MLR Championship | First XV
- Loosehead Prop, Djustice Sears-Duru (Seattle Seawolves) – Sears-Duru provided great stability for the Seawolves attacking platform against Paddy Ryan and the rest of the San Diego Legion scrum on their way to a 100 percent scrum rate. In the open field, he made three crunching carries for seven meters and one offload while also completing five tackles on defense.
- Hooker, Stephan Coetzee (Seattle Seawolves) – With a lightning-quick strike, the hooker scored a try following some hard work from George Barton and Samu Manoa. He woke up the champions as they would shift gears and hit hard on defense for the rest of the match. He totaled five carries for 44 meters, a line break, and 12 tackles.
- Tighthead Prop, Paddy Ryan (San Diego Legion) – When it came to running San Diego’s attack, they depended on the Wallaby to carry and break through the Seattle defense. Ryan finished with 11 carries that he turned into 50 meters. He finished the day with five tackles on defense.
- Left Lock, Api Naikatini (Seattle Seawolves) – Aside from Brad Tucker, Naikatini has been the engine behind the Seawolves powerful front row that achieved a 100 percent scrum completion rate in the Major League Rugby Championship. On attack, he made eight carries for 31 meters and eight tackles on defense.
- Right Lock, Brad Tucker (Seattle Seawolves) – Tucker has been the draft horse pulling the Seattle plow all season. With a high work rate all around the pitch, he made the Legion pay for a costly mistake as he scored the final try from a 13-man driving maul to seal Seattle’s second Major League Rugby Championship. He totaled seven carries for 31 meters and 15 tackles.
- Blindside Flanker, Samu Manoa (Seattle Seawolves) – Manoa is arguably the most experienced and decorated American player of his generation. He brought the hard hits once again with his 11 punishing tackles on San Diego ball carriers. On attack, he had four powerful carries for 20 meters and ended the day with two offloads.
- Openside Flanker, Psalm Wooching (San Diego Legion) – In the key moments for San Diego, the red scrum cap of Wooching was in clear view as he hustled around the park challenging the breakdown on defense and establishing the ruck on attack. He made six carries for 43 meters and completed eight tackles.
- No 8., Riekert Hattingh (Seattle Seawolves) – In big games, big game players show up! Hattingh led the Seawolves with 17 tackles on defense while also setting the standard on attack by running perfect lines as he found himself in the perfect position to receive a try-assist from Phil Mack late in the match. He finished with six carries for 35 meters, one try and a tackle break.
- Scrum-half, JP Smith (Seattle Seawolves) – Practice and timing. With the perfect call, Smith received the ball from Stephan Coetzee’s lineout throw in and dashed through San Diego’s defense for a try. His service created the tempo to drive the Seawolves attack throughout the match before sliding over and finishing it off at fly-half. On attack, he totaled four carries for 40 meters, a line break, and two tackle breaks. He stuffed the stat sheet with 11 tackles and nine kicks for 339 meters.
- Fly-half, Joe Pietersen (San Diego Legion) – “The Rhino” masterfully led the Legion throughout the match by putting 14 kicks in play for 545 meters to create field position for his team. In the closing minutes, he took a drop goal that went true to put San Diego ahead by four points. He scored 13 of the Legion’s 23 points and totaled five carries for 44 meters.
- Left Wing, Nick Boyer (San Diego Legion) – With the help of Jasa Veremalua, Boyer scooted in to score a try for the Legion that brought the home side within one point of the defending Champions and opened up the scoring midway through the third quarter of play. On attack, he totaled six carries for 61 meters and two line breaks to shred the Seattle defense. On defense, he completed five tackles.
- Inside Center, JP Du Plessis (San Diego Legion) – Du Plessis made his presence felt amongst the visitors with his 13 hard tackles to help contain the Seawolves attack. Around the park, he made eight carries for 50 meters, a line break, and one tackle break in a full 80 minutes of work.
- Outside Center, George Barton (Seattle Seawolves) – Every time Barton was fed the ball he rumbled through the San Diego defense. With the keen ability to find space, he made eight carries for 78 meters, a line break, a tackle break, and an offload. On defense, he completed eight punishing tackles.
- Right Wing, Brock Staller (Seattle Seawolves) – Staller skated around the park on seven carries for 54 meters and one tackle break. He also displayed his wide variety of skills by putting down two kicks in play for 82 meters. On defense, he completed three key tackles to stop the physical recycling of the San Diego attack. He made three of four conversions for six points.
- Fullback, Mat Turner (Seattle Seawolves) – Turner, the new father, displayed his decade of experience by finding the right line on defense to complete five tackles. He made four carries for 22 meters on attack while also changing up the field position with 103 meters-worth of kicks.
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