Wednesday, April 18, 2018

MLR Power Rankings: The Final Pre-season Edition

The Major League Rugby season is here. The league kicks off this weekend with three big matches. It's going to the first time we get a look at al of the teams in their element against other MLR sides. No practice games now, it's for real. With all that in mind we thought we'd off our last MLR rankings of the pre-season.

1. Glendale Raptors (Last Ranking: 1): Our question is who is going to stop the Raptors this year. At this point they clearly look like favorites to win the title. They have had their way with teams in the pre-season. Additionally, the team recently add some more big names like Dylan Fawsitt. The team was already stacked if you just took the players they had remaining from the DI club side and the Denver PRO Rugby team but they have gone out and added even more players to the group. If they don't win the whole thing it will be a shock.

2. Seattle Seawolves (LR: 6): We're going out on a bit of a limb here and jumping the Seawolves all the way up to second from sixth. Mostly this comes from reports we heard out of their match against the Prairie Wolf Pack. Their defense was reportedly fantastic and they had Will Holder running things from the fly-half position. There were a lot of questions about how the Seawolves might shape up but if the Wolf Pack game is any indication--and it might not be--they should be good.

Take the jump to read more.

3. Houston SaberCats (LR: 3): The SaberCats are the most familiar team to most observers having played a lot of rugby in 2018. They are a good side and getting better with time. They have the stars to play really well but we still are wondering if they have the depth to contest with the top sides. It wouldn't be a surprise to see them finish in the top two but they could also be a middle of the table pack.

4. San Diego Legion (LR: 2): The Legion offense is going to be excellent but can their forwards hold up against some teams with very strong packs? That is a big question that the day still has to answer. If they can hold up they have every threat to finish in the top two. If it's not then they might struggle and when the June internationals roll around they could be hurt even more.

5. NOLA Gold (LR: 5): Some have labelled the NOLA Gold as their dark horse in the competition and we can see that. Their front-row looks good as does their back-row. They also have their backs that can get out and run. Depth may be an issue but that's what we also said for Ohio in PRO Rugby and they were excellent. NOLA Gold has that chance.

6. Utah Warriors (LR: 4): We probably have the Warriors too low on this list. They've had a solid pre-season so far even if the results haven't been there. Utah has the pieces to be great, especially with the addition of Kurt Morath at fly-half. We've always said that if Utah teams were given a chance to play a full season they would be one of the best teams in the country. We still think that but the early season might be difficult for the Warriors.

7. Austin Elite (LR: 7): There are still many questions out there about how Austin is going to perform. A year ago they were so hot but now it seems that they might not have the depth to compete. Even more they have struggled in pre-season.

1 comment: