Seawolves Hunt Down SaberCats in Final Match of 2021
TUKWILA, WA (July 15, 2021) – The Seattle Seawolves (3-12) hosted the Houston SaberCats (2-13) in each team’s final match of the 2021 season at Starfire Stadium. In front of a large Thursday night crowd on Fan Appreciation Night, the Seawolves raced past the SaberCats in a six-try performance, 40-21.
• Seattle put out their first unchanged roster of the season, using the same winning recipe from their win over NOLA Gold just four days before.
• Major League Rugby’s (MLR) first female lead referee, Kat Roche, took to the center of match – making history and receiving a standing ovation from the crowd at the final whistle.
• Lock Victor Comptat and scrumhalf Devereaux Ferris scored their first franchise tries for the Seawolves while hooker James Malcolm dotted down his eighth try in his breakout debut season.
• Seattle ended the season on a two-match win streak, carrying momentum into the 2022 season.Houston kicked off to Seattle to start the match, but Seattle kicked off the scoring with a dynamic team try finished off by lock Victor Comptat at the 7th minute of the match.
Fullback Kieran Joyce kicked the conversion for the extras, 7-0 Seattle. After a deep restarting kick from Houston, Seattle managed their way back into Houston’s half with a kick to touch after flanker Naulia Dawai drew the not releasing call at the ruck. A mauling effort from the line out saw Comptat on the run once more and set up fellow lock Rhyno Herbst for a try. Joyce kicked for another two points, 14-0 Seattle at the 13th minute. Strategic kicking from both sides followed before Houston lost a player for 10 minutes to the sin bin with a yellow card for foul play. Seattle capitalized on Houston’s penalties and the extra player with a third try from number eight Samu Manoa. Joyce made his third, 12-0 Seattle at the 26th minute. Continued staunch defense kept Houston out of the try zone heading into half time, 21-0 Seattle.
The Seawolves kicked off to the SaberCats for the final 40 minutes of their MLR season. Houston’s offense exploited space after a yellow card to Comptat after tackling a player off the ball, scoring with their forwards and converting the kick, 21-7 Seattle at the 48th minute. The Seawolves wasted no time extending their lead after a set piece play from a line out in the SaberCats’ red zone cued up hooker James Malcolm to find the try line for his eight try of the season. Joyce converted, 28-7 Seattle at the 53rd minute. Seattle was penalized multiple times in the next phases of play, allowing Houston to play quick and score, kick was good 28-14 at the 56th minute. Seattle answered after a missed penalty kick by Joyce saw Houston kick off to the Seawolves and quickly move the ball to wing Akihito Yamada, dazzling with his footwork and offload to wing Sitiveni Tamaivena who cut back against the grain of Houston’s fragmented defense to score under the posts for the full seven points. 35-14, Seattle at the 64th minute.
One final push saw Houston’s wing break midfield at the 68th minute to bring the score to a two-try match, 35-21 Seattle. But the home team wasn’t done scoring, as the enthused crowd was treated to Seattle’s best (and final) try of the season. After a successful line out, fly half AJ Alatimu shifted the ball to outside center Lauina Futi. Futi continued to prove elusive with two dummy passes before passing to JP Smith, who then no-look kick passed the ball back into the middle of the field right into replacement scrumhalf Deveraux Ferris’ hands. Ferris dove into the try zone to finish off a 2021 MLR Try of the Year contender to make it 40-21, Seattle at the 75th minute. Despite a spirited second half from the visitors, it wasn’t enough to close the high-scoring margin. Final score, 40-21 Seattle Seawolves.
Comptat, Herbst, Manoa, Malcolm, Si. Tamaivena, Ferris
The Seattle Seawolves finished their 2021 season 4-12 and look forward to building towards 2022, including signing key players to multi-year deals, in the offseason. 2022 season tickets can be renewed now by current season ticket members here and secured by new season ticket members via a deposit here.
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