Seattle Fall in 90-Minute Major League Rugby Battle with Utah

11-Mar-2020

Tukwila, Washington – Western Conference #3 Seattle Seawolves hosted #2 Utah Warriors in their second conference match of the season at Starfire Stadium. A close match for the entire duration of game play saw an extra 10 minutes of play that allowed Utah to boldly push for the winning try. 

First Half:

Seattle kicked off to Utah to begin the game, applying pressure straight out the gates and rewarded for it with a try from Hooker Mike Shepherd at the 4-minute mark. Flyhalf Ben Cima tacked on another two points, 7-0 Seattle. Utah fired right back with a forward try of their own at the 12th minute. Kick was good, 7-7. The physicality of the match increased as minutes went on, but Seattle was able to dot down once more after a penalty against Utah set up a Seattle line out that led to a Captain Riekert Hattingh try. Cima slotted another, 14-7 Seattle at the 26th minute. Forced errors and strong defense kept the score locked up heading into the locker rooms.

Second Half:

The Warriors kicked off deep into Seattle’s half, setting up a chance to exit by the Seawolves. A penalty to Utah gave the visitors a chance to enter Seattle territory and maintain possession for enough phases to muscle over for a try. Kick was good, 14-14 at the 44th minute. A penalty this time goes against the Warriors after an attempt to exit play and Cima kicked down field to Utah’s five-meter line for a line out. The mauling drive allowed substitute Hooker Stephan Coetzee to dive over for a try. Cima nailed the kick from the sidelines, 21-14 Seattle. An overthrow in the line out allowed Seattle to get their hands back on the ball, but a penalty at the tackle breakdown. Utah kicked to touch and set up another successful line-out drive and the Warriors peeled off for a try. Povey converted his kick, tying up the game for the third time 21-21. Pressure from the kickoff chase saw Flanker Eric Duechle tipped the ball back and Seattle collected it for a kick that rolled out of bounds. Utah attempted a mauling efforted that was stalled by Seattle as Lock Brad Tucker came out with the ball. The Warriors’ scrumhalf was called offsides and allowed Cima to kick to touch for a Seawolves line out. Quick play for the set piece saw Hattingh over for his second try of the match and a bonus point for the team. Cima stayed perfect on his kicks, 28-21 Seattle at the 60th minute. Kicking efforts from both sides ended in a knock on by Seattle in the tackle. Back-to-back to scrums gave Utah a shot but a not straight line out gave the ball back to Seattle. Inside Center Joey Iosefa carried hard for 10 meters before scrumhalf JP Smith kicked the ball up field with an attempted offensive series by Utah slowed down by two knocked on balls. A messy line out by the home team gave the ball back to Utah and the Seattle defense had to get to work. After an attempt to steal the ball, Coetzee was shown a yellow card for hands in the ruck. Playing down a person, the Seattle scrum got set to defend their own try line and with a penalty against Seattle, the referee awarded a penalty try to Utah. 28-28 at the 77th minute. On the kickoff, Utah tried to clear the ball and missed the sideline, allowing Seattle to continue play. Another strong carry by Iosefa put Utah on their back foot, forcing a penalty and giving Wing Brock Staller a shot at the posts. The 2019 Major League Rugby Top Points Scorer slotted a crucial three points for the lead late in the game, 31-28 Seattle 80th minute. Seattle collected the final kick off, but a penalty at the breakdown allowed Utah back in the game. Instead of going for the tie, the Warriors kicked to touch for a line out. A series of four penalties against Seattle kept the game going for an additional 10 minutes, pushing the Seawolves back on their line. Despite the best efforts from Seattle, Utah finally scored in the corner at the 90th minute. Kick was missed but the Warriors walked away with the win, 31-33 Utah.

FINAL SCORE: Seattle 31, Utah 33

Next Hunt:

The Seattle Seawolves (1-4) are back on the road next week to New York to take on Rugby United New York. The game will be streamed LIVE domestically on ESPN+ at 12:00 pm PST and delayed on ROOT SPORTS NW regionally at 4:00 pm PST. International fans can tune in live on Major League Rugby’s Facebook page.