San Diego Legion & Glendale Raptors
The San Diego Legion used excellent line speed to disrupt the Glendale Raptors attack. The Legion had the greater possession and beat the previously undefeated Glendale Raptors 23-5 on June 23. With the win, the Legion finished undefeated at home and secured third place in the Major League Rugby playoffs.
The playoffs will begin on June 30 at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado. The first semi-final will have the Seattle Seawolves facing the San Diego Legion at 5 pm MT (7 pm ET) and in the second match, the Glendale Raptors against the Utah Warriors at 7:30 pm MT (9:30 pm ET). With the international test completed, the teams will be at full strength. Matches will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
San Diego Legion & Glendale Raptors Recap
The San Diego Legion had a stellar evening against the Glendale Raptors defeating them 23-5. In doing so, the team remained undefeated at home and clinched third place for the playoffs.
The Legion struck first after a Glendale Raptors penalty for not rolling away and Tadhg Leader slotted the kick for an early 3-0 lead. This lead was extended to 6-0 on another Leader penalty kick in the 19th minute and would stay that way until the break.
The first half was marred by an injury to Conor Kearns, who to the relief of the teams and fans, waved as he left the pitch.
During the first 25 minutes, the Legion controlled the possession, but could not sustain phases during the last 15 minutes without errors. Line speed by both teams placed pressure on their opponents. It was a defensive match with discipline the factor in the Legion taking the lead.
The Legion scored the first try of the match in the 48th minute as Devin Short offloaded to Ryan Matyas, who dummied and finished with the score. Leader then converted pushing the lead to 13-0.
The Raptors also had a scare when Harley Davidson needed to leave the match for a concussion protocol after a tackle.
The Legion attacked to close to the Raptors line and Sam Figg was sent to the bin for a side entry. The Legion attacked from a lineout this resulted in a Nathan Sylvia try. After Leader’s conversion, the Legion had a 20-0 lead.
The Raptors looked like they could get their first try, however line speed proved to be an issue causing a knock on. Soon after the Legion would add 3 more points after another Raptors penalty.
The Raptors appeared to score as the team mauled their way over the line after a 5-meter lineout. After consulting with the assistant referee, Zach Fenoglio lost the ball forward and the Legion had a 5-meter scrum. The clearance kick was short and the Raptors could attack again. A penalty by Pat Blair for not rolling away had the Raptors attacking again from a 5-meter lineout. This time Grigor Kerdikoshvili scoring the lone try for the Raptors, cutting the lead to 23-5.
The Legion will be pleased in keeping their home undefeated streak and more importantly, in securing third place for the playoffs. The Glendale Raptors already had secured first-place prior to playing this match and will be disappointed in not maintaining their undefeated record.
Both teams will be at full strength next week as they regain national team players. The playoff semi-finals will be in Glendale on June 30 with the final in San Diego on July 7.
San Diego Legion Pre-season Record (1-1)
San Diego Legion 2018 Major League Rugby Schedule
- April 22 at Seattle Seawolves (L 39-23) Preview Cox/AT&T
- April 29 vs. Utah Warriors (W 31-24) Preview Cox/AT&T
- May 4 vs. Houston SaberCats (W 35-32) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 13 at Glendale Raptors (L 31-27) Preview Cox/AT&T
- May 26 at Austin Elite (L 31-5) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- June 9 at New Orleans Gold (W 39-22) Preview Network: COX
- June 17 vs. Austin Elite (W 31-17) Preview 5 pm PDT Network: Cox/AT&T
- June 23 vs. Glendale Raptors (W 23-5) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- June 30 MLR Semi-Finals at Glendale Sat, 5-10 pm PDT Network: CBSSN
- July 7 MLR Championship at San Diego 7-9:45 pm PDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
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 (W 19-15) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 5 at Utah Warriors (W 36-29) Preview AT&T SportsNet
- May 13 vs. San Diego Legion (W 31-27) Preview Cox/AT&T SportsNet
- June 3 at New Orleans Gold (W 47-10) Preview 2 pm MDT Network: Cox/AT&T SportsNet
- June 8 vs. Houston SaberCats (37-24) Preview AT&T SportsNet
- June 16 vs. Seattle Seawolves (W 33-11) Preview 7 pm MST Network: AT&T SportsNet
- June 23 at San Diego Legion (L 23-5) Preview 8 pm MT CBSSN