IN THE MLR’S 2ND SEASON 6 OUT OF 9 TEAMS HAVE AN EQUAL CHANCE OF MAKING THE PLAYOFFS
Written by Jared Smallwood
May 21st 2019
Talk about parity. The MLR in only its second season has two thirds of its teams all with an equal chance of making as well as missing the playoffs. 1st could miss out, 6th could make it. This level of parity is perfect for growing interest in a league that already has a ‘Big 4’ to compete against here in USA. So let’s take a look at this playoff picture a little closer:
Second place in the table and sixth place are separated by only 10 points. Which means two bonus point wins would see sixth place, Glendale even with second place, New Orleans if they lose out on the final two weeks. The tightness of the table means that teams who want to secure a playoff spot must win both of their final games to have the best chance.
San Diego currently sit at the top of the table with 57 points, though they have only one game remaining against New Orleans at home. This makes San Diego’s highest possible point total 62 points, if they secure a ‘four try bonus point’ win.
New Orleans are currently in second place with 52 points. New Orleans have a tough couple of games to close out their season with road trips to visit your Roosters and San Diego. If they were to win both games with a try bonus point, they would have 62 points which would be good for first.
Seattle are currently in third place, with 51 points after 14 games played. They have two remaining games, both at home to bottom of the table Austin and out of playoff contention, Utah. Winning both games with a bonus point would give Seattle 61 points.
Rugby United New York are currently in fourth place with 49 points after their bonus point win over Austin. Their remaining games are New Orleans at home and Toronto on the road. Winning both games with a ‘four try bonus point’ would give them a total of 59 points.
Toronto sit out of a playoff spot by 1 point, sitting in fifth with 48 points. They will host Glendale and then RUNY to close out the season. Winning both with a try bonus point would result in 58 points for Toronto.
Glendale are currently in sixth place with 43 points. The Raptors have an interesting remaining schedule, with Toronto away on Sunday 5/26 and then away to the Houston SaberCats on Wednesday 5/29. Winning both games with a try bonus point would give Glendale 53 points. Glendale are the only team in the Sinister Six who are reliant on the results of others for their playoff picture. Even if they win both games they’d need lower seeded teams to lose to make it.
With many of the six teams in the playoff hunt playing against each other they will all not be able to reach their highest possible point totals.
Seattle have a good chance of defeating both bottom dwelling teams and scoring two bonus points. Resulting in 61 points for Seattle and securing a playoff spot.
San Diego playing at home against New Orleans is favorable for a win for the Legion, but maybe not a bonus point win. Therefore, ending the season with 61 points securing a playoff spot and tying with Seattle.
New Orleans has a tough task with two road trips. A recent loss to the Sabercats at home does not give great confidence for their road trip ahead. Losing both would end the season with 52 points and put them in a worrying position for the playoffs.
RUNY have a home game against NOLA and a road trip against Toronto, both tough competition but a full strength RUNY team could beat both teams. If they are unable to secure them with a bonus point in both games they would be looking at 57 points come season end, putting them ahead of NOLA and behind San Diego and Seattle.
Toronto have two home games to close out the season against tough competition, Glendale and RUNY. Losing both would leave them with 48 points and missing the playoffs. But beating Glendale would be enough to make that last game against RUNY the decider. A massive game that’s screaming for a rivalry to begin.
Glendale could beat Toronto on the road but the short turn around to Houston will be difficult. Houston have proved to be a scrappy team under their new interim head coach and could surprise a tired Glendale side. Leaving Glendale with 47 points and missing the playoffs.
Our pick for the final table:
- San Diego (61 points)
- Seattle (61 points)
- RUNY (57 points or 59 with bonus points)
- New Orleans (52 points)
- Toronto (48 points)
- Glendale (47 points)
- Houston (23 points)
- Utah (21 points)
- Austin (5 points)
San Diego gets the 1 seed from tie breakers if based off of Point differential, Try differential and Win percentage.
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