Eastern Conference Playoffs:
- RUNY (Bye)
- Ontario Arrows
- Old Glory
The addition of Mathieu Bastareaud to an already explosive and experienced backline carries RUNY through to the bye. Newcomers Old Glory recover from a relatively slow start as they gel to capture the final playoff spot in the East and upset last year’s semifinalist Ontario Arrows in the first round.
Eastern Conference Semis
RUNY’s cohesion and experience end the dream debut for Old Glory. RUNY avenges last year’s heartbreaking semifinal loss to play for ‘Ship.
Western Conference Playoffs:
- San Diego Legion (Bye)
- Seattle Seawolves
- Colorado Raptors
The Raptors have been a disappointment in the MLR thus far, but serious investments in the forms of Rene Ranger and Digby Ioane get the team into the playoffs. However, defense beats offense as the Seawolves advance once again.
Western Conference Semifinals:
San Diego finally gets vengeance over Seattle, who bounced them in the semis in Year One, then stole the championship at the death from the Legion in Year Two. The grudge match in MLR’s first true rivalry proves to be the game of the year.
MLR Finals— San Diego over RUNY
The Legion brought in Ma’a Nonu in the hopes that he can push the squad over the top, and he does jus that. Nonu proves to be the perfect addition to a backline that features Eagles Nate Augspurger, Dylan Audsley, Ryan Matyas and Mikey Te’o (sevens responsibilities pending). Of course, it all starts up front and the loss of Paddy Ryan will hurt. But the forwards are able to do their job just enough throughout the year to retain ball and let the backs do their work.
MVP: Ma’a Nonu
Nonu’s still got plenty left in the tank, and his experience proves to be a weekly nightmare for the weekly opposition. Look out for matchups vs. Thretton Palamo (Old Glory), Bastareaud, and the Rene Ranger/Digby Ioane combo in Colorado to highlight the season.