Seattle Seawolves & New Orleans Gold
The 3-1 second place Seattle Seawolves face the 2-2 fourth place New Orleans Gold Rugby Club in the last home regular season Major League Rugby match. The match will be held at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington with the kickoff at 5 pm PT (8 pm ET). The match will be broadcast locally on Root Sports and on Cox, nationally on ESPN+, and internationally on the Major League Rugby Facebook page.
Both teams are coming off wins. The Seawolves beat the Utah Warriors 41-32, while NOLA Gold edged the Houston SaberCats 24-20. The teams previously met on May 12, with the Seawolves winning 31-29.
Based on the outcome of the match, the Seawolves will either retain second place in the MLR standing or be in third place. NOLA Gold needs either a win, to move to either second or third place or potentially a bonus point loss to retain at least fourth.
The Eagles camp begins on May 27, so the Seawolves will miss Olive Kilifi for the rest of the regular season. Surprisingly, Kilifi is in Seattle for the match and will join the camp tomorrow. They also will likely miss Ray Barkwill and Brock Staller, when they play for Canada. New Orleans Gold will not be faced with losing players down the stretch run and this could help them as they strive to make the playoffs.
The Seattle Seawolves have made five changes in their starters since last week’s 41-32 win over the Utah Warriors. Ray Barkwill returns at hooker and will join Olive Kilifi and Tim Metcher in the front row. Kilifi is part of the USA Eagles camp that begins today. Jeremy Lenaerts also returns to a starting role at lock after missing several weeks. He is paired with Taylor Krumrei. Eric Dueschle joins the starters at flanker, where he is paired with Vili Toluta’u. Aladdin Schirmer, the vice-captain moves to No. 8.
In the backs, Will Holder will start at flyhalf, where he will pair with Phil Mack. Shalom Suniula also returns to inside center and will captain the team. He is paired with a powerful outside center, William Rasileka. The back three remain the same in Peter Tiberio and Brock Staller at wing and Mat Turner at fullback.
Reserves include a front row of Dan Trierweiler at hooker, Kellen Gordon, and John Hayden at prop, back row players Cole Van Harn, Nakai Penny, and Andre Coquillard. Backs include Mozac Samson at center and Sequoyah Burke-Combs at wing.
The Seawolves have a very strong lineup to face NOLA Gold. The team has a deep group of forwards and have included six reserves to continue the pace in the second half. The backs will be a good match for NOLA Gold.
The match is expected to be a close one, so minimizing penalties will be important. The team that controls possession early will likely emerge as the winner.
New Orleans Gold
Head Coach Nate Osborne has made two changes in his starting XV since last week’s win over the SaberrCats. Chad Joseph will be at No. 8, with John Sullivan moving to lock. Tim Maupin also returns from a minor injury and will be at wing. There is also a change in the reserves with Myles McQuone returning at lock.
NOLA Gold tested the Seawolves and there is no reason to expect anything different. The Seawolves sold-out crowd is an enthusiastic one and the Seawolves perform well with the fan support. NOLA Gold will need to play a disciplined game, otherwise, the Seawolves accurate kicking may be a factor. Taylor Howden performed well last week with the kicking responsibilities and the team will need him to do so again this week.
The match features two of the best scrummaging teams in the league with both teams being able to also take advantage of lineouts. Holden Yungert has used a quick ball to distribute the ball to the centers and wings in the attack. Howden uses tactical kicking to create positive gains in territory and as a weapon with cross-kicks.
Seattle Seawolves & New Orleans Gold Squads
Seattle Seawolves: 1 Olive Kilifi 2 3 Tim Metcher 4 Taylor Krumrei 5 Jeremy Lenaerts 6 Eric Dueschle 7 Vili Toluta’u 8 Aladdin Schirmer (VC) 9 Phil Mack 10 Will Holder 11 Peter Tiberio 12 Shalom Suniula 13 William Rasileka 14 Brock Staller 15 Mat Turner 16 Dan Trierweiler 17 Kellen Gordon 18 John Hayden 19 Cole Van Harn 20 Nakai Penny 21 Andre Coquillard 22 Mozac Samson 23 Sequoyah Burke-Combs
New Orleans Gold: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Eric Howard (VC) 3 Ben Tarr 4 Nikola Bursic 5 John Sullivan 6 Tesimoni Tongauiha 7 Matt Hughston 8 Chad Joseph 9 Holden Yungert 10 Ratu Rinakama 11Joeli Tikoisuva 12 Taylor Howden (C) 13 Zack Stryffeler 14 Tim Falcon 15 Michael Baska 16 Amro Gouda 17 Cameron Falcon 18 Derrek Van Klein 19 Matt Wirken 20 Myles McQuone 21 Brennan Falcon 22 Tevita Makasini 23 Bobby Johns + Head Coach Nate Osborne
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 (L 19-15) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 12 at NOLA Gold (W 31-29) Preview Cox/AT&T SportsNet
- May 20 vs. Utah Warriors (W 41-32) Preview Root Sports NW
- May 27 vs NOLA Gold Preview 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
New Orleans Gold Pre-Season
- Jan. 3 Open Training Camp
- Jan. 20 vs. Capital Rugby Union Selects (W 68-15) Preview
- Feb. 24 at Houston SaberCats (L 30-12) Preview
- March 10 at Glendale Raptors (L 38-14) Preview
- March 24 vs Houston SaberCats (D 32-32) Preview
- March 31 vs Austin Elite (W 48-17) Preview
- April 7 at Austin Elite (W 38-10) Preview with March 31 recap
New Orleans Gold 2018 Major League Rugby Season
- April 21 At Houston Sabercats (W 35-26) Preview
- May 3 At Austin Elite (L30-17) Preview
- May 12 Home vs. Seattle Seawolves (L 31-29) Preview
- May 19 Home vs. Houston SaberCats (W 24-20) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 27 At Seattle Seawolves Preview 7 pm CDT Network: Cox/AT&T
- June 3 Home vs. Glendale Raptors 3 pm CDT Network: Cox/AT&T
- June 9 Home vs. San Diego Legion 3 pm CDT Network: COX
- June 16 At Utah Warriors 3 pm CDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)