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With the first PRO Rugby season complete, it is time to name a Season 15, Play of the Season, and MVP. As much as I like to keep things quantitative, there is certainly some qualitative influence.
Team of the Season
- Jamie Mackintosh – Over and over again, Mackintosh was a steadying influence for Ohio in attack. He also brought an aggression that served the side well.
- Zach Fenoglio – He did have some trouble in the final match, but he was the most consistent lineout thrower all season. Fenoglio also performed to a high standard in the loose and ended the season with eight tries.
- Chris Baumann – Denver had the best defensive scrum in the league, and Baumann was an important part of that.
- Tai Tuisamoa – Tuisamoa carried again and again for San Diego this year. He was a workhorse in attack and defense.
- Logan Collins – Collins started the season in the back row and ended in the second row. He was a reliable option at the lineout and put in plenty of work in the loose. Pierce Dargan is another player who was pushed into the second row this year and played very well.
- Kyle Sumsion – He was the most consistent nuisance at the breakdown, league-wide.
- Sebastian Kalm – Kalm scored nine tries, and was involved in quite a few more than that.
- Pedrie Wannenburg – Considering the entire season, it has to be Wannenburg at eight. His physicality was on display in attack and defense, as was his cool head.
- Shaun Davies – He ran the league’s most potent attack and was a vocal leader from the start for Ohio.
- Will Magie – There were several moments of brilliance throughout the season that landed Magie at 10 on this list. He started the season by kicking the game-winner in extra time against Ohio in week one.
- Timana Tahu -There were a few players who had some flashy games, but Tahu's physical presence and season-long contributions give him the edge here.
- Roland Suniula – Smart enough and strong enough to know when to keep things tight; quick enough and skilled enough to let it loose. He put in some big hits in defense as well.
- Orene Ai’i – It took a while for San Francisco to get things going, but Ai’i was ready as soon as he took the field. When the team did grow, it was around his play.
- Spike Davis – Can’t leave the league’s leading try scorer off this list. He was a monster for Ohio this year.
- Mike Te’o – Not every decision he made was the right one, but he was the most dangerous fullback, for sure.
Play of the season:
When I think about PRO’s inaugural season, the first play that comes to mind is Will Magie’s kick-pass to Martin Knoetze against San Diego in week three. Knoetze took the kick cleanly and then made a good pass to Chad London for the try. There were lots of other great moments, but this is one that stands out to me. The highlights of the match, which include that play, are below.
Thinking about which player was most valuable to his team, Wannenburg is the man. Plenty of players put their hands up this season, but Wannenburg's influence is undeniable.
If there were any doubt, these selections were made by a committee of one. I genuinely look forward to hearing what others think about who deserves to be in the team of the season.