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San Diego Legion End RUNY Home Winning Streak as Brock Staller Becomes First with Multiple Player of the Week Honors

April 16, 2019 - Major League Rugby (MLR) News Release

Salt Lake City, UT; April 16, 2019: On Sunday night, the San Diego Legion battled RUNY in MCU Park and became the first team to leave New York victorious, winning 29-19 and earning the Week 12 Team of the Week Award. Seattle Seawolves wing Brock Staller spearheaded a 52-point offensive onslaught in victory over the Houston SaberCats, scooping Week 12 Player of the Week and becoming the 2019 season's first two-time award winner.

Rugby United had yet to lose at home in their inaugural season, relying on one of the stingiest defenses in the league. Seven minutes into Sunday's match, the San Diego Legion faced an early 12-0 deficit on the road in a game with huge playoff implications. But after half-time, the esteemed San Diego defense exerted control and swung the match, not allowing a single second-half point. The Californians' well-rounded offensive unit won 100-percent of their scrums and saw five different players score a try, Joe Pietersen's show-and-go solo effort a particular highlight. The Legion climb to third in the standings with the win, propelled by the league's best point differential. Meanwhile, RUNY are on the outside looking in for the playoffs following the loss, sitting at fifth.

The Houston SaberCats and Seattle Seawolves played out a tight opening half at the newly opened AVEVA Stadium, only the second full-time rugby venue in the United States. But the second half was the Brock Staller show. After drilling two penalty kicks to extend Seattle's lead to 19-5, in the 57th minute the speedy Staller intercepted an errant offload and ran over untouched from 60 meters for his fifth try of the season. By the final whistle, Staller had accumulated 22 points, a 2019 MLR single game record, and stuffed the stat sheet in the Seawolves' 52-10 victory, piling up 127 meters on nine carries, four conversions, three penalty kicks and a try. Staller tops the league by a sizable margin in individual points scored, recording 128 points so far, 17 points ahead of second place JP Eloff of the NOLA Gold. This is Staller's second MLR Player of the Week Award of the season, the first occurring in Week 5.

MLR's First XV of Week 12:

Loosehead Prop (No. 1), Kellen Gordon, Seattle Seawolves

Hooker (No. 2), Pat O'Toole, Houston SaberCats

Tighthead Prop (No. 3), Paddy Ryan, San Diego Legion

Lock (No. 4), Lou Stanfill, San Diego Legion

Lock (No. 5), Nate Brakeley, Rugby United New York

Blindside Flanker (No. 6), Lance Williams, Utah Warriors

Openside Flanker (No. 7), Nakai Penny, Seattle Seawolves

No. 8, Cam Dolan, NOLA Gold

Scrum-half (No. 9), Mike Petri, Rugby United New York

Fly-half (No. 10), Joe Pietersen, San Diego Legion

Wing (No. 11), Ryan Matyas, San Diego Legion

Inside Center (No. 12), Shalom Suniula, Seattle Seawolves

Outside Center (No. 13), Tristan Blewett, NOLA Gold

Wing (No. 14), Brock Staller, Seattle Seawolves

Fullback (No. 15), JP Eloff, NOLA Gold

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