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Wednesday, February 15, 2023

MLR Year 6 - Western Conference BOLD Predictions

Western Expansion

The Hounds have been released, but how will they fare in 2023? The 2022 expansion team went 0-16 but seems to be building a strong fanbase. The 2021 expansion team smashed the league, nabbed the shield, but now are a relic of the past. Given the fact that Chicago inherited two top sides in the west via the "Expansion Draft", they'll be expected to compete for a playoff spot. 

Bold Prediction: Chicago wins the west in their first year. No one will be hungrier to win now than the players and coaches that got dumped in the GillyGate decision last year. The Hounds are a barkin' and dem dogs is hungry.

Argies Do Dallas

There's new Argentinian brass in the Jackals front office, and the only thing they give a shit about is winning games in 2023. Just like the (kiwi owned) Rugby (United) New York imported in kiwis late last year for a playoff run, Dallas will likely absorb some Argentinian test players throughout the season. It's a World Cup year, and every player who has RWC dreams is chomping at the bit to be seen by selectors. If a prominent Argentinian player isn't seeing time in a European competition, don't be surprised if he ends up doing Dallas.

Bold Prediction: Dallas wins 6 or more games. Stands up in the Western conference, and plays spoiler down the stretch in May. They won't make the playoffs, but they will be night and day from their form last year.

Sleepers in Seattle

Is it even possible to Sleep on a 2x MLR Champ?

Seattle has been consistently good since the league's inception. They've been building something fierce under head coach Allen Clarke. Hometown products like Eric Duechle and Cole Zarcone return to a strong roster of Seawolves that know how to hunt in a pack (or is it a pod?). Starfire Stadium remains a surefire place for a loud home field advantage ... (ps, we love and fully support the heckling of visiting team place kickers).

Bold Prediction: Seattle makes the western playoffs and strikes up a new rivalry with the Chicago Hounds. We'll call it ... "The Battle for the Right to Wear Forest Green". Bit of a mouthful, but that's the working title for this soon to form Western conference rivalry. As we alluded to above, it's not necessarily BOLD to predict a perennial contender to make the big dance, so we'll throw in another BOLD prediction ... Alan Clarke = coach of the year 2023.

Thanks for reading. Catch up on our Eastern Conference BOLD Predictions and our Super Rugby Americas Preview.


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