emergence of Major League Rugby has been a welcome boost for players in this part of the world, the club owners aren't stopping with an influx of Irishmen. New York’s Limerick owner James Kennedy signed French star Mathieu Bastareaud for this season, while they have been linked with England flanker Chris Robshaw and ex-Wallaby wing Drew Mitchell.

Elsewhere, Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira (Old Glory), Ma’a Nonu (San Diego Legion), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Austin Gilronis), Rene Ranger and Digby Ioane (both Colorado Raptors) are among the other former international stars who have pitched up to play in 2020.

As well as attracting more attention to the team, Bastareaud will be a big benefit to Marsh in the season ahead.

"He played in a pre-season game and was a class act so hopefully he makes my life easier and makes a few of my tackles! I think I will leave Ma'a Nonu to Bastareaud later in the season," he says.

"We have a pretty exciting backline and I think he will really open things up for us. I'm looking forward to seeing how we go in our first game."

The 12-team league is split into east and west conferences, but with teams scattered across the United States, getting to games isn’t as easy as a short flight to the UK or getting a bus from Dublin to Limerick.

"Our first two games are in Las Vegas, so the travel is a lot different. Dublin to New York is about six hours and to fly from New York to the west coast is about the same. Sometimes you fly the day before the game and you are still trying to get over the flight and a bit of jet-lag so that is definitely a challenge.

"Back home you might be across to Wales or maybe to Italy at most so it's a lot different here."

The travelling is just one element that is different to what Marsh is used to. With the squad split between professional and semi-professional players, training is done in the evening to facilitate New York’s working men.

After a fractured training set-up in 2019 where the team were running around Manhattan from gym session to pitch session, this year the process is far more streamlined. The squad have use of Wagner College’s facilities in Staten Island, so all their training can be done in one complex, but the biting New York winter can make you long for the days of a Donnybrook deluge.

"They've brought great professionalism this year," he says.

"We train Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and then have been playing Saturday. The full-time guys go to the University at three and do weights, skills, have meetings, and then the rest of the squad come for the pitch session at 7pm. You would be there from 3pm to around 9pm.

"It is tough at the moment because it is absolutely freezing in New York right now - it could be -2 degrees by the time the sun goes down."

As well as on the pitch, there is a familiar face to Irish rugby in the coaching box too. New York head coach Greg McWilliams previously coached Marsh at St Michael’s a decade ago, and the Dubliner takes the reins after a stint as the USA attack coach.

"It is actually crazy, it is ten years since he coached me in school," Marsh says.

"I was very excited when he told me I got the job. He is a great coach but he is a great friend as well. It is great to be coached by him again, he creates a good buzz with the players by playing an exciting brand."

Away from the pitch and the opportunity to get paid to play, the obvious attraction to playing rugby in America is that you are playing rugby in America. From Marsh in New York to Irishmen dotted around cities like Austin, San Diego and Atlanta, there is a lot for players to experience – although it can be tough when old friends drop into the city every second weekend.

"Sometimes you have to stick the phone on airplane mode when the boys come over," he laughs.

"There is such good nightlife here but it's important to pick your moments on when to socialise. It can be tough to focus sometimes!

"Last year I was living in Manhattan with a great group of lads. And it is such a great city that you would always have people over visiting and keen to come to the games. It was great for my family to come over and visit. It is a very exciting place to live."

2020 will be the second of a two-year deal Marsh signed when moving over to New York, and he is interested in sticking around for what is an exciting American experiment.

"Rugby is still growing here. When people see you in your gear they are very curious to know about the team and it's just about trying to get these people to come to the games," he says.

"I'm just taking it year by year. I really enjoyed myself last season and this year looks even better so far.

"I'll just see how this season goes and how the game goes over here. It seems to be building every year. Mathieu Bastaraeaud signed, Ma'a Nonu signed, Adam Ashley-Cooper signed, there is talk of Drew Mitchell signing.

"There seems to be more investment and more of a buzz. If it really takes off you never know what could happen but at the same time, I could be home at the end of the season. I'll just see how I go.[/quote]
goeagles
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

One of the biggest areas of disparity in this league is still the scrum. Was true in the first game and in this one too. It's shocking that teams are not focusing their recruitment in this area as this is also an area that lacks depth and quality in the American game generally.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Zakar »

I'm stoked the Prince of Queanbeyan is playing for NOLA.
goeagles
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

Wow just got home and saw ATL beat Utah and New England, who were expected to be the weakest team by many, are beating NY 34-7 with about 12 minutes left!

Game of the week San Diego vs Seattle on right now, too. Great weekend of rugby.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Akkerman »

coverage looks great

Image
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by tcc_dc »

Old Glory yesterday was terrible in the set pieces...they better hope the Beast can settle that scrum.

RUNY looked terrible considering some of the folks they have.

Love the Freejacks jerseys have the old rugby collars.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

San Diego look a level above everyone else from what I've seen so far.
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Post by goeagles »

tcc_dc wrote:Old Glory yesterday was terrible in the set pieces...they better hope the Beast can settle that scrum.

RUNY looked terrible considering some of the folks they have.

Love the Freejacks jerseys have the old rugby collars.
RUNY definitely the disappointment of Round 1. Las Vegas experiment does not seem to have been pulled off too.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by tcc_dc »

goeagles wrote:
tcc_dc wrote:Old Glory yesterday was terrible in the set pieces...they better hope the Beast can settle that scrum.

RUNY looked terrible considering some of the folks they have.

Love the Freejacks jerseys have the old rugby collars.
RUNY definitely the disappointment of Round 1. Las Vegas experiment does not seem to have been pulled off too.
Yeah, Vegas seems to have been a no go. If they were smart, they should have had the "party" weekend in NOLA...local team and what not.

Early forecast for DC is rain next weekend...hope it stays clear for the 1st game.
goeagles
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

tcc_dc wrote:
goeagles wrote:
tcc_dc wrote:Old Glory yesterday was terrible in the set pieces...they better hope the Beast can settle that scrum.

RUNY looked terrible considering some of the folks they have.

Love the Freejacks jerseys have the old rugby collars.
RUNY definitely the disappointment of Round 1. Las Vegas experiment does not seem to have been pulled off too.
Yeah, Vegas seems to have been a no go. If they were smart, they should have had the "party" weekend in NOLA...local team and what not.

Early forecast for DC is rain next weekend...hope it stays clear for the 1st game.
I think the idea was to have the NE teams have one home game in a warm weather location to avoid the seasonality problems that plague this league. But they should look at doing it somewhere else in conjunction with some type of other existing event. They could do a doubleheader in a place like NOLA that already hosts a match but another option would be to host it in a potential future city in conjunction with a junior rugby festival. For example, Sacramento hosts an annual kickoff tournament for high school and youth rugby the last weekend in January with around 2000 kids playing rugby. If you could combine that with a neutral site MLR match, I think you'd have a recipe for success. Sacramento is just one that I'm familiar with but other cities with decent Jan-Feb weather could obviously work too. If they had something similar in Miami or Dallas or wherever that would work just as well.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by saffer13 »

goeagles wrote:Wow just got home and saw ATL beat Utah and New England, who were expected to be the weakest team by many, are beating NY 34-7 with about 12 minutes left!

Game of the week San Diego vs Seattle on right now, too. Great weekend of rugby.
Great result for ATL considering they were behind by 16 at one point. Nobody could kick a bloody ball over though. They missed about 14 points on missed kicks.
NY looked really crap and Basteraud looked MASSIVE in a bad way.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by goeagles »

Everything about Austin is now so ridiculous that I kinda like it.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by canuckles »

I do not recognize a bunch of the Arrows. Their #1 is destroying Austin's TH.

Good to see Sam Malcolm back with Toronto, but he is at #15.

I thought Toronto should have had a third try. It looked like the ball was touched down.
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Post by canuckles »

Austin 3 Toronto 24 at HT.

Toronto scrum leading from the front. Austin fortunate to be down only by 21.

Mackenzie not looking any quicker at scrummie.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Morgan14 »

Thought MacKenzie was warp factor 7 compared to Ferguson last year?
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Morgan14 »

Great scrum there near the end of the half, like a hot knife through butter!
CanNZ2000
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by CanNZ2000 »

canuckles wrote:I do not recognize a bunch of the Arrows. Their #1 is destroying Austin's TH.

Good to see Sam Malcolm back with Toronto, but he is at #15.

I thought Toronto should have had a third try. It looked like the ball was touched down.

Yeah, think Keith is doing well too. Glad to see TH is a strength for us again, Ilnicki better be careful. Tienery has been playing at 1 in France so DSD better be careful too. Though Barton did well for Seattle too today.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by CanNZ2000 »

Morgan14 wrote:Thought MacKenzie was warp factor 7 compared to Ferguson last year?
Never seen the hype with Ferguson, prefer Mackenzie actually.
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Re: 2020 MLR

Post by Morgan14 »

Comprehensive win for the Arrows in the end. Hats off to Austin, competed well in 2nd half and were growing into the game .


Sam Malcolm looks like he's put on a few pounds, must have hit the gym hard in the off season
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