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Fantasy MLR: Round 1 Takeaways

By: John Fitzpatrick
Feb 20, 2023 - 1:17pm

An exciting start to the 2023 MLR season included some outstanding individual fantasy performers in the The Fantasy Ruckers league.

We'll highlight the key performances, plus call-out any players who may be missing time due to injuries or potential citings.

First, we need to cover some takeaways from the first round:

Takeaway 1: The first round of games is always tough to pick, especially with fantasy.

Takeaway 2: See the first takeaway. Don't panic after one or even two slow weeks to start the season.

Takeaway 3: Sometimes fantasy is situational, and it looks to be that case again with Dallas this season. If you have a player on your roster that is facing Dallas, put 'em in your starting lineup.

Rugby ATL 17 - 10 Toronto Arrows

Key Performers:

- Alex Maughan, Loosehead prop, Rugby ATL - scored the first try of the 2023 MLR season.

- Revita Biddle, Center, Rugby ATL - the center scored a try in his MLR debut. He's on his way to "must start" status if he puts together another week like this one.

- Austin White, Wing, Rugby ATL - a former college football player who may get increased minutes if he can continue to show off his speed. Maybe worth a waiver wire flyer.

- Mitch Richardson, Center, Toronto Arrows - the outside center dotted down for the only try for the Arrows.


- Tiaan Erasmus, Hooker, Rugby ATL - lost four fantasy points because of a yellow card, though it seemed the ref was a little quick with the card.

- Shane O'Leary, Back Three, Toronto Arrows - the Canadian international flyhalf entered in the 68th minute and brought a little something extra to the game. Could we see him slot in at flyhalf, while Sam Malcolm moves to fullback?

NOLA Gold 12 - 36 New England Free Jacks

Key Performers:

- Mills Sanerivi, Hooker, New England Free Jacks - a quality 60 minutes and a try for the hooker. Trending towards a "must start" designation.

- John Poland, Scrumhalf, New England Free Jacks - after two tries against NOLA Gold, Poland is firmly encamped in the "must start" category in Round 2.

- Mitch Wilson, Fullback, New England Free Jacks - Wilson was a "must start" in Round 1 and he paid off for fantasy owners with a stellar performance against NOLA Gold.

- Jayson Potroz, Flyhalf, New England Free Jacks - Potroz was a "solid start" in Round 1, and after scoring a try, adding two conversions and distributing all over the field, Potroz looked steady in his first game as replacement for Waaka.

- Rodney Iona, Flyhalf, NOLA Gold - You can tell he can make some magic happen. Iona had a try assist and one conversion, but it make take another game or two for NOLA's attack to bring it together.

- Moni Tonga’uiha, Flanker, NOLA Gold - the flanker was a beneficiary of a solid trick play at the lineout. Still, the big fella is a solid start each week for NOLA Gold.

Old Glory DC 42 - 27 Chicago Hounds

Key Performers:

- Nic Souchon, Hooker, Old Glory DC - a surprise start but made it work with try in the first half on Saturday.

- Danny Tusitala, Scrumhalf, Old Glory - juked a few players to dot down in the corner in the second half.

- Kurt Baker, Fullback, Old Glory DC - scored a try on his MLR debut.

- Colin Grosse, Flanker, Old Glory DC - scored a try within the first two minutes of his MLR debut.

- Lautaro Bavaro, Flanker, Old Glory DC - scored a try in his MLR debut.

- Junior Sa'u, Wing, Old Glory DC - scored a try.

- Charlie Abel, Tighthead prop, Chicago Hounds - scored a try.

- Luke White, Lock, Chicago Hounds - scored a try.


- Luke Carty, Flyhalf, Chicago Hounds - the flyhalf exited the game with an apparent groin injury. Chicago has a bye in Round 2, so keep an eye on Carty's availability for Round 3.

- Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz, No.8, Old Glory DC - the USA Eagle appeared to injury his shoulder in a scrum in the 78th minute, but he did finish the game. DC has a bye in Round 2, so something to keep an eye on as he heals up.

- Junior Sa'u, Wing, Old Glory DC - was limping at the end of the first half and did not return in the second half. Something to keep an eye on as he rests up during the bye week.

San Diego Legion 33 - 17 Utah Warriors

Key Performers:

- Josh Henderson, Flyhalf, San Diego Legion - the flyhalf didn't score a try, but added two conversions and two penalties. SD may be one of the highest-scoring fantasy teams this season, so Henderson could accumulate points just from the tee alone.

- Nate Ausgpurger, Wing, San Diego Legion - Look at Augspurger out on the wing scoring tries - he did play there for the USA Men's Eagles against Portugal in November. It'll be interesting to watch what position(s) he'll be eligible for throughout the season.

- Dan Pryor, Flanker, San Diego Legion - may not be a bad idea to target back row players for San Diego to crash over for tries this season.

- Joey Mano, Wing, Utah Warriors - picked up where he left off last season, scoring tries.

- Paul Lasike, Center, Utah Warriors, Lasike looked like a forward when he picked off the back of the ruck and dotted down for Utah. With go-forward ball, a healthy Lasike will be a menace for any would-be arm tacklers.

- Caleb Makene, Fullback, Utah Warriors - slotted into a more comfortable position with Joe Hodgson running at flyhalf.

Seattle Seawolves 25 - 11 New York Ironworkers

Key Performers:

- Ed Fidow, Wing, New York Ironworkers - Right back at it, looking dangerous with the ball in hand, the big winger added a try to his score sheet. But some potential trouble (see below).

- Jordan Chait, Flyhalf, Seattle Seawolves - the MLR newcomer was 6/6 from the tee and had a great game distributing the ball against an aggressive New York defense. Head Coach Allen Clarke should be delighted about putting both Chait and AJ Alatimu on the field together this season.

- Sam Windsor, Flyhalf, New York Ironworkers - added two penalties, but it'll be interesting to see how Windsor and Jack Heighton are used interchangeably this season.

Potential Trouble:

- Ed Fidow, Wing, New York Ironworkers - It appeared that Fidow (playfully maybe?) smacked/pushed a Seattle player in the face. The Seattle player may have embellished the contact by falling to the ground, but be on the lookout if Fidow gets cited and faces a suspension.


- Ronan Foley, Flanker, Seattle Seawolves - Foley exited in the 33rd minute, holding his shoulder. Didn't look good.

- Tavite Lopeti, Center, Seattle Seawolves - the young center appeared to suffer a shoulder injury in the 63rd minute and was replaced by AJ Alatimu.

Dallas Jackals 12 - 33 Houston SaberCats

Key Performers:

- Louritz van der Schyff, Center, Houston SaberCats - the South African center got off to a hot start with a try within the first nine minutes, but then exited in the 21st minute.

- Hanco Germishuys, No.8, Houston SaberCats - the former LA Giltinis backrow scored a try in his debut with Houston. He's a "must start" in the back row this season.

- David Coetzer, Flyhalf, Houston SaberCats - a try and three conversions for a big haul on Sunday night. Coezter is a "must start" each week.

- Carlo de Nysschen, Scrumhalf, Houston SaberCats - perhaps a surprise start here since most fantasy managers expected to see Dillion Smit, who was not in the match day 23. Nysschen had a great game and added a try.

- Christian Dyer, Wing, Houston SaberCats - the big wing closed out the scoring for Houston with a try in the 72nd minute. Dyer is a "must start" in the back three.

- Jerónimo Gómez Vara, Flanker, Dallas Jackals - scored a try in his MLR debut. The young flanker is someone to keep an eye on in the waiver wire process moving forward.

- Adriaan Booysen, No.8, Dallas Jackals, the big fella played a full 80 minutes and scored a try.


- Louritz van der Schyff, Center, Houston SaberCats - may have sustained an injury in a tackle in the 20th minute, but something to keep an eye on if the try-scoring center needs to miss some time.