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comment by Foveaux
Foveaux  ·  600 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 12, 2018

Nice! Good to hear - I've watched a bit of the MLR, looks like it's coming along really nicely in terms of skillset and talent; lots of passion, just quite rough but you entirely expect that at this stage of the competition. Need to sit down and commit some time to it though, here in NZ it's very easy to let other comps fall by the wayside as a player and viewer (took me like.. until this year to watch the 6 Nations properly) as we've got so much going on in our own land.

Where did you play overseas?

goobster  ·  599 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The MLR was kinda scrappy low-level play its first season, I admit. The first time the Seattle Seawolves ever played together was at the first pro match! But throughout the season, some really great players got some visibility, then got chances to play with the Eagles, and now there is a lot of buzz around the US's national XV and 7s teams. People are talking about the US in the Olympics...!

This season there is a LOT more international involvement. The US and Canada are now both considered "native", so that expands the MLR's player pool to really strong rugby cultures in both Toronto and BC. There are also agreements and player exchanges between the MLR and France, Ireland, Uruguay, Samoa, and other national leagues. So we are going to get MLR players on the field and getting experience from top-level international players, too. That will up everyone's skill and visibility.

Anyway, I played for the Budapest Exiles in Hungary. Since my time (late 1990's) they have become A Thing, and are pretty well known and respected.

When I played there, we were a drinking team with a rugby problem. :-)

I'd never played before, so they put me out at 15, told me not to get in the way, and if I got the ball to run like hell over the top of anyone that got in my way. I did that pretty well, being a 200lb winger.

Foveaux  ·  599 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hey that's excellent - I do think it's getting better and better each year, it's just a new comp and a country still finding it's feet in the 15s game, but now that country's are taking 7s seriously rather than a feeder comp for the 15s game, things are cranking right up!

I spotted the international agreements, that'll help the quality and interest, which will hopefully inspire young guns to take up the sport!

Ahh the drinking team, I've neared that stage now. Once I used to play alongside professionals, future and current All Blacks, Highlanders and Otago players, but I was a halfback in a world of men built like fridges, so after my third bad concussion I stepped away from the highly competitive side of things. My club was Varsity in Dunedin, has the illustrious title of producing the most All Blacks in the country!

I loved the "slap the newbie on the wing" option. Always works, they either stay out of the way and stay safe or they get stuck in and stampede people. I take it you were the latter!

I've been meaning to watch more of the Tier 2 comps but always lacked a team to get behind, reckon Seattle would be a good option?

goobster  ·  595 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    "...I've been meaning to watch more of the Tier 2 comps but always lacked a team to get behind, reckon Seattle would be a good option?..."

Yeah, and it is easier to watch this season, too. CBS is going to be showing a "game of the week" from the MLR, and the schedule has been configured not to conflict with other major US tournaments, etc.

The YouTube channel for the MLR is good, too. Usually posts the full games, commercial free, within about a day of the match. And you can hear the Ref as well, so it helps Americans understand whats going on... :-)

This season, the Seawolves are the reigning MLR champions, and have a lot to prove.

Last season, the Glendale Raptors (Colorado) were our major competition, and beat us twice. But we beat them in the championship, and that's what counts. This season, they have had a LOT of player turnover, so I am not sure how effective they will be as a team. They are the big question-mark.

New this season are the Toronto Arrows and RUNY. Both teams have a very mature and professional club scene, and deep pools of local players to draw from. In fact, several of the key Glendale Raptors players were on loan from RUNY, and have gone back to their home team now.

These are the two teams that worry me the most... we have not seen them play (much), and they have a number of really excellent players, and come from a region with a culture of rugby. They could both be the dark horses this season, and could surprise a lot of people.

Welcome to the MLR!