BEST IN THE WEST! LEGION BEAT SEATTLE TO TAKE THE #1 SPOT
The Legion defeated rival and previously undefeated Seattle Seawolves
April 8 2023 | Seattle, WA
In their biggest game of the season thus far, San Diego was able to rout the Seattle Seawolves in a battle for the top spot. The Legion came into the game at (6-1) and ranked #2 in the Western standings whereas rival Seattle boasted an undefeated (6-0) record. The massive victory for San Diego allowed the Legion to jump the Seawolves in the standings and claim the top spot in the west midway through the season. The match was competitive for the entire 80 minutes and despite a late two-possession lead by Seattle, the Legion were able to rally back for the win.
San Diego struck first via a Will Hooley penalty kick to put the Legion up 3-0. Just ten minutes later though, Seattle would add a field goal of their own to tie the game at three a piece.
Continuing the kicking trend, USA Eagle Will Hooley put another penalty kick through the posts to put the Legion ahead 6-3.
The Legion looked to have scored their first try via a hard line-break by Australian hooker Sama Malolo. This try was called back however keeping the score at 6-3. This is the second straight week the Legion have had a try wiped off the board.
Just a few minutes later, in a play that would make scrum coach Alex Corbisero smile, the Legion were able to win a Seattle scrum and turn it into points as 8-man Tevita Tameilau ran it in for a try. This one would stand, and the Legion led 11-3 at the mid-way point.
Seattle came out strong in the second half scoring a try under the posts for an automatic seven, making it a one point game. Ten minutes later, the Seawolves would score again with another try and conversion. A penalty kick by the Seawolves capped off a 17-0 Seawolves run that gave them a 20-11 lead with just 20 minutes to go.
Just when you thought it was over, the Legion marched back. A beautiful phase of rugby that ended with Ma'a Nonu offloading the ball to Nate Augspurger for a try cut the lead to 20-18.
The Legion struck again at the 63rd minute in a play that nearly ended in disaster. Blair Cowan mishandled a Richard Judd pass that conveniently landed in the hands of fly-half Will Hooley. Hooley was able to get the ball through the hands to Marcel Brache who put a beautiful grubber kick through the defense to a rapid Nate Augspurger for his second try of the game. Augspurger was awarded man of the match honors as well as a league leading 5th selection to the 'MLR First XV' (6 eligible weeks). Additionally, Nate leads the competition in tries scored. This was the last score of the game for either team, as the Legion escaped Starfire Stadium with a massive win.
At the conclusion of Round 8, San Diego had three representatives on the MLR 'First XV'. Accompanying Augspurger was Flanker Christian Poidevin and Hooker Sama Malolo. The Legion were also named 'Team of the Week' for the second time by the MLR.