Rugby New York hosts the Major League Rugby Western Conference third-place Seattle Seawolves on Sunday, May 15 at 3 pm. The match will be streamed internationally on The Rugby Network. Tickets are still available.
A preliminary Women’s Premier League match between the undefeated 4-0 New York Rugby Club and the 2-2 San Diego Surfers will be at noon.
Rugby New York with an 8-4 record and 42 points, moved closer to a playoff spot with their win over the Toronto Arrows. They still face the final four weeks of the season playing Seattle and Rugby ATL at home before away matches against a resurgent Old Glory and the Eastern Conference top seed, New England Free Jacks.
The Seawolves Seawolves, with a 7-6 record and 36 points, set MLR records in their 74-7 win last weekend over the Dallas Jackals. The match on Sunday is expected to be a closer one with the Seawolves needing to deal with the rigors of cross-country travel. They then finish the season against playoff contenders Houston and LA.
MLR Week 15 Eastern Conference Results
On Friday, the New England Free Jacks won their 10th consecutive match defeating Rugby ATL 15-10. The Free jacks, 12-1 with 56 points, moved closer to clinching the top seed with 3 matches remaining. Rugby ATL suffered its third consecutive loss and its record fell to 8-5 with 42 points. That temporarily placed them in second place in the Conference based on point differential with Rugby New York. Only a bonus point is needed for New York to return to second place when they face the Seattle Seawolves on Sunday.
A key match looms on May 22 with Rugby New York hosting Rugby ATL.
The Toronto Arrows, who are in fourth place with a 7-6 record, face the Dallas jackals tonight, a team decimated by injuries, which was compounded by an additional 12 players being unavailable due to not having Covid vaccinations, passports, or in one case, a visa for Canada.
NOLA Gold faces Old Glory DC also tonight, which marked the return of former head coach Nate Osborne to the Gold Mine. Both teams are playing for pride and likely for contracts.
This sets up the final conference match of the weekend on Sunday with Rugby New York facing the Seattle Seawolves. New York needs to play 80 minutes of rugby as they did against Toronto, closing games without letting teams back into the match. They have the opportunity to close the regular season on a high note and perhaps host their first playoff match the second week in June.
The Seawolves need to win their three remaining matches for a chance at the playoffs with the Houston SaberCats having a game at hand. San Diego also faces an uphill battle for the third playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Rugby New York
The colossal news has been the arrival of former New Zealand All Blacks Rugby World Cup Champions Waisake Naholo and Nehe Milner-Skudder and former All Blacks Sevens player, Antonio Kiri Kiri, who made his MLR debut as a reserve last Sunday against the Toronto Arrows.
The team had three members selected to the week 14 All-MLR team: Brandon O’Connor, Ed Fidow, and Jason Emery. Ed Fidow is the MLR’s second top try scorer with 9 tries. Brandon O’Connor is the eighth leading tackler in MLR, and Jack Heighton is the tenth top point scorer with 47 points.
Marty Veale has made four changes to the starters and another for the reserves as Nic Mayhew, Ben Bonasso, and Connor Buckley return to a starting role at loosehead prop, blindside flanker, and scrumhalf, respectively. Waisake Naholo makes his MLR debut on the right-wing. Will Tucker moves from blindside flanker to lock. Conor Mcmanus returns to the matchday squad as a scrumhalf reserve.
Andy Ellis, Nick Civetta, and Joe Basser are not part of the matchday 23 and get some rest ahead of the final three weeks of Eastern Conference opposition. New arrival, Nehe Milner-Skudder, will likely make his MLR debut against Rugby ATL on May 22.
The Seawolves had two members selected to the week 14 All-MLR team: Lauina Futi and Duncan Matthews. James Malcolm is the MLR’s eighth top tackler, Riekert Hattingh is the league’s top try-scorer with ten tries, and AJ Altima is the third leading point scorer with 74 points.
The Seawolves have made one change in their squad with Sean McNulty starting at hooker and James Malcolm rotating to the reserves.
Squads with Player Article Links
Rugby New York: 1 Nic Mayhew 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Kalolo Tuiloma 4 Nate Brakeley (C) 5 Will Tucker 6 Ben Bonasso 7 Brendon O’Connor 8 Kara Pryor 9 Connor Buckley 10 Jack Heighton 11 Ed Fidow 12 Jason Emery 13 Faasiu Fuatai 14 Waisake Naholo 15 Sam Windsor 16 Kaleb Geiger 17 Chance Wenglewski 18 Sak Taulafo 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Antonio Kiri Kiri 21Conor McManus 22 Quinn Ngawati 23 Andrew Coe
Seattle Seawolves: 1 Mzamo Majola 2 Sean McNulty 3Sam Matenga 4 Samu Manoa 5 Rhyno Herbst 6 Andrew Durutalo 7 Setefano Funaki 8 Riekert Hattingh (C) 9 JP Smith 10 AJ Alatimu 11 Martin Iosefo 12 Tavite Lopeti 13 Dan Kriel 14 Lauina Futi 15 Duncan Matthews 16 James Malcolm17 Kellen Gordon 18 Taniela Tupou 19 Brad Tucker 20 Tommy Clark 21 Reid Watkins 22 Lopeti Aisea 23 Ross Neal
Rugby New York: Record 8-4, 42 points, 3rd place* (RNY was in 2nd place after week 14. ATL gained a losing bonus point vs NE on Friday)
- Houston SaberCats 7-10 Rugby New York, Match Preview
- Rugby ATL 31-36 Rugby New York, Match Preview
- Dallas Jackals 5-41 Rugby New York, Match Preview
- Rugby New York 29-38 New England Free Jacks, Match Preview
- Rugby New York 26-23 San Diego Legion, Match Preview
- NOLA Gold 19-30 Rugby New York Match Preview
- Rugby New York 10-14 Toronto Arrows Match Preview
- Rugby New York 35-31 Old Glory DC Match Preview
- LA Giltinis 43-0 Rugby New York Match Preview
- Rugby New York 26-29 New England Free Jacks Match Preview
- Rugby New York 36-28 NOLA Gold Match Preview
- Toronto Arrows 17-41 Rugby New York Match Preview
- Rugby New York vs Seattle Seawolves (May 15)
- Rugby New York vs Rugby ATL (May 22)
- Old Glory vs Rugby New York (May 29)
- New England Free Jacks vs Rugby New York (June 3)
Seattle Seawolves: Record 7-6, 36 points, 3rd place
- Seattle Seawolves 21-8 Toronto Arrows
- Seattle Seawolves 20-17 Utah Warriors
- San Diego Legion 28-31 Seattle Seawolves
- Seattle Seawolves 18-25 Austin Gilgronis
- Seattle Seawolves 14-15 NOLA Gold
- Houston SaberCats 21-19 Seattle Seawolves
- Dallas Jackals 12-34 Seattle Seawolves
- Seattle Seawolves 12-31 LA Giltinis
- New England Free Jacks 24-22 Seattle Seawolves
- Seattle Seawolves 34-32 San Diego Legion
- Utah Warriors 14-20 Seattle Seawolves
- Austin Gilgronis 17-6 Seattle Seawolves
- Seattle Seawolves 74-7 Dallas Jackals
- Rugby New York vs Seattle Seawolves May 15
- Seattle Seawolves vs Houston May 27
- LA Giltinis vs Seattle Seawolves June 5
WPL Rugby Squads
New York Rugby Club: 1 Amber Chandu 2 Gianna Solomon 3 Jessica Ruiz 4 Jessica Salud 5 Judo Fremd 6 Adriana Castillo 7 Gio Cruz 8 Misha Green (CC) 9 Sarah Minahan 10 Nikki Richardson 11 Matilda Kocay 12 Kat Ramage 13 Jetta Owens 14 Allysa O’Neill 15 Tess Feury (CC) 16 Caoimhe O’Sullivan 17 Daisy Titus 18 Kristin Aliberto 19 Justina Debruzzi 20 Shamira Robles 21 Denise Zambon 22 Liz Berridge 23 Ray Montano
San Diego Surfers: 1 Kimdinh Tran 2 Annika Santos 3 Eleanor Amidei 4 Ruby Wyatt 5 Maya Jackson 6 Talia Carrasquillo 7 Sheree Collins 8 Julia Buescher (VC) 9 Srob Oberman-Breindel 10 Hunter Griendling 11 Ashley Torrecillas 12 Lauren Thunen 13 Teigan MacDonald (C) 14 Amy Verdonik 15 Elona Williams