SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South Africans involved in this past weekend’s opening round of action in the Major League Rugby.
– The Houston Sabercats opened their season with a 21-12 win over the Colorado Eagles at home. The Sabercats were captained by scrumhalf De Wet Roos and had Tiaan Loots at outside centre and Kyle Breytenbach at lock. Namibia international Adriaan Booysen started at No 8 for the hosts and scored one of their three tries. Scrumhalf Carlo de Nysschen and centre Robbie Petzer both started for Colorado, with Petzer kicking a penalty.
– Carl Meyer scored 11 points as NOLA Gold powered to a 46-13 victory over Old Glory DC. Starting at inside centre, Meyer was the only South African in New Orleans lineup and kicked four conversions and a penalty in the win. Former Springbok prop Beast Mtawarira was not in Old Glory’s squad and will have to wait to make his debut. Flank Dylan Pieterse came off the bench for DC.
– Former Stormers flyhalf Kurt Coleman made a successful start to life in the Major League as he helped Atlanta to a 28-19 comeback win against the Utah Warriors. Atlanta had a host of South Africans in their match-day squad, including lock Johan Momsen, flank Marno Redelinghuys, Pretoria-born scrumhalf Duncan van Schalkwyk, co-captain and centre Ryan Nell and replacement forward Stefan Willemse. Coleman kicked two penalties, while Redelinghuys and Van Schalkwyk scored second-half tries. Former Kings and Western Province forward Jurie van Vuuren made his debut for Utah, who had Franco van den Berg at loosehead prop.
– Former Western Province and Stormers man Dean Muir was front and centre in the San Diego Legion’s epic 33-24 win over the Seattle Seawolves. The hooker scored two first-half tries, while his compatriot JP du Plessis – older brother of Blitzbok Muller du Plessis – went over for one of his own for the winning side. No 8 Riekert Hattingh captained the Seawolves, who also had lock FP Pelser and scrumhalf JP Smith in their ranks. Hattingh, who previously turned out for the Golden Lions and Vodacom Blue Bulls, led from the front, scoring his team’s opening try, but his efforts were in vain as they fell agonisingly short.
– Captain and flyhalf Zinzan Elan-Puttick, who was born in Bloemfontein and hooker Tiaan Erasmus, who hails from Pretoria, featured in the Austin Gilgronis side that slumped to a 38-10 defeat by the Toronto Arrows, who are eighth on the log after the opening round of the season.