The Utah Warriors lost a seesaw match 48-36 to the Seattle Seawolves on Friday, April 5 at Zions Bank Stadium, Herriman, UT.
The Utah Warriors are in 8th place with a 1-1-6 record with 10 points with the Seattle Seawolves in 3rd place with a 6-0-3 record and 32 points.
The Seattle Seawolves took an early lead on a Brock Staller penalty kick. The wind was a major factor and Mat Turner held the ball on several kicking attempts.
The Utah Warriors answered back with Tim O’Malley slotting a kick to level the match at 3 all.
The Seawolves answered back with a no-look pass by Shalom Suniula to Brock Staller for a try in the right corner. Staller then added a conversion for a 10-3 lead.
The Warriors struck quickly after a break by Gannon Moore and an offload to Franco Van den Berg for a try and a conversion by O’Malley to knot the match at 10 all. They struck again from close range with Fets Vainikolo grounding and O’Malley again slotting the kick for a 17-10 lead.
The Seawolves then attacked to within 5-meters of the line, however, a late hit on Brock Staller as he went into touch reversed Utah having the ball. Seattle did not score then, but on their subsequent attack, Brad Tucker scored after a lineout with Staller converting to level at 17 all. Then Gannon Moore had another break with Nolan Tuamoheloa finishing for a Warrior 22-17 lead.
Utah went through multiple phases and moved to within a meter of the tryline, but was penalized for holding on, allowing the Seawolves to clear. The Seawolves then went to within 5-meters of the line, but a knock on ended the attack and the half.
Utah’s momentum continued early in the second half with another Moore break with an offload to O’Malley for his first MLR try, a bonus point one. After his conversion, the Warriors led 29-17.
On the ensuing restart, Don Pati stepped on the touchline and the Seawolves answered with a try by Brad Tucker from the lineout. Staller slotted the kick to cut the lead to 29-24. An assist by Tucker led to a Sequoyah Burke-Combs try to level the match at 29 all before Staller’s kick claimed the lead for good 31-29.
Tries by Stephan Coetzee and Riekert Hattingh pushed the lead to 43-29 after Staller added a conversion to the latter try.
The Warriors showed their resolve with a try by Josh Whippy, who grounded the ball on the post padding. O’Malley then slotted the kick to bring the match to within a converted try, 43-36.
The ensuing restart was taken by Dion Crowder, but a penalty for holding on allowed Utah to clear. The Warriors attacked to within 15-meters of the line, but the ball went forward when Josh Whippy went into contact and Mat Turner sealed the win with an 85-meter try for a 48-36 win.
Both teams had their high point total of the season. The Seawolves kept pace with the league leaders and are in third place with 32 points with point differential separating them from second place Rugby United New York.
The Warriors will look at the positives and try to build on them for the rest of the season. No team can be overlooked.
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
Utah Warriors: 1 Franco Van den Berg 2 Jeremy Leber 3 Angus Maclellan 4 Saia Uhila 5 Matt Jensen 6 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 3 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