The Legion continued to use the set pieces to their advantage and found stride with punishing forward runs to near the opponent’s try line again in the 27th minute. Te’o took a defender into contact and offloaded to starting wing Nick Boyer, whose stutter-step sent defender Tim Maupin backwards to open the space for the go-ahead try. Pietersen’s second touch-line conversion hit a post and angled across the bar for a 12-5 lead.
Keni Nasoqeqe and Psalm Wooching combined to force a turnover at the breakdown to end a defensive stand and joined the rest of the Legion in ticking away most of the remaining three minutes with patient play safely outside the defensive 22. A self-inflicted penalty threatened San Diego’s opportunity to see out the game cleanly, but the Legion reacted well to NOLA’s overthrown lineout to smother the attack and force a knock for the final whistle.
With just three more competition weeks remaining before the 2019 MLR Playoffs kick off, the Legion sit in pole position with the fewest losses and 52 points. NOLA Gold does have a game in hand and grabbed its 15th bonus point of the season Saturday to reach 51 points. The two will help determine the final top-four seeding in Week 19 at Torero Stadium.
The Utah Warriors will host the Legion in its final road match of the season Saturday, May 18, in a rematch of a wet, 21-10, home victory for San Diego in Week 4.