Second Half Hat Trick Not Enough Against Los Angeles in Inaugural Match Up


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (March 28, 2021) - The Seattle Seawolves traveled to Los Angeles to face the LA Giltinis in their first-ever clash. Although Seattle was eager to make a better statement from week one, a slow start was capitalized on by the home team and proved too high of a score margin to climb back from, losing 26-57 to Los Angeles.

The Giltinis kicked off to Seattle and wasted no time, scoring in the 3rd minute of play after a penalty against Seattle allowed for strong field position. The kick was missed, 5-0 Los Angeles. In similar fashion, Seattle was called for offsides and Los Angeles set up another scoring opportunity, scoring off their line out play and making the kick after in the 5th minute, 12-0 Los Angeles. Kicking between both sides saw Seattle wing Aaron Matthews with a strong carry but into an isolated situation and Los Angeles drew another penalty. After winning the line out though, flyhalf Ben Cima kicked to touch to relieve pressure and with the line out to Los Angeles, they pulled off a third try from their set piece. Kick was good, 19-0 Los Angeles at the 13th minute. Possession finally came Seattle’s way as Los Angeles had back-to-back penalties, and a third followed, leading to a yellow card to the Giltinis. A scrum in Los Angeles’ red zone allowed center George Barton to carry hard and prompted a chance for captain and number eight Riekert Hattingh to score a try under the sticks, earning an automatic seven points with the new MLR law variation this year. 7-19 Los Angeles at the 20th minute. More of an even contest was on display until the 29th minute, when Los Angeles blocked a kick that bounced into Seattle’s try zone for Los Angeles to touch it down for their fourth try of the night. 7-26, Los Angeles. Building off momentum, the Giltinis would add two more tries to their scoresheet before half time, 7-38 Los Angeles at the half.

Seattle kicked off to Los Angeles the second half and was stalled chances for possession by penalties and handling errors in the first 10 minutes. Los Angeles showed no mercy and scored twice more at the 47th and 50th minute, 7-50 Los Angeles. Seattle made five substitutions at the 52nd minute after seeing no progress from the first half and sparked successful attacking efforts by doing so. Seattle turned a Los Angeles penalty into points, after a successful mauling drive earned replacement hooker James Malcolm his first try for the club on his MLR debut. 12-50 Los Angeles at the 54th minute. In what may be a world record, and surely a MLR one, the next nine minutes of play saw Malcolm score two more tries at the 60th and 63rd minute of play after solid performances phase after phase. Cima added two more, 26-50 Los Angeles. Ahead of Seattle’s third try, Los Angeles had another player yellow carded and sent off the pitch for 10 minutes. The huge comeback effort from Seattle came to an end as Los Angeles took the reins back and ended up scoring one final try at the 73rd minute after their 15th player reentered the match. Making the kick after, final score was 26-57 Los Angeles.

With a try from Hattingh in the first half and three from debutant James Malcolm in the second, Seattle earned a four-try bonus point to add the West Conference standings. Seattle head into MLR Week 3 with a BYE and hope to regroup and see a few key front row players back from injury before heading to Salt Lake City Utah to face a 2-0 Utah Warriors side Saturday, April 10 at 6:00 PM PT. Local and regional viewers can watch via ROOT SPORTS, and all domestic and international viewers can tune in on The Rugby Network.

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