The San Diego Legion beat the Seattle Seawolves 28-22 on Sunday, March 31 at Starfire Stadium.
The San Diego Legion are now 1 point behind the fourth place Seawolves with a 6-0-2 record, while the Seattle Seawolves record is 4-2-2.
After handling errors by both teams to begin the match, the Legion struck first with Dean Muir scoring from a maul. Pietersen slotted the conversion to lead 7-0.
The Legion gave the Seawolves an attacking opportunity from a 5-meter scrum when a knock on occurred in-goal on handling a clearance kick. Seattle turned the ball over with Nate Augspurger racing from in-goal and offloading to Ryan Matyas. Brad Tucker saved the try with a tackle on Matyas and Cima grubbed the ball into touch.
Soon after, the Legion was able to attack again with Lou Stanfill grounding into the post pads for a try. Pietersen converted again to lead 14-0. An obstruction the Seawolves had Pietersen slotting a penalty goal to push the lead to 17-0.
The Seawolves added a try from a maul by Stephan Coetzee in the 30th minute to cut the lead to 17-5 as Staller’s kick was wide.
Discipline issues then impacted the Legion with Jasa Veremalua being sent to the bin. The Legion then appeared to score a try, but Keni Nasoqeqe was issued a red card for a head shot on a Seawolves player in-goal.
Despite being down two men, Pietersen appeared to slot a drop goal but did not as the referee played a penalty advantage. Instead, Pietersen instead slotted a penalty goal to lead 20-5 at the break.
While the Legion will start the half with 13 players, when Veremalua returns, they will need to play with 14 then for the rest of the match.
With Veremalua returning for the Legion, Cam Polson was sent to the bin for a late hit. Pietersen then extended the Legion’s lead to 23-5 with a kick.
Soon after, Jordan Manihera was sent to the bin for a high tackle and Pietersen left for an HIA after being run over by Brad Tucker. From the ensuing scrum, the Seawolves went through several phases before Peter Tiberio was held up in-goal. Two 5-meter scrums by the Seawolves later, Coetzee scored in the right corner to cut the lead to 23-10 as Brock Staller’s kick from touch was wide.
The Seawolves went through multiple phases but were penalized for diving over at the breakdown. The Legion elected to kick at goal, but Dylan Audsley’s attempt was short.
The Seawolves attacked next with Jeremy Lenaerts finishing with a try to cut the lead to 23-15. The usually reliable Brock Staller then missed his third kick.
From the ensuing restart, the Legion was penalized. Augspurger disrupted the tap by Phil mack and offloaded to Jasa Veremalua for a try to push the lead to 28-15 as Audsley’s kick was wide.
Seattle then answered back after Tucker grubbed ahead to Tiberio and the ball went wide left to Mat Turner, who finished with a try. The kick was converted to cut the lead to 28-22.
After a Seattle scrum, the Seawolves were cited for leaving their feet at the breakdown, but Dylan Audsley’s kick was wide. The Legion attacked after the ensuing 22-meter drop going through multiple phases before an errant pass went into touch deep in Seawolves territory.
With two minutes remaining in the match, the Legion stole a Seawolves lineout. They then executed picks to kill the remaining time to end the Seawolves undefeated streak at home.
With the 28-22 win, the Legion moved to within a point of the Seawolves in the MLR standings with 26 points.
Next week the Seawolves will travel to Utah to face the Warriors on Saturday, April 5. The Legion will host Austin Elite Rugby on Sunday, April 7.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
Seattle Seawolves: 1 Olive Kilifi 2 Stephan Coetzee 3 Tim Metcher 4 Taylor Krumrei 5 Brad Tucker 6 Cam Polson 7 Eric Duechle 8 Riekert Hattingh 9 JP Smith 10 Ben Cima 11 Sequoyah Burke-Combs 12 Shalom Suniula (C)13 William Rasileka 14 Peter Tiberio 15 Brock Staller 16 Dan Trierweiler17 Kellen Gordon18 John Hayden 19 Jérémy Lenaerts 20 Aladdin Schirmer 21 Phil Mack 22 Joey Iosefa 23 Mat Turner
San Diego Legion: 1 Faka’osi Pifeleti 2 Deon Muir 3 Paddy Ryan (VC) 4 Lou Stanfill 5 Keni Nasoqeqe 6 Jasa Veremalua 7 Psalm Wooching 8 Jordan Manihera 9 Nate Augspurger 10 Joe Pietersen (C) 11 Ryan Matyas 12 JP du Plessis 13 Dylan Audsley 14 Conor Kearns 15 Mike Te’o16 Kapeli Pifeleti 17 Nathan Sylvia 18 Aaron Mitchell 19 Siaosi Mahoni 20 Drew Gaffney 21 Nick Boyer 22 Tai Enosa 23 Kyle Rogers + Head Coach Rob Hoadley