03 May Legion Head North for Showdown with Arrows
MATCH PREVIEW: LEGION LOOK TO EVEN SERIES IN TORONTO
San Diego will be in search for a bit of revenge when the two sides meet as Sunday’s match will be the second meeting of the season between the Legion (9-2-1) and the Arrows (6-5). The first matchup ended in a 27-20 Arrows come from behind victory back on March 10.
After handing the Houston SaberCats a 40-19 victory and picking up five points in the table last Sunday, the Legion leapt over NOLA Gold and into first place with 46 total points on the season. They’ll put their first-place record on the line against a Toronto team that has been quietly climbing up the table themselves. The Arrows will come into the match in sixth place with 34 total points on the season after defeating the defending champion Seattle Seawolves 29-7 last week and stringing together two-straight wins for the first time this season. They sit just three points behind the fifth-place Glendale Raptors and just four points behind Rugby United New York for the fourth and final playoff spot.
For a team that has built their reputation on defense in 2019, the Legion have been lighting up the scoreboard over the last few weeks. The 359 points that the Legion have scored this season ranks second behind the Gold’s 366. Their 45 tries rank third behind the Raptors’ 46 and the Gold’s 51. During their five-match winning streak, the Legion have put up just under 38 points a game while continuing to play the solid defense they’ve played all season. The 233 points the San Diego has conceded are the fewest in Major League Rugby. Toronto has allowed 277 points on the season, the second fewest in the league.
That Legion defense will be put to the test on Sunday as Toronto has a team littered with players that can score. Fly-half Sam Malcolm ranks second in the MLR in conversions with 32, third in penalty goals with 15, and fourth in points scored with 109. Wings Avery Oitomen and Dan Moor have each scored six tries on the season.
To extend their win streak on Sunday, San Diego will need a big performance from their forward pack which arguably the best in the MLR. Sunday’s pack will be anchored by Paddy Ryan, Psalm Wooching, and Jordan Manihera. The Legion will also need a big game from fly-half Joe Pietersen and their point scorers in the backline. Pietersen ranks third in the league in conversions with 32, fourth in penalty goals with 13, second in total points with 121, and third in try assists with six.
Sunday’s match is scheduled to kickoff at 11 AM PST and will be broadcast locally on Fox 5 San Diego and available to stream on ESPN+. International viewers can watch the match on our Facebook page.
There will be an Official Watch Party at Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Co. The party gets started at 10:00AM with a hot dog vendor and Mexican corn right out in front, plus all beers will be $5 for the game as well as raffles and giveaways.
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Watch the full re-play of the March 10th game.