The Austin Gilgronis began their 2022 Major League Rugby campaign on an absolute rampage, finding themselves at the top of the table with a 3-0 record. In 2021, the team started to course correct after their winless 2019 season (2020 season canceled due to covid), putting up an impressive defensive run throughout the season while struggling to manage a consistent attack. During their docuseries with The Rugby Network, Inside the Scrum, Coach Sam Harris advised that their focus coming into 2022 would be set on improving the backline and their attacking ability. It’s clear now that Coach Harris’ goal was taken seriously throughout the organization, all while maintaining their defensive dominance. Three weeks into the season, the AGs have outscored their opponents for a combined 124-29 points. In fact, the AGs have even managed to break the league record for the amount of time taken for a team to reach 100 points scored in just two matches.

While the forward pack continues to bully other teams in the scrums, lineouts, and possessions within the 22m line, it’s the backs that have found their new groove in 2022. In week 1, the AGs found themselves hosting the MLR newcomers, the Dallas Jackals. The AGs forward pack made their statement against Dallas, scoring 5 of 6 of the team’s tries while the other try came off of a scrum and was finished with a solid run by the Argentine winger, Julian Dominguez. The key take away from the forwards’ impressive performance here is how they managed to score in nearly every opportunity they had within their opponent’s 22m line, whether it was through a maul or their controlled chaos and patience on the try line. The AGs took this match from the Dallas Jackals, 43-7.

Week 2 showcased the AGs hosting Old Glory DC. The Gilgronis backline produced major output against Dallas in week 1, but against Old Glory, they shined. USA and Gilgroni fullback Marcel Brache, along with flyhalf Mack Mason, showed themselves to be total orchestrators in what became a try-fest for the AGs, spreading the ball all over the backline. 6 out of the 8 AGs tries came from the backs while the forward pack held down the middle of the pitch throughout the entire match. Any fan of rugby would be excited to see the fireworks display put on by the Gilgroni backs. It was a classic case of the forwards earning the space for the backs to run wild in this week 2 win against Old Glory DC, 57-12.

Week 3 brought about a different pace of rugby with the hungry Utah Warriors paying the AGs a visit. Although Utah entered the match with an 0-2 record, they had only lost those two matches by a combined 5 points. It took over 30 minutes for the first points to accumulate on the scoreboard. The first try of the night was expectedly led by the forwards, but ultimately scored by the captain and USA center, Bryce Campbell. After a few feverish runs by the Irish center Mark O’Keefe and Hawaiian loose forward Dominic Akina, the AGs found themselves with a 24-10 victory, pushing them to an undefeated 3-0.

The AGs must now travel to Washington for their first away match of the season, where they face the two-time MLR champions. The undefeated Seattle Seawolves will host what may be the match of the season thus far as the AGs look to continue their undefeated season as well. Both teams enter the match not only at the top of the Western Conference, but at the top of the entire league in both wins and points. According to the Gilgronis team manager Austin Becker, the team feels that they have so much more untapped potential at this point in the season. “Taking our game to the ‘next level’ is our theme this week. We just want to fine tune the little aspects of the game and put it all together”, says Becker, as the AGs look to continue their dominance within the forward pack while the back line strides to continue to be electrifying.

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