Seattle SeaWolves Win Inaugural MLR Championship
July 8, 2018 - Major League Rugby (MLR) News Release
SAN DIEGO - The Seattle Seawolves defeated the Glendale Raptors, 23-19, to win the inaugural MLR Championship and claim America's Championship Shield at Torero Stadium in San Diego.
The opening 40 minutes proved to be a defensive battle with the Seawolves taking an 8-7 lead into the break.
Glendale, who had shown a knack to open up the scoring in the second half all season, did just that as they jumped out a 19-8 lead courtesy of strong driving mauls and capitalizing on Seattle turnovers.
That is when Seattle's trademarked 'SeaWall' defense kicked in. Outside centre William Rasileka and eight-man Riekert Hattingh put together consecutive tries for a one-point lead, 20-19. A penalty kick for good measure was all the Seawolves needed to upset the top-ranked Raptors.
Seattle's Vili Toluta'u was named Most Valuable Player. Toluta'u put forth a strong 70-minute effort as the bedrock of the 'SeaWall.' The flanker was always in the mix jackalling the ball in the ruck, finding a Glendale ball-carrier to tackle and placing his teammates in a position to gain the upper hand and achieve victory.
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