Second Place Seawolves Run Over Warriors
Second Place Seawolves Run Over Warriors
By: Colton Strickler, MLR Correspondent
Photo: Quinn Width Photography
It was apparent from the beginning of Sunday evening’s Week 5 match between the Seattle Seawolves and the Utah Warriors that it was going to be a track meet.
When the final whistle sounded it was the Seawolves (3-1) that were able to keep the pace, defeating the Warriors (1-3) 41-32.
The action-packed match started early when the Warriors’ Lote Tu’ipulotu dotted the ball down after a big Utah maul ate up some territory. Fly-half Kurt Morath, who had a tough day in the kicking game, missed the conversion.
The Warriors padded their lead with a Morath penalty kick just a few minutes later and settled into an 8-0 lead.
Seattle scored their first points of the game five minutes later when outside centre William Rasileka took a pick-and-go deep in Utah territory after wing Peter Tiberio broke the Warriors’ line with a long run down the touchline. Fly-half Peter Smith knocked the conversion through, cutting Utah’s lead to just one.
The Seawolves took the lead just two minutes later when Fullback Mat Turner received the ball from inside centre George Barton after Barton broke the line and drew a Utah defender. Smith added the conversion, giving the Seawolves a 14-8 lead in the 14th minute. After obtaining their first lead of the evening, the Seawolves never looked back.
Utah responded with a crafty try of their own. The set-piece, which worked in their 41-22 victory over Austin Elite Rugby a week earlier, worked again on Sunday evening when Tu’ipulotu threw the ball to flanker Lance Williams. Just as the Seawolves turned their attention to Williams, he threw the ball back to an uncovered Tu’ipulotu for a walk-in try. Morath was unable to convert and the Seawolves hung on to a 14-13 lead.
That was just the first twenty minutes.
The Seawolves answered with back-to-back scores. The first came on a Smith penalty kick that was quickly followed up with a quick-tap try by flanker Vili Toluta’u. Smith’s conversion gave Seattle a 24-13 lead.
Utah stopped the 10-point run with a try of their own when wing Tonata Lauti made use of a line break by outside centre Fetu’u Vainikolo and punched in a try in the 37th minute. Morath’s conversion cut the Seawolves lead to just four, but Seattle would have one more score in them before the half in the form of a Brock Staller penalty kick. Seattle took a 27-20 lead into the half.
Seattle began to pull away when Mack exploited some space behind the Warriors backline with a kick. Utah fullback Don Pati wasn’t able to handle the kick, and the Seawolves were able to set up a sequence deep in Utah territory. They scored when Mack, the man who started it all, picked the ball out of the back of a ruck and punched it in for the try. Staller nailed the conversion, giving the Seawolves a commanding 34-20 lead.
Toluta’u padded the Seawolves lead with his second try of the match a few minutes later. Staller’s conversion made it a 21-point game, but Utah didn’t go down without a fight. They answered back with back-to-back tries of their own, scored by Ara Elkington and Pakisonasi Afu, but the Warriors ran out of time to complete the comeback.
In addition to the three points that Seattle picked up in the win, both the Seawolves and the Warriors picked up the four-try bonus point. Seattle’s 16 points on the season puts them in second place, while the Warriors remained in fifth place with nine points.
Seattle will welcome NOLA Gold to the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, May 27 while the Warriors will travel to Houston to take on the SaberCats Saturday, May 26 in a match that will have heavy implications in the standings.
Tries: William Rasileka, Mat Turner, Vili Toluta’u (2), Phil Mack
Penalties: Peter Smith (1/1), Brock Staller (1/1)
Conversions: Peter Smith (3/3), Brock Staller (2/2)
Tries: Lote Tu’ipulotu (2), Tonata Lauti, Ara Elkington, Pakisonasi Afu
Penalties: Kurt Morath (1/1)
Conversions: Kurt Morath (2/5)
Colton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SALT LAKE CITY (September 10, 2019) – Major League Rugby (MLR) is
Scott Lawrence’s coaching journey began in 2004 at Life University, Georgia. Over
Winning Major League Rugby’s first-ever Player of the Year award involves a
It’s hard to find any coach at any level that operates a
Dan and Pete discussed the Utah Warriors 2019 Major League Rugby season
- September 2019 (2)
- August 2019 (5)
- July 2019 (11)
- June 2019 (51)
- May 2019 (75)
- April 2019 (88)
- March 2019 (78)
- February 2019 (76)
- January 2019 (51)
- December 2018 (7)
- November 2018 (10)
- October 2018 (8)
- September 2018 (12)
- August 2018 (14)
- July 2018 (10)
- June 2018 (46)
- May 2018 (43)
- April 2018 (34)
- March 2018 (25)
- February 2018 (31)
- January 2018 (37)
- December 2017 (10)
- November 2017 (25)
- October 2017 (25)
- July 2017 (1)
- March 2017 (2)