Saturday May 11th sees San Diego Legion travel to take on NOLA Gold in the top of the table clash. The game kicks off 3pm EST (2pm CT) with tickets still available via NOLA Gold’s store. The game will also be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
NOLA Gold are 3 wins from 5 with their most victory coming over Austin Elite Rugby. However a more telling result would be their loss to the Seattle Seawolves. The Seawolves capitalised through the boot of Brock Staller as he scored twenty of the Seawolves points with 18 of these points coming in the form of penalties. This will be a cause for concern for the Gold as they come up against another top quality place kicker in Joe Pieterson.
While, the penalty count is something the Gold will need to work on prior to this weekend’s game, their attack will cause them no concern at all. The Gold have accumulated a massive 14 bonus points which has added an extra buffer between them and the rest of the teams in the league. With that it’s been no surprise that Jean-Pierre Eloff has accumulated the most points from conversions.
This all out attack philosophy has served the Gold well for the majority of the season however on Saturday they face probably the most structured team in the league who also have arguably the best discipline and defensive structure.
San Diego Legion
San Diego Legion have shown particularly in the second half of the season what an impressive defensive machine they are. The Legion’s defensive line speed has seen them conceded on average just 19 points per game.
Until last weekend’s loss to the Toronto Arrows, the Legion were on a hot streak winning 4 of their last 5 games. A last minute try saw the Arrows clinch the win and leave the Legion just about trailing behind NOLA Gold in the standings.
When both teams play to the best of their ability they are both top class outfits dotted with individual brilliance. With NOLA Gold there can be a spark of genius from JP Eloff or Tristan Blewett, both of whom had a particularly good first half of the season but overall have been exceptional for the Gold. Whereas for the Legion, JP Pieterson has shown a steady hand at outhalf for the Californian team directing the team as a whole on offence while Paddy Ryan has shown all his experience in marshalling the defence.
This is an intriguing battle between the individual brilliance that NOLA Gold possesses versus the mechanical collectiveness of San Diego Legion. On this occasion, I think the Legion will prevail.
Prediction: San Diego Legion.