When the score was 3-16 favor of the Glendale Raptors, the Seattle Seawolves had a chance to come back Saturday, April 28, and win their second game of their inaugural Major League Rugby professional season.
Just two tries and two conversions, and they would have a one point win, 17-16.
Wouldn’t that be exciting?
And Vili Toluta’u obliged with a second-half try and Brock Staller hit the conversion for a 10-16 score. One more try, one more conversion and the deed would be done.
It would be a reversal of how things had gone for most of the game for the Seawolves. The Glendale defense kept the Seattle backs penned up, and Seattle’s speedsters resorted to more kicks than the crowd would have liked. But when playing in your own end, kicking is usually the best way out of trouble. The Seattle running game mostly ended with the rain-slicked ball slipping through Seawolves’ hands (flippers?).
Two penalty kicks by Will Magie of the Raptors and a try by Zach Fenoglio had the Colorado team up 11-0 before Staller opened Seawolves’ scoring right before half with a penalty kick.
In the second half, the man with the best name in American pro rugby, Harley Davidson, added five with his try to get the game to that hopeful moment for the Seawolves.
But after the try by Toluta’u, who had been all over the field all night on defense and with the ball, Magie added another penalty kick that doused Seattle hopes like the heavy falling rain.
A try at the final whistle by George Barton closed the scoring and the game at 19-15 for Glendale.
The Seawolves have a bye next week and then are at New Orleans on May 12. On May 20, they return to Starfire Stadium in Tukwila to face the Utah Warriors and then the New Orleans Gold at home on May 27.
Two of my favorite things from the game Saturday: Just before the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, a V of geese flew over the stadium right over the color guard, a perfect flyover for the Pacific Northwest.
I also liked that the crowd sang the national anthem. That’s the way it should be done instead of having some professional do it while the crowd waits to see if the singer can hit the high notes at the end. The person beside me in the stands said our version Saturday sounded like a round with one side of the field coming in behind the other side, but hey, we raised our voices instead of shuffling from one leg to the other.