Major League Rugby's championship series starts Sunday on CBS Sports Network, with Rugby United New York meeting the San Diego Legion in semifinals.
NEW YORK (CBS New York)- The second season of Major League Rugby is nearing its conclusion with four sides set to square off in the League’s Championship Series this weekend on CBS. Rugby United New York, fresh off finishing fourth in the league, will go up against the top-seeded San Diego Legion in one semifinal, while the Toronto Arrows and defending champion Seattle Seawolves meet in the other. All of the action gets underway this Sunday, June 9th on CBS Sports Network, beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
RUNY and the San Diego Legion have met twice already this season, with the sides splitting the matches. RUNY took the first one way back in the first week of the season 25-23 at Torero Stadium in San Diego. The Legion returned the favor when they visited New York in April, winning 29-19. Entering Sunday’s matchup, the Legion have won three straight matches while RUNY is coming off a loss in last week’s bout with Toronto.
The Legion boast one of the league’s top scorers in fly-half Joe Pietersen, who has tallied 38 conversions and 14 penalty goals totaling 141 points this season. Meanwhile, RUNY has two of the league’s leaders in tries in hooker Dylan Fawsitt (12) and wing Connor Wallace-Sims (8).
For those unfamiliar with the sport but interested in tuning in this weekend, here’s a quick overview of the rules courtesy of USA Rugby.
“Two teams of 15 players have 80 minutes to advance the ball past their opponents’ side of the field (pitch) and touch it to the ground for a score worth 5 points (try). Participants may only pass the ball backwards or sideways with no blocking allowed; using a variety of phases such as lineouts, mauls, rucks and scrums to retain possession during play. Rugby is unique in that play is continuous even after players are tackled on the field. Kicking is the only method by which both teams may move the ball forward.
After each try, worth 5 points, the scoring team is allowed an opportunity to kick the ball through the posts for an additional 2 points (conversion). Certain penalties also earn the non-offending team a kick through the posts, worth 3 points (penalty) if made. At the conclusion of the match, the team with the most points wins.”
The winner of the RUNY-Legion matchup will meet the winner of the Arrow-Seawolves matchup in the finals next Sunday, with the highest remaining team hosting.