Previewing 2019 Major League Rugby Playoffs: Final

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It’s hard to believe that the 2019 Major League Rugby season is about to come to an end, but how it ends could be one of the most exciting ways imaginative. The San Diego Legion and the Seattle Seawolves will square off in the MLR Championship in where the Legion, the best team all season, look to win their first championship and the Seawolves, who are looking to defend their title. With that being said, let’s preview this matchup.

San Diego won their last match against Rugby United New York in an epic clash that saw the Legion score a last minute try and a Joe Pietersen conversion to take the victory against RUNY and advance to the championship game. Seattle won their match in dominant fashion as their defense absolutely stifled the Toronto Arrows attack as Brock Staller’s kicking abilities was the difference maker on the board and bone crushing tackles from Api Naikatini and Samu Manoa put a stop to the Toronto attack.

Matchup

San Diego swept the season series 2-0 and the last time they played was on March 31, so lots has changed since then. Seattle’s defense had struggled all season after having the best in 2018, but with that dominant performance against a very good Toronto attack, that could be the difference in this match. That being said, San Diego’s defense bullies the opposing attack and they had the best defense all season. Seattle had the best offense all season, but San Diego isn’t too far behind as they had the third best in the league. There are two areas where this game will come down to as it will come down to scrummaging and penalties. San Diego led the league all year in penalties, but the Seawolves conceded the fewest in the league. The match will likely be decided by the forward packs as Seattle won 95.65% of their scrums, most in MLR, while San Diego won 88.32% which was fifth in the league.

Predictions

James Rowe: San Diego. This will be a really exciting match as this will come down to the wire and it could be decided by a score, but San Diego has been so good all year that it would be hard to go against them here.

*Here’s a link to the previews of each team going into the playoffs

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