RUNY travelled to Seattle with the title of being the only team in the league to be undefeated. Seattle also had reason to be confident as they had shown great grit and determination last week to beat the Toronto Arrows.
It was Seattle who opened the scoring with Eric Duechle showing yet again that he can pop up in the right position to score a try when needed. There was a question that Duechle was held up but upon deliberation the referee awarded the try and Brock Staller added the conversion to make it 7 zero to the Seawolves on 7 minutes.
It did not take long for RUNY to respond with Will Leonard striking on 10th minute following a terrific break and subsequent offload from Ben Foden. Marsh then added the conversion and the scores were level. On the 18th minute, RUNY then in a period of dominance at the scrum showed their power allowing Ross Deacon a good platform to break at the base and touch down under the posts.
In what was yet another high scoring first half in the MLR, Seattle once again responded in quick fashion. The Seawolves, after a patient build up in which they were camped down in the RUNY 10 yard line eventually touched down in the corner with Stephan Coetzee getting the plaudits.
The first half saw some excellent performances from the Seawolves backs most notably in the form of fullback Matt Turner and winger Brock Staller but it was on the 25th minute the moment of the match and a possible contender for try of the season so far occurred. Shalom Suniula showed exceptional footwork to finish off a superb solo effort in which he beat 3 RUNY players to run 30 metres and finish.
With RUNY putting pressure on the Seawolves defence before the half time break, Seattle got a gift when Brock Staller pounced on a fumble to run the length of the pitch and touch down leaving the Seawolves leading 26 – 14 at half time.
The second half did not start off with as frantic a pace as the end of the first half and it took until the 56th minute before the first score of the second half occurred. Ben Cima showed extreme composure to fake clutch the ball and delay his kick just enough to throw the RUNY defence off. Cima’s kick was then perfectly positioned and allowed the fantastic Brock Staller to chase down the kick and touch down. Staller subsequently converted his own try to bring his total points tally for the evening to 18 points.
RUNY had a period of dominance in the second half but Seattle’s defence held firm and it took until the 68th minute for RUNY to get on the scoreboard in the second half. Hooker Mike Brown showed great hands to collect a terrific offload and touch down close enough to the posts to allow a comfortable conversion for Cathal Marsh leaving the score at 33 – 21 with just over ten minutes to play.
Both teams made some shrewd substitutions in the second half with the two teams switching up scrum halves. Juan-Philip Smith came on for the Seattle Seawolves and offered something different in bringing in forwards around the rucks. Marcus Walsh came on for RUNY and upped the intensity and also seemed to bring out the best in Marsh. It proved to be not enough however and then on 75 minutes a massive turnover from Seattle resulted in Ben Cima launching a massive kick pinning RUNY down in their own half. RUNY couldn’t spark a play at this stage in search of a losing bonus point and the game ended Seattle 33 – RUNY 21.