Utah Warriors Fall On The Road To San Diego
CARSON, Calif. — Despite a strong last-minute effort to secure the victory, the Utah Warriors ultimately fell short two points to the San Diego Legion, 29-31.
“We fought really hard to get ourselves back into the game and into a position to win the match, but errors and penalties allowed San Diego to take advantage of some good field position and this didn’t allow us to come back in time,” said Utah Warriors head coach Shawn Pittman.
San Diego attacked first and attacked fast, scoring the first try of the game in the first minute of the match. The conversion kick was good, bringing the score to 0-7.
The Warriors answered back quickly. Joe Mano fought against the defense in the wing and broke several tackles to advance the Warriors just outside the try zone. With San Diego’s Siaosi Mahoni distracted on the defense with Warriors’ Angus MacLellan, Mikey Te’o grabbed the ball from the ruck and dove into the try zone effortlessly. With an unsuccessful conversion kick, the score became 5-7.
A few minutes later, San Diego scored their second try and conversion kick, advancing their lead to 5-14.
The Warriors fought a tough battle at the try line after a grueling push downfield. After a series of attempts to muscle the ball in, Baska swung it out right to Lance Williams and Tyler Fisher. Williams went down, but Fisher picked up the ball to run it in for a try. After a successful conversion kick, the score became 12-14.
San Diego answered back with their own score off a 5-meter lineout and maul to extend their lead. Their conversion was no good, bringing the score to 12-19 and holding it there until the end of the half.
Possession moved back-and-forth between the two teams as the second half picked up speed. A penalty on San Diego allowed the Warriors to close the gap after a successful kick for three from Schulte, advancing the score to 15-19.
With a high tackle penalty on the Legion shortly after, the Warriors attempted another penalty kick from midfield. The kick was no good, and the score remained 15-19.
In the 58th minute, the Warriors had the penalty advantage. The ball landed in Schulte’s hands, who then dodged the San Diego defense and broke away to score a penalty try, giving the Warriors the lead for the first time, 22-19.
After eight minutes of back-and-forth possession, San Diego capitalized on their scrum to make their way downfield and score another try. After an unsuccessful kick, the Legion took back the lead by two, 22-24. During their effort, San Diego center Dylan Audsley was injured and wheeled off of the field on a stretcher.
San Diego quickly regained possession and maintained their momentum to score another try in the 74th minute. With a successful conversion kick, they advanced their lead 22-31.
In the 80th minute, Bailey Wilson went over winger Ryan Matyas to put it down in the try zone. A quick dropkick by Schulte for two tightened the gap, 29-31. The Warriors made a strong effort to advance the ball downfield for another try in the minute past regulation, but a knock on penalty sealed their fate. The whistle was blown, and the Legion came away with the win, 29-31.
The Warriors will return home next weekend to host the Houston Sabercats. The match in Zions Bank Stadium will kick off at 7:00 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast live on KSLSports.com and by using the KSL TV App. The game will also be streamed live on the MLR’s new The Rugby Network OTT platform or the mobile apps.