Warriors come up short to the Seawolves
Herriman, Utah — Despite a last-minute push, the Utah Warriors came up short to the Seattle Seawolves, 15-20. This is the first time the teams have met in just over a year, due to the cancelation of the 2020 Major League Rugby (MLR) season.
Matt Jensen intercepted a Seattle pop pass in the fifth minute, giving the Warriors momentum.
The Warriors controlled the pace of the game in the first several minutes of the half. However, a series of penalties called on them kept them from capitalizing. In the 14th minute, the Seawolves had a breakaway run to score the first try of the game. With a successful conversion kick, the score became 0-7.
Utah had a series of successful lineouts, allowing them to make their way into the Seattle 22. In the 18th minute, a Seattle player was issued a yellow card, giving Utah an advantage. They had successful scrums and were able to get on the board with a penalty try, 7-7.
After 10 minutes of back-and-forth possession, the Seawolves showed their passing skills, making their way to the try zone. An unsuccessful conversion kept them in the lead, 7-12.
Warriors’ scrum-half Fraser Hurst received a yellow card in the 36th minute. With Utah down a man, the Seawolves had the advantage. However, after a penalty on Seattle in the scrum, the Warriors took back possession and made their way down the field.
The battle for possession continued. After a missed pass on Seattle’s end, their number 14, Juan-Philip Smith, chased it down and scooped it up right before it rolled out of bounds. Josh Whippy came in for the tackle, and the two crashed over the line.
Smith was severely injured and required immediate medical attention. The Warriors team was found on the field huddled up, on a knee, saying a prayer for the Seawolf. Smith was then wheeled off the field on a stretcher but flashed a shaka to the crowd.
The two teams resumed play for only a few short minutes before the halftime whistle.
Early into the second half, the Seawolves attempted a penalty kick from around mid-field. The kick hit the post and bounced back onto the field, where the Warriors gained possession. However, the ball was quickly turned over to Seattle, and a penalty on the Seawolves shortly after allowed the Warriors to kick into touch.
A few minutes later, Seattle had a successful penalty kick, advancing their lead, 7-15.
The two teams continued to battle for possession, and a breakaway run by Joe Mano reignited the momentum for Utah. After a series of successful passes, Cliven Loubser evaded Seattle’s defense to put it down in the far right corner. After a tough and unsuccessful conversion kick, the score became 12-15.
The Warriors had great momentum following their try. An impressive kick across the field by Schulte landed in Mano’s hands again. He had a strong run and dove into the try zone, but the referees called him out of bounds when he caught the ball. The try did not count, and the battle continued.
A strong maul effort by Utah brought them to the outskirts of the try zone. A series of passes lead to Lance Williams pushing his way toward the try zone where he touched the ball to the post. However, there was no try called, and the Warriors were awarded a penalty. Schulte’s successful penalty kick tied up the score, 15-15.
In the 67th minute, Seattle scored a try but had another unsuccessful conversion kick, bringing the score to 15-20.
Loubser had a standout breakaway run in the 76th minute. After a series of lineout wins, strong mauls, and successful passes, the Warriors put themselves at the edge of the try zone. A penalty on Seattle allowed the Warriors to kick the ball into touch, but they could not capitalize.
During that line out, Seattle received a yellow card and won the following line out. A penalty on Utah brought the clock down to the last minute. The Seawolves kicked into touch at the whistle, ending the game at 15-20, in favor of Seattle.
“I thought it was a good game,” Mano said. “We’ve been working so hard this week so we could get physical with these guys. I’m just bummed we came up short.”
“It was a bit tough to swallow, especially with us doing so well in the first two games,” Utah Warriors assistant coach Shaun Davies said. “We’ve got a bit of a slump, but hopefully we can address some things this coming week and can be in a really positive place going into San Diego.”
The Warriors travel to San Diego next weekend to face off with the Legion. The Saturday match begins at 5:00 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast live on CBSSN. Warriors fans can also listen in on ESPN 700 and 960.
14’ SEA 5, 2
21’ Penalty try 7 (UTAH)
31’ SEA 5
HALFTIME: Utah — 7 Seattle — 12
47’ SEA 3
56’ Loubser 5 (UTAH)
64’ Schulte 3 (UTAH)
67’ SEA 5
FINAL SCORE: Utah — 15 Seattle — 20
Utah Warriors Gameday Roster:
- Franco van den Berg (67’ Tucci)
- Tuvere Vugakoto (50’ Gough)
- Angus Maclellan (63’ Kilifi)
- Jurie Van Vuuren
- Matt Jensen
- Thomas Tu’avao (69’ Gieselman)
- Bailey Wilson (C)
- Lance Williams
- Fraser Hurst
- Hagen Schulte
- Josh Whippy (50’ Mano)
- Calvin Whiting
- Mika Kruse
- Mikey Te’o (VC)
- Cliven Loubser
- Chad Gough
- Alex Tucci
- Olive Kilifi
- James Mocke
- Mike Gieselman
- Danny Christensen
- Derek Ellingson
- Joe Mano
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