Utah Warriors vs Seattle Seawolves: 2019 MLR Preview

The Utah Warriors host the Seattle Seawolves on Friday, April 5 at 7 pm MT (9 pm ET) at Zions Bank Stadium, Herriman, UT.  Tickets are still available and the match will be broadcast on ESPN+, KMYU, and on Root Sports.

The Utah Warriors are in 8th place with a 1-1-5 record with 9 points with the Seattle Seawolves in 4th place with a 5-0-3 record and 27 points.

Match Comments

Utah Warriors Head Coach Alf Daniels has kept his starters intact and made one change in the reserves with Josh Whippy in for Jeremy Misaiegalu.

Seattle Saracens Head Coach Richie Walker has made six changes with Kellen Gordon, Jeremy Lenaerts, Nakai Penny,Phil Mack,  Joey Iosefa, and Mat Turner starting at loosehead prop, lock, flanker, scrum half, outside center (debut), and fullback, respectively.

In the reserves, Djustice Sears-Duru debuts with the team at prop and Api Naikatini, Roland Suniula, and Dion Crowder return to the matchday squad.

When looking at team statistics, the Seattle Seawolves at the 5th ranked offensive team and 3rd defensively, while the Utah Warriors are 7th offensively and 8th defensively. The defensive ranking dropped after last week after meeting the Toronto Arrows.

The Warriors defense is aggressive in coverage with an 81% gainline over % vs 74% for the Seawolves. The Warriors average 9 penalties per match vs 8.3 for the Seawolves. The Warriors are more likely to commit infringements in the scrum, tackle, and then being offsides, while the Seawolves tackle infringements exceed the Warriors, with scrum and offsides penalties following. In the set pieces, the teams are even in winning lineouts, while the Seawolves have better retention in the scrums, 96% to 83%.

Statistics aside, the Utah Warriors will need to maintain possession, use tactical kicking to keep the ball in the Seawolves territory and to try to get an early lead. The Seawolves have not been as effective on the road with a 1-2 road record. Both teams have excellent kickers and can punish mistakes.

The Seawolves score more tries, which are then usually converted, and concede fewer than the Warriors. Seattle will likely try to test the Warriors early to take a lead with tries when scoring opportunities are available. The match will be a physical one with some excellent counterattacks expected from both sides.

Squads with Player Article Links

Utah Warriors: 1 Franco Van den Berg 2 Jeremy Leber 3 Angus Maclellan 4 Saia Uhila 5 Matt Jensen Jackson Kaka 7 Lance Williams 8 John Cullen (VC) 9 Johnny Ika 10 Josh Reeves 11Fetu’u Vanikolo 12 Tim O’Malley (C) 13 Gannon Moore 14 Tonata Lauti 15 Don Pati 16 Blake Burdette 17 Huluhola Moungaloa 18 Ara Elkington 19 Arthur Bergo 20 Alex Tucci 21 Nolan Tuamoheloa 22 Josh Whippy 23 Joseph Nicholls + Head Coach Alf Daniels

Seattle Seawolves: 1 Kellen Gordon 2 Stephan Coetzee Tim Metcher 4 Jérémy Lenaerts 5 Brad Tucker 6 Cam Polson 7 Nakai Penny 8 Riekert Hattingh 9 Phil Mack  10 Ben Cima 11 Sequoyah Burke-Combs 12 Shalom Suniula (C) 13 Joey Iosefa 14 Brock Staller 15 Mat Turner 16 Dan Trierweiler17 Olive Kilifi 18 Djustice Sears-Duru 19 Apisai Naikatini 20 Eric Duechle 21 JP Smith 22 Roland Suniula 23 Dion Crowder

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant