Seattle Seawolves vs. Glendale Raptors
The Seattle Seawolves host the Glendale Raptors on Saturday, April 28 at Starfire Stadium in the CBS Sports Network Game of the Week. The kickoff between the Major League Rugby number 1 and 2 teams will be at 7:30 pm PDT (10:30 pm EDT).
Both teams opened the MLR season at home with the Seawolves beating the San Diego Legion 39-23 and the Glendale Raptors winning 41-26 against Austin Elite Rugby.
Both teams have many capped internationals, along with some infused talented younger players. The Glendale Raptors will be without Ben Landry and Connor Cook, as both received red cards and will miss three weeks.
Phil Mack has made three changes from last week’s win over the San Diego Legion. Olive Kilifi, Vili Toluta’u, and Dion Crowder join the starters at loosehead prop, flanker, and wing, respectively. There are also three changes in the reserves as Larome White, Andre Coquillard, and George Barton are on the squad for the first time at prop, lock, and center, respectively.
Shalom Suniula will be the captain for the match, as Riekert Hattingh recovers from a concussion. Aladdin Schirmer will be the vice-captain.
Last week the Seattle Seawolves dominated the scrums. That will still be a strength, but the Glendale Raptors have had success in set pieces. Luke White has moved to lock from loosehead prop for the Raptors, as Ben Landry received a red card last week. White has played there before with success.
In the front row, Olive Kilifi is an Eagle, Ray Barkwill is capped for Canada, and Tim Metcher has played Super Rugby. At lock is Jeremy Lenaerts and Taylor Krumrei. Lenaerts has played with Rugby Club Narbonne, the USA Collegiate All-Americans, and at Central Washington. Krumrei has played with the University of Oregon and the Seattle Saracens. The back row includes Cam Polson, Vili Toluta’u, and Aladdin Schirmer. Polson played with the Castaway Wanderers RFC and the BC Bear. Toluta’u is a Collegiate All-American, who played at Central Washington University. Schirmer is a capped Eagle 15s and 7s player and played with the Seattle Saracens.
The entire backline, except for Crowder are internationals. The halfbacks consist of Canadian international Phil Mack and Eagle Will Holder. The centers are Shalom Suniula and William Rasileka. Suniula played for the Eagles 15s and 7s, while Rasileka captained the Fiji 7s team before beginning to play with the Seattle Saracens. Brock Staller is capped for Canada and Mat Turner played for England 7s. Dion Crowder, while not capped has played with Team Fiji as the Viti Barbarians at the 2017 Rugbytown 7s and with the Seattle Saracens.
In the reserves, the forwards include Mike Sheperd at hooker, John Hayden, and Larome White at prop, Eric Dueschle at the back row, and Andre Coquillard at lock. The backs include Petr Tiberio at wing, Mike Garrity and George Barton at center.
Head Coach David Williams has made three changes in his starters from last week’s win against Austin Elite Rugby. These changes were necessitated by the red cards to Ben Landry, a lock and Connor Cook, a flanker. Blake Rogers will start at loosehead prop with Luke White switching to lock. Sam Figg, who played in Australia, is at No. 8. The team also replaced Mika Kruse with experienced veteran Eagle, Chad London.
The Raptors utilize a group of talented forwards with a patient, yet explosive backline to continually win matches. It is now the Seattle Seawolves turn to attempt to derail the Raptors from a run at the championship.
Blake Rogers, Eagle Zach Fenoglio, and Kelipi Fifita form the front row with Casey Rock and Luke White at lock, and a back row of Eagles Peter Dahl and John Quill, along with Australian Sam Figg.
Fenoglio, Dahl, and Quill have earned caps for the Eagles. Blake Rogers previously played with the University of Colorado. Casey Rock is a long time Glendale player, who has played with Marist Rugby Club in Whakatane, New Zealand, and Brothers Rugby Club in Brisbane, Australia. Luke White has played for Wests Tigers, and for the Manly Marlins and will become eligible to play for the USA in January.
Four Eagles are at the halfbacks and centers in captain Shaun Davies, Will Magie, Bryce Campbell and Chad London. The back three include former College standouts Seth Halliman and Harley Davidson, along with veteran Maximo De Achaval.
The reserves include forwards Dylan Fawsitt, an Eagle at hooker, Nick Kwasniewski and James Del Bozque at prop. Del Bozque also plays hooker. Brian Wanless and Dakota “Kody” O’Neil at flanker. O’Neil played at Oregon State and for the Misfits 7s.
Reserve backs include jake Christmann at scrumhalf, Mika Kruse at center/wing and Ata Malifa, a utility back.
Seattle Seawolves & Glendale Raptors Squads
Seattle Seawolves: 1Olive Kilifi 2 Ray Barkwill 3 Tim Metcher 4 Jeremy Lenaerts 5 Taylor Krumrei 6 Cam Polson 7 Vili Toluta’u 8 Aladdin Schirmer (VC) 9 Phil Mack 10 Will Holder 11 Dion Crowder 12 Shalom Suniula (C) 13 William Rasileka 14 Brock Staller 15 Mat Turner 16 Mike Shepherd 17 Larome White 18 John Hayden 19 Eric Dueschle 20 Andre Coquillard 21 Peter Tiberio 22 Mike Garrity 23 George Barton
Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 Zach Fenoglio 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 Casey Rock 5 Luke White 6 Peter Dahl 7 John Quill 8 Samuel Figg 9 Shaun Davies 10 Will Magie 11 Seth Halliman 12 Bryce Campbell 13 Chad London 14 Harley Davidson 15 Maximo De Achaval 16 Dylan Fawsitt 17 Nick Kwasniewski 18 James DelBozque19 Dakota O’Neil 20 Brain Wanless 21 Jake Christmann 22 Mika Kruse 23 Ata Malifa + Head Coach David Williams
Seattle Seawolves Pre-season Record (1-0)
- April 15 vs. Wolf Pack (W 47-7)
Seattle Seawolves 2018 Major League Rugby Schedule
- April 22 vs. San Diego Legion (W 39-23) Preview ROOT SPORTS, ESPN+
- April 28 vs. Glendale Raptors Preview 7:30 pm PDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 12 at NOLA Gold 10 am PDT Network: Cox/AT&T SportsNet
- May 20 vs. Utah Warriors 5:30 pm PDT Network: AT&T SportsNet
- May 27 vs NOLA Gold 5:00 pm PDT Network: Cox/AT&T SportsNet
- June 8 at Austin Elite 6:00 pm PDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- June 16 at Glendale Raptors 6:00 pm Network: AT&T SportsNet
Glendale Raptors Exhibition Season
- March 10 vs. New Orleans Gold (W 38-14) Preview
- March 30 at Utah Warriors (W 42-15) Preview
- April 7 at New York Athletic Club (W 35-22) Preview with March 30 recap against Utah Warriors
Glendale Raptors 2018 Major League Rugby Season
- April 21 vs. Austin Elite (W 41-26) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- April 28 at Seattle Seawolves Preview 8:30 pm MST, Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 5 at Utah Warriors 1:30 MT Network: AT&T SportsNet
- May 13 vs. San Diego Legion 7 pm MST Network: Cox/AT&T SportsNet
- May 26 at San Diego Legion 6 pm MST Broadcast: AT&T Sports Net
- June 3 at New Orleans Gold 2 pm MDT Network: Cox/AT&T SportsNet
- June 8 vs. Houston SaberCats 7 pm MST Network: AT&T SportsNet
- June 16 vs. Seattle Seawolves 7 pm MST Network: AT&T SportsNet
DJCoil Rugby articles by Doug Coil are also available on Facebook. Other Social Media sites to follow or subscribe include Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for interviews.