Photo by Pete Marney


The Seawolves spent their BYE week training and preparing on the East Coast to take on Rugby United New York in a pivotal game for playoff contention. The Seawolves have been slow to start in the past but a huge first half showed that the Seawolves are prepared for a strong end to the season and ready to fight for another Major League Rugby title. The last twenty minutes of the game tested the Seawolves defensive wall, but they held strong for the win over RUNY.


RUNY kicked off at their home pitch in Brooklyn. The Seawolves soaked up pressure in the first ten minutes of the game but were able to turn the momentum with kicks up the pitch. Mat Turner spotted a gap in the defense and soared through to dot it down right between the posts which gave Brock Staller an easy conversion, 7-0 Seawolves. The Seawolves won the kick cleanly and took it out wide to the backs. Riekert Hattingh found another gap in RUNY’s defense and landed right under the posts once again, reaching for a second Seawolves try, and another successful conversion, 14-0 Seawolves. Within minutes, the Seawolves were in possession once again and Ben Cima moved the ball out to Mat Turner who cleared all of RUNY’s defense with his fast footwork for a third Seawolves try. Staller was three for three on kicks which brought the score to 21-0 Seawolves.


Gameplay moved quickly as RUNY charged down the pitch with the help of some penalties on the Seawolves. RUNY took the Seawolves by surprise with a quick tap and dove in under the posts for their first points of the game. The kick was good, 21-7. At the end of the first half an offsides call against RUNY gave Staller a chance to snag a few more points with a penalty kick. Staller’s fourth kick was good, 24-7 Seawolves. With less than a minute left in the half Shalom Suniula cleared through the defense and dished the ball to JP Smith who was away for another centered try. Staller converted again and the Seawolves went into the half up 31-7 and secured a bonus point for four tries.


Ben Cima kicked off the second half for the Seawolves. RUNY’s defense looked more structured to take on the Seawolves in the second half. A smart kick-pass on RUNY’s behalf set them up a try. The kick was good, 31-14 at minute 47. Another series of quick offensive plays gave RUNY another try and conversion, the game grew closer to 31-21.


The Seawall was fully tested with double-digit phases and a huge hit by Cima forced a pass that Sequoyah Burke-Combs was able to collect. A knock-on call however gave RUNY a scrum. A tense ten minutes of defense for the Seawolves was saved by smart plays and Hattingh found a small gap to gain some breathing room. Burke-Combs carried into RUNY’s half of the field, George Barton squeezed through the defense, offloaded to Shalom Suniula who then dished to Phil Mack for another try. Staller cleared his sixth kick of the day, 38-21 Seawolves. RUNY answered back with a mauling try but the kick was missed. 38-26 with the Seawolves still in the lead and eight minutes left in the game. Another smart kick by RUNY in the corner and a missed tackle by the Seawolves awarded RUNY a quick try. RUNY’s conversion kick went wide again, 38-31 with four minutes remaining. In the final minute of the game, RUNY was on the edge of another try but lost the ball forward, awarding the Seawolves a scrum and Cima kicked to clear to end the game.


Seawolves beat Rugby United New York, 38-31.


Moving from 6th to 3rd place in the Major League Rugby standings with the five-point performance, Seattle’s playoff potential increases. The Seawolves continue on the road for their final away game of the regular season to take on the Glendale Raptors in Colorado on Saturday, May 18 at 3:00 PM PT. The game is the CBS Game of the Week, watch live on CBS Sports. The Seawolves return home to Starfire Stadium on Sunday, May 26 at 5:00 PM PT to take on the Utah Warriors.


Media Contact:
Alicia Richardson