It’s a wide-open race to the finish of the Major League Rugby regular season, with a wide variety of possibilities for the NOLA Gold heading into their Sunday match at Rugby United New York.
The match kicks off at noon from MCU Park in Brooklyn. CST will televise the game.
With just two weeks left in the MLR season, NOLA sits in second place in the league standings table with 52 points. A win Sunday could set the stage for a June 2 matchup at San Diego with the top seed in the MLR Championship Series possibly on the line.
Beyond that? The rugby standings table system, in which teams earn four points for a win, two points for a tie and a bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match or losing by seven points or less, makes figuring the possibilities nearly impossible.
With six teams still in the running for the four playoff spots, and most of them meeting each other in the final eight days of the regular season, it becomes even more complex.
Where NOLA has excelled this season is in landing bonus points on a regular basis. Despite winning one fewer match than third-place Seattle or fourth-place RUNY, the Gold is ahead of both teams in the standings because it has accumulated 16 bonus points.
The Gold picked up one point last week in its 27-20 loss to Houston.
NOLA will send out the same starting lineup Sunday in New York — the Gold’s first road match since April 21.
The Gold’s offense, which has been ranked at or near the top of MLR all season long, will face a stingy RUNY defense that has allowed a league-low 276 points this year.
Sunday’s game features four of the top five try scorers in the league. NOLA’s Tristan Blewett (12 tries) and Eric Howard (nine) rank second and fourth, respectively, in MLR, while RUNY’s Dylan Fawsitt (11) and Connor Wallace-Sims (eight) are third and fifth in the league.