MATCH PREVIEW: DEFENDING MLR TITLE HOLDERS SEATTLE SEAWOLVES (5-2) HOST4-2-1 LEGION, SUNDAY AT 5PM
SEATTLE – Defending Major League Rugby title holders Seattle Seawolves (5-2) host the 2019 reverse fixture against the San Diego Legion (4-2-1) Sunday, March 31, at Starfire Stadium.
Three points ahead of the Legion in the League table, the Seawolves dropped theWeek 2 meeting at Torero Stadium in a wet match more fit for the Pacific Northwest. The Week 10 match’s kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT, with the live broadcast available locally on Fox 5 and online on ESPN+.
PUSH TO SHOVE
Since the campaign’s first loss in San Diego and second to No. 1NOLA Gold a week later, Seattle has been on a tear, averaging more than 30 points scored in four victories. That momentum has propelled the Seawolves to third place ahead of the game that will mark the midway point in the season for both teams.
Seattle does possess the best scrum success rate in the League and has used the set piece to manage matches well. Anchored by capped international propOlive Kilifi and South African No. 8 Riekert Hattingh, named Player of the Week last time out, the scrum has been a key factor in creating scoring opportunities. Ryan Matyas and Mike T’eo have USA National Team familiarity with the Seattle fly half, who has not been called on for spot kicks this season. Brock Staller has assumed those duties for a League-best 88 points – 83 have come from 20 conversions and 11 penalty kicks. He has only missed seven attempts in seven matches
READY TO RUMBLE
Legion captainJoe Pietersen is right behind the Seawolves winger in all three categories, most recently adding to his tally with the game-tying conversion from the touch line against the Glendale Raptors. He was perfect on the four tries that secured a bonus point on the road. Siaosi Mahoni put in a shift in the second row in relief of Lou Stanfill, though he left the game during Keni Nasoqeqe’s yellow card suspension early in the second half.
Glendale scored two tries in the 10-minute window the Legion played with 14 players. It was the first card shown to San Diego since Week 1, but not the first occurrence of disciplinary issues costing a result this season. The welcome bye week was a chance to focus on that area of the game as well as rest the legs for a busy two months of travel ahead.Rob Hoadley. JP du Plessis dotted down his third try of the season while providing consistent go-forward runs and offloads to hands in contact, partnering Dylan Audsley in the centers.
The run of three bonus points from as many games has helped the Legion maintain a high standing during a blip resulting in six dropped points. The Seawolves remain unbeaten at Starfire Stadium going into their fifth home match of the season. Watch Sunday’s matchup live on ESPN+ at 5 p.m. PT and follow live updates on San Diego Legion social media.
Stay tuned for exciting game-day information by following @SDLegion onFacebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Watch the full re-play of the February 2nd match from San Diego.