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RUGBY FAN MADE EASY
JUNE 9, 2022
In Today's Edition:
🏆 Challenge Cup of the Americas
⚖️ MLR Disciplinary Ruling 
👏 Madison Hughes Signs with PR7s 
📊 MLR Power Rankings Review
✅ MLR Picks Review


Fantasy MLR: The first-ever fantasy MLR league was a great success, but it was limited to just eight players. So the commissioner of the The Fantasy Ruckers league created #TheFantasyRuckersPlayoffChallenge to give more people a feel for fantasy rugby in MLR. Join The Fantasy Ruckers Discord channel for more details. 

Perspective: Linebreak Rugby brought up an interesting point about USA’s ability to host the 2031 RWC amid the current situation with Austin and LA. 

Rugby Job: Head Coach (Rugby & Intramural Coordinator), New Mexico Tech. 

Twitter Spaces: Join us tonight at 9PM ET for "USA Rugby Happy Hour LIVE." Co-hosted by Eagles Overseas' Bill Baker, we'll preview the MLR Playoffs and welcome Rugby New York's Nate Brakeley and Americas Rugby News' Bryan Ray to the show. 

📰 HEADLINES

CHALLENGE CUP OF THE AMERICAS 


SLAR Teams: Peñarol Rugby and Jaguares XV Heading North
  • Takeaway: The Jagures XV roster for this trip consists of players from a few different SLAR franchises. 
Schedule: 
  • American Raptors vs. Jaguares XV
  • UBCOB Ravens vs. Peñarol Rugby
    • 📅 Saturday
    • ⏰ 5:30 PM ET

MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY


Disciplinary Ruling: Player Suspension 6/8/2022
  • Takeaway: MLR suspended Austin Gilgronis loosehead prop Jake Turnbull four games for the red card he received for a head charge to a Houston SaberCats player in Round 18. 
  • Return Date: "To be confirmed from follow-on competition."

PREMIER RUGBY SEVENS


Madison Hughes: Rugby Legend Signs with PR7s
  • Takeaway: Madison Hughes, who is 6th all-time on the World Rugby Sevens scoring list, announced his return to rugby after taking time off after the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. 
  • PR7s Team: Not sure, but the Loonies held the first pick of the draft, which took place on June 7, so we'll know the results later this month

📊 MLR POWER RANKINGS REVIEW

Overall Grade: C+
  • Takeaway: We had some big misses and some solid hits: toss out the DQs and we had four of the six playoff teams right. 
  • Didn't See That Coming: Outside of the diehards in New England, very few could've predicted an MLR record win streak from the New England Free Jacks. 
  • Nailed It: Though we didn't have them in the playoffs, we crushed the analysis on Houston's Round 1 win over LA...though we didn't pick them to win in Superbru 🤷‍♂️
 
Preseason Power Rankings (released on 2/3/22):
  1. LA Giltinis
    • Offseason moves bolstered their title defense claims. 
  2. Rugby New York
    • Our readers seem to think Rugby New York is the team to beat in the East. Hard to argue against them.
  3. Austin Gilgronis
    • A playoff team in the West this season.
  4. Utah Warriors
    • A packed Zions Bank Stadium is always a tough test for away teams.
  5. Toronto Arrows
    • The Arrows should compete for the No.1 spot in the East this season.
  6. Rugby ATL
    • Can the team recover from the major changes in the last two weeks?
  7. NOLA Gold
    • Could this be the most underestimated team in the East?
  8. New England Free Jacks
    • Going to hear it from the Free Jacks fans on social when they see where we placed their team. You can let us know at @RugbyMorning.
  9. Seattle Seawolves
    • The last two weeks of the 2021 season could be a sign of things to come in 2022. 
  10. San Diego Legion
    • Was last year's 6-10 record an aberration?
  11. Old Glory DC
    • Can they find replacements for Jason Robertson and Mungo Mason?
  12. Houston SaberCats
    • Oh boy, could this team set the tone for the 2022 season by trying to use that imported South African beef to bully the defending champs on Saturday?
  13. Dallas Jackals
    • Have to start somewhere. 

MLR PICKS REVIEW

2021 Regular Season Total:  
  • 57 ✅  39 ❌
  • Win Percentage: 59%
2022 Regular Season Total: 
  • 67 ✅  37 ❌
  • Win Percentage: 64%

Takeaway: Getting better, but we are no Gethin Binns

🇺🇸 USA RUGBY

Youth 7s: National Youth 7s Championship Set to Kick Off This Weekend
  • Details:
    • 📅 June 11 - 12
    • 📍 Cleveland, Ohio

🏉 MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY

Seattle Seawolves: Riekert Hattingh - "I Think Something Special is Starting to Develop Here at the Seawolves" 
  • Quote: "Even this year, I don’t feel like we reached our potential at the beginning. Even when we started off the season, and won our first league games, it still felt like we weren’t fully there yet. I think that is why we let one or two slip early in the season," said Riekert Hattingh, who recently became the 11th player in MLR history to reach 50 caps. “Towards the end, we really started to get our identity as a team and the kind of rugby we wanted to play as a team and gelling together and everything was just clicking at the right time."

🏉 QUICK HITS

College Rugby: Spring 2022 Men D2 College Rankings (Goff Rugby Report)

England Rugby: England Want Another 3-0 Whitewash over Australia, says Harry Randall (The Guardian)

Rugby World Cup 2021: World Rugby's Land Rover Deal Expanded to Women's RWC (SportBusiness)

Scotland Rugby: No Hogg or Russell as Scotland Name Their 40-Man Summer Tour Squad (RugbyPass)

Spain Rugby: Spain's Quest to Overturn World Rugby's Severe Punishment (RugbyPass)

🎧 RUGBY PODCASTS

W NATION
📽️ Episode: End of Year Awards
📅 June 8


THE FANTASY RUCKERS SHOW
📽️ Episode: Crowning the Champs
📅 June 8


EARFUL OF DIRT
📽️ Episode: Disqualifications Galore
📅 June 8


THE SCRUM OF THE EARTH
🎧 Episode: Rachel Law
📅 June 8
🎧 Episode: Weekend Recap
📅 June 6


JACK'S RANGERS SHOW 
🎧 Episode: Chowda Cup Champs
📅 June 5

📆 THIS WEEK IN RUGBY

New Format: We have highlighted a few competitions and provided a more complete list of matches here

FRIDAY, JUNE 10
  • Super Rugby
    • Semifinal #1
  • United Rugby Championship
    • Semifinal #1
SATURDAY, JUNE 11
  • Challenge Cup of the Americas
    • American Raptors vs. Jaguares XV
  • Major League Rugby
    • Eastern Conference Eliminator 
  • Pacific Four Series
    • USA vs. Australia 
  • Premiership Rugby
    • Semifinals
  • Super Rugby
    • Semifinal #2
  • United Rugby Championship
    • Semifinal #2
SUNDAY, JUNE 12 
  • Major League Rugby
    • Western Conference Eliminator
QUICK QUESTION

Who do you think will win the Western Conference Eliminator match?

SEATTLE SEAWOLVES    SAN DIEGO LEGION 
WEDNESDAY'S ANSWER 

68% of respondents voted that they are not interested in purchasing MLR NFTs.
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