Seattle Stuns San Diego in Final Seconds to Defend MLR Title
In a heartbreaking loss, the San Diego Legion was stunned 26-23 late in the Major League Rugby title game Sunday at Torero Stadium.
The defending champion Seattle Seawolves made a dramatic comeback after San Diego’s Joe Pietersen kicked a 3-pointer to pace the multinational Legion to a 23-19 lead after trailing 14-6 at halftime.
“We knew it would come down to the 80th (and final) minute,” said first-year Seattle coach Richie Walker, who coached women’s national teams at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center.
Up to that point, it appeared the Legion had secured the MLR Shield, the league championship trophy, on their home turf at the University of San Diego’s stadium.
After trailing at the half, the Legion inched their way back, finally taking the lead 20-14, only for the SeaWolves to climb back close at 20-19.
The flurry of action continued as the Legion added a cushion, extending their lead to 23-19 with two minutes to play.
A Legion penalty (a high tackle around the neck against Seattle’s Brock Staller) led to the scrum, after the 80th minute, that produced the final score.
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