Perfect Staller Not Enough in D.C., Seattle Comes Up Short Against Old Glory


Photo by Old Glory D.C./Gjeterhund Photography

Washington, D.C. — Another road match for Seattle saw the club’s first trip to 2020 Major League Rugby additions, Old Glory D.C. Despite another full 80-minute effort, a second half comeback for the Seattle Seawolves was once again stalled by the home team.


Old Glory kicked off the first half and shortly followed with the first points of the game after a loose ball ended up in the hands of D.C.’s fly half. The kick was no good, 5-0 Old Glory. A chance for a Seattle attack to be strung together dwindled after a not releasing penalty was called against the Seawolves. Old Glory opted to kick for a penalty and was successful. 8-0, Old Glory. Seattle was able to find some energy after an exit kick by D.C. was fielded by Seattle’s back three and passed out to wing David Busby for a 30-meter carry. After back to back penalties, wing Brock Staller called for the kicking tee for a penalty attempt. Staller slotted his first of many on the day, 3-8 Old Glory. Applying pressure in the scrum, Seattle set their set piece stature early on as the ball moved to the forwards. Old Glory was called for a dangerous tackle on captain Riekert Hattingh which gave Staller another easy choice to go for points and converted his second, 6-8 Old Glory. Old Glory responded with another try from their back line after back-and-forth possession changes. Kick no good, 6-13 Old Glory. A string of penalties committed by Old Glory set up inside center George Barton crashing across the gain line as the third penalty was called. Staller went for his third penalty attempt and stayed perfect, 9-13 Old Glory to end the first half.


Fly half Scott Dean kicked off the second half and was collected by Seattle forwards. An unlucky knock on followed, giving possession back to Old Glory with a scrum. A penalty at the set piece again D.C. gave Seattle a chance to narrow the gap. Staller made his fourth kick of the day to add three more, 12-13 Old Glory. Momentum continued to build for Seattle as the ball moved side to side across the field that put Old Glory on the back foot, setting up eight-man Riekert Hattingh to score Seattle’s sole try of the match. Staller added another two on his fifth strike of the game as the Seawolves took the lead, 19-13 Seattle. Continued pressure forced a steal by prop Djustice Sears-Duru but Old Glory snatched possession back with an intercepted pass. The ball carrier was caught by flanker Nakai Penny just shy of the try zone, but the referee deemed Penny’s attempt to steal the ball cynical and showed him a yellow card for 10 minutes in the sin bin. D.C. opted for points, 16-19 Seattle. Old Glory was called for offsides in open play after a big carry by inside center Joey Iosefa giving Staller another chance to extend Seattle’s lead. The wing converted his sixth, 16-22 Seattle. The home side was able to muster up the ball for a series of attacking play that led to a lucky bounce landing in D.C.’s hands for a try in the corner and a converted kick. Old Glory regained the lead, 22-23 at the 60. 15 minutes of play saw possession changes from kicks and turnovers at the scrum for both sides before Old Glory’s man of the match spotted a gap in the defense for a D.C. try. The kick after was missed, 22-28 Old Glory. Heading into the final minutes of the game, Seattle was able to climb back into Old Glory’s half. A final scrum set up an attempt to score by the Seawolves, but it was called held up by the referee and ended the game. Full time, Old Glory 28-22.


The Seattle Seawolves come back to Tukwila for a three-week home game series starting with the home opener on February 22 against the Toronto Arrows. The match will be broadcast on CBS Sports regionally and domestically while international viewers can tune in to Major League Rugby’s Facebook at 7:00 pm PST.