Glendale Beats Utah 34-21 To Advance To The MLR Championship


The Glendale Raptors faced the Utah Warriors in the second MLR semi-final of the day. The Raptors once again defended their home turf as they defeated the Warriors. The Warriors showed a lot of heart throughout this season, but they couldn't defeat the strength of the Raptors.

The scoring got started early in this one. Sam Figg was the man responsible for the first try of the match. John Quill offloaded to Figg, who offloaded to Mika Kruse. Figg then followed up with support running and was in position for the offload from Kruse for the try.

Sam Figg looked to have a double on the day, but the try was not awarded as the ref saw that Glendale knocked on the in the lineout prior to Figg running away for the try. Ben Landry looked to be in for a try as well, but the side judge ruled he stepped out before going over for the try.

Will Magie extended the Raptors lead with a penalty kick. The Utah Warriors had issues in the lineout this match. The Glendale Raptors were able to steal five of their lineouts. With the best name in rugby, Harley Davidson continued his strong season. After a line break from Chad London, the Raptors recycled the ball until Davidson took it over for the try.

Shaun Davies almost immediately added another try for the Raptors. Off a Utah lineout, Sam Figg disrupted the lineout and knocked the ball into Davies hands who ran 60 meters for the try. Tonata Lauti's dancing feet got Utah on the board near the end of the first half. Lauti got the ball and juked his way around two Raptors' defenders for the try.

Mika Kruse looked like he was going to add to the Raptors lead but knocked on as he looked to gather in the ball. Kruse showed his soccer skills to kick the ball down the field and go after it. Don Pati made the save for the Warriors as his pressure looked to cause Kruse to knock on.

A strong start from the Raptors and a slow start for the Warriors. Glendale looked like a number one team. They made mistakes, but they weren't killer mistakes. Utah had some issues on defense. They were slow to push over and they let the Raptors dictate the match.

Fetu'u Vainikolo looked to have another signature break away run but Harley Davidson chased him down and the Raptors forced a turnover after the supporting runners were slow onto the ball. Zach Fenoglio added the Raptors fourth try of the match. The Raptors used the truck and trailer maul to drive over the try line, with Fenoglio the man to dot down for the try.

Luke White added the final try of the day for the Raptors. The Raptors maul stalled out and Shaun Davies pulled the ball out. Zach Fenoglio got the ball and was stopped short of the try line where he offloaded to Luke White who powered over for the try.

Tevita Tameilau got the first points of the second half for the Warriors with about 10 minutes left in the game. Tameilau picked the ball up at the back of the scrum and ran at Will Magie who basically said you can have the try.

Fetu'u Vainikolo started the sequence that led to the Warriors final try of the match. He ran through a Shaun Davies tackle and offloaded to Paul Lasike who was stopped short of the try line. Don Pati was in perfect position as a supporting runner to receive the pass and score the try.

The Raptors were their usual self in this match. They dictated the pace and play for the majority of the match. This was despite the fact that they only had 42% of the possession. The Warriors played tough the whole match, but they couldn't put the whole package together for the whole match. The mistakes they made were killer when Glendale took advantage.

Utah's season comes to an end, while the Glendale Raptors advance to the Major League Rugby Championship match to face the Seattle Seawolves.

Man of the Match
Utah: Don Pati
Glendale: Sam Figg

Glendale vs Utah 6/30/2018

Scoring
Utah

Tries: Tonata Lauti (35), Tevita Tameilau (68), Don Pati (73)

Cons: Kurt Morath 1/1, Ben Nicholls 2/2

Pens: N/a

Glendale

Tries: Sam Figg (2), Harley Davidson (28), Shawn Davies (31), Zach Fenoglio (52), Luke White (64)

Cons: Will Magie 3/5

Pens: Will Magie 1/1 (13)

~Josh Fredlund (Photos by Josh Fredlund)