The San Diego Legion will face NOLA Gold Rugby in a rematch of the Legion’s May 5th 26-19 win. This time, finishing first or second place is a motivating factor for the Legion while making the playoffs is at stake for NOLA Gold.
The kickoff is at 4:30 pm (7:30 pm ET) at Torero Stadium in San Diego. Tickets are available and the match is being streamed on ESPN+ and broadcast on Fox 5, San Diego.
There are five teams in the MLR contending for four spots in the playoffs. The San Diego Legion (57 points) has claimed one of the spots, but New York, Toronto, Seattle, and NOLA Gold also have 53 points.
Should there be a tie in standings points, the team with the most wins and then point differential are tiebreakers. For a complete picture of tiebreakers see MLR Standings.
Toronto, New York, Seattle, and New Orleans can solve the playoff picture with wins. Either the Toronto Arrows or Rugby United New York can advance with a win, but a tie or obtaining a bonus point could also advance both teams based on the results between San Diego and New Orleans and between Seattle and Austin Elite Rugby. Bryan Ray explained the playoff scenarios in American Rugby News.
NOLA Gold Rugby needs either a win to gain the playoffs or bonus point scenarios could come into play. The Legion wants to finish in first-place in Major League Rugby, which would secure home field throughout the playoffs, should they win against NOLA Gold and also in the Playoff Semifinals.
The match between San Diego Legion and NOLA Gold Rugby Club features the Legion’s first-ranked defense and NOLA Gold’s second-ranked offense. Both teams score points with the Legion averaging 28 points per match to almost 29 for NOLA Gold.
San Diego spends 54% of the time in their opponent’s territory to 45% for New Orleans. That has not stopped NOLA Gold from counterattack scores from anywhere on the field. The same, however, may be said for the Legion.
In set pieces, the teams are even in winning their own scrums 88% to 87%, while Gold has an edge in lineouts 82% to 87%. Both teams score frequently with NOLA Gold scoring more tries, but conceding tries more often. The Legion has utilized penalty goals more frequently in team tactics.
With playoff implications at stake, expect a match with scores in the 20s. The Legion needs a win, but NOLA Gold will attack to the end to win and/or to gain valuable bonus points, which may make a difference for NOLA Gold should the team lose.
While matchday rosters for the game are not available yet, the team’s roster for their last match is listed below.
San Diego Legion vs Utah Warriors: 1 Faka’osi Pifeleti 2 Kapeli Pifeleti 3 Dino Waldren 4 Lou Stanfill 5 Keni Nasoqeqe (VC) 6 Jasa Veremalua 7 Drew Gaffney 8 Jordan Manihera 9 Nate Augspurger (C) 10 Tai Enosa 11 Nick Boyer 12 Conor Kearns 13 JP Duplessis14 Save Totovosau 15 Mike Te’o16 Pat Blair17 Nathan Sylvia 18 Paddy Ryan 19 Siaosi Mahoni 20 Devin Short 21 Nick Lupian 22 Kyle Rogers 23 Will Holder + Head Coach Rob Hoadley
NOLA Gold vs RUNY: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Eric Howard (C) 3 Alex Maughan 4 Kane Thompson 5 Nikola Bursic 6 Ignacio Dotti 7 Zack Stryffeler 8 Cam Dolan 9 Holden Yungert 10 Scott Gale 11 Nick Feakes 12 Con Foley 13 Tristan Blewett 14 Tim Maupin 15 JP Eloff (VC) 16 Matt Harmon 17 Cam Falcon18 Kevin Sullivan 19 John Sullivan 20 Moni Tongauiha 21 Michael Baska 22 Taylor Howden 23 Tadhg Leader + Head Coach Nate Osborne