The following is a press release from the Seattle Seawolves.
The Seattle Seawolves returned to Starfire Stadium to another sold-out crowd. The Seawolves faced the Toronto Arrows for their first-ever matchup. The Arrows are one of the two newest additions to Major League Rugby, and the only Canadian team in the league. The boisterous home crowd supported the Seawolves to a 35-30 win over the Arrows.
Ben Cima kicked things off for the Seawolves and both teams traded off possessions, in a foreshadow for the game to come. Toronto found their way to a try seven minutes into the game as they found a gap in the Seawall. The Seawolves drove down the pitch in response and kicked for points, but the kick was no good. The Seawolves took their next opportunity with a huge driving scrum down the pitch. Phil Mack’s leadership assisted the forwards, and Oli Kilifi found his way over the try line. At the 16th minute the game was tied up, 7-7.
Toronto muscled their way down the pitch and after many failed attempts, they found their way into the try zone. But the Seawolves didn’t let them keep their lead for long, as Eric “The Beast” Duechle charged through a gap off the breakdown for a second Seawolves try followed by a conversion from Brock Staller. 14-14 was on the board at 31 minutes. Shortly after, a penalty call on the Seawolves during a Toronto lineout gave Toronto a penalty kick opportunity they converted on. 14-17 Toronto with five minutes left in the half. Once again the Seawolves struck back with their own penalty kick and the score was tied up at 17-17 going into halftime.
Toronto kicked things off with strong phases and a quick try, driving up the score even more in an action-packed game. Shortly after, a penalty call on the Seawolves gave Toronto another penalty kick. 17-27 Toronto at the start of the second half. Seattle faced an additional offsides call giving Toronto yet another penalty kick. Despite the intense noise of the crowd, Toronto was able to split the uprights and brought the score to 17-30. But the Seawolves weren’t done fighting. They powered down the pitch with steady phases and a strong run from Brad Tucker allowed him to dish a pass to Shalom Suniula for a try. The crowd went wild as the score was raised to 24-30 Toronto after Staller converted his kick.
The team built on their momentum with another string of aggressive phases and Cima spotted a gap in the defense to sail through for another five. Staller missed the kick by inches so it remained a one-point game at 29-30 to Toronto. The momentum remained strong for Seattle and they were awarded a penalty after Ben Cima attempted a drop goal. Seawolves took the lead to 32-20 at the 76th minute with another successful Staller attempt.
In the final minute of the game, Seattle kept on the front foot of their attack as Starfire Stadium experienced déjà vu, with Cima attempting another drop goal with advantage on their side. The attempt was no good but Staller continued his consistency adding another three points to their narrow lead. 35-30 Seawolves to end the game.
The Seawolves continue to hunt at home at Starfire Stadium, facing other 2019 league newcomer Rugby United New York on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. PST.