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MLR Week 15 Top XV

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MLR Week 15 Top XV

MLR Top 15 Week 5.

Each week Major League Rugby highlights the best players with their Top XV of the week.

Former Life University standout (and before that Woodlands Youth Rugby) Conner Mooneyham, who was the #1 pick in the 2020 draft, continued his stellar play for the Austin Gilgronis earning his third week as a GEICO XV player.

The Toronto Arrows placed three players on the team after their dominant 52-7 victory over the Seattle Seawolves. The Los Angeles Giltinis continue to stay perfect on the season thanks in part to the standout performance from hooker Mahe Vailanu. 

Loosehead Prop, Chance Wenglewski, Rugby ATL

Wenglewski (Lindenwood, Union HS, Okla.) continues to shine for Atlanta providing a stable and powerful attacking platform in the scrum. On attack he had three carries for 17 meters, and a tackle break. On defense he completed 11 tackles and 26 ruck arrivals in the breakdown.

Hooker, Mahe Vailanu, Los Angeles Giltinis

Vailanu made a massive impact with his physical crash ball style of running scoring two tries from 13 carries for 57 meters gained, a tackle break, and an offload. On defense he completed five tackles and in the breakdown he completed a breakdown steal and had 11 ruck arrivals.

Tighthead Prop, Chris Baumann, San Diego Legion

Baumann (University of Wyoming), the rugby vagabond has put his hand up in his return to professional rugby working great to set an attacking platform at the scrum and challenge at the breakdown. On attack he had five carries for 13 meters. On defense he completed 14 tackles and had 29 ruck arrivals in the breakdown.

Left Lock, Jackson Thiebes, New England Free Jacks

Thiebes (University of Montana) was physically impressive for the Free Jacks against NOLA as he proved to be a massive disruption to the home side’s lineout. On attack he had seven carries for 12 meters. In the breakdown he had 23 ruck arrivals and on defense he completed 13 tackles

Right Lock, Nick Civetta, Rugby United New York

Civetta (Notre Dame) has almost resurrected the lineout for New York since his arrival. Against Old Glory he had eight lineout takes and one lineout steal in addition to further disrupting the away side’s set piece. On defense he completed 11 tackles and had 12 ruck arrivals in the breakdown.

Blindside Flanker, Tesimoni Tongauiha, NOLA Gold

An all-around performance for Tongauiha (Life West) as he hit every part of the game scoring a try, making 17 carries for 76 meters, a tackle break, and an offload. On defense he completed 11 tackles and in the breakdown he completed a breakdown steal and had 17 ruck arrivals. 

Openside Flanker, Lucas Rumball, Toronto Arrows

The Canada national team captain continues to lead the league in work rate and as a breakdown artist. In the breakdown he completed three breakdown steals and had 37 ruck arrivals. On attack he had 12 carries for 49 meters, four tackle breaks, and two offloads. On defense he completed 13 tackles

No 8., Tevita Tameilau, San Diego Legion

Leading San Diego in his first match as captain, Tameilau (Peninsula Green HS) did it by physically bursting through tacklers on his 13 carries for 61 meters, four tackle breaks, and an offload. On defense he completed six tackles and had 19 ruck arrivals in the breakdown.

Scrumhalf, Ross Braude, Toronto Arrows

Braude picked a great line to finish with a 7-point try for the Arrows, also finishing on attack with four carries for 22 meters and a tackle break. But what made the Arrows tick was the tempo of his service and the territory game he created on nine kicks for 251 meters.

Flyhalf, Hagen Schulte, Utah Warriors

Schulte with the ball in hand or as a distributor provides the Warriors an edge. He scored 14 points from a 7-point try, two conversions, and a penalty. On attack he made seven carries for 82 meters, a line break, six tackle breaks, and an offload. He kept control with his foot making nine kicks for 330 meters.

Left Wing, Conner Mooneyham, Austin Gilgronis

Mooneyham (Life University, Woodlands Youth) absolutely cut up the Atlanta defense. Where he shined was on a beautiful up-and-under kick, racing 50 meters to beat Bautista Ezcurra to collect the ball for a try. On attack he carried the ball 12 times for 154 meters, two line breaks, and four tackle breaks. On defense he completed five tackles and in the breakdown he had seven ruck arrivals.

Inside Center, Patrick Parfrey - Toronto Arrows

Parfrey was a difference maker for the Arrows against the Seawolves providing them a dynamic ball runner but physical defender. He scored a 7-point try, made 10 carries for 65 meters, two line breaks, three tackle breaks, and an offload. On defense he completed 14 tackles and in the breakdown he had 17 ruck arrivals.

Outside Center, Mark O’Keeffe - Rugby ATL

If you can get the ball into O’Keeffe’s hands, positive things will happen. He broke through the Gilgronis powerful defensive line on his way to 10 carries for 154 meters, five line breaks, 10 tackle breaks, and two offloads.

Right Wing, Dougie Fife - New England Free Jacks

Fife proved to be an electric runner for the Free Jacks scoring two tries, on nine carries for 105 meters, two line breaks, 2 tackle breaks, and an offload. He also was a key to the pressure the Free Jacks put on NOLA as he was the vanguard of their kick chase.

Fullback, Carl Meyer - NOLA Gold

When it comes to control, Meyer is a multi-faceted tool for the Gold this time controlling the game with his foot by making 12 kicks for 451 meters. He accounted for eight points from two penalties and a conversion. On attack he also made eight carries for 51 meters.

— Aaron Castro