Now 3-0, the Legion also has the most total points scored (112) in the 12-team league and the most points in the standings (15) after coming back from a 21-20 deficit late in the second half.
“We got three bonus points for scoring four tries each game, so it’s the perfect start, really,” said San Diego head coach Rob Hoadley.
Save Totovosau scored a try in the 9th minute, Tira Patterson in the 17th and Dylan Audsley in the 35th of the first half for San Diego.
Story continues below
After two tries by the Weymouth, Massachusetts-based Free Jacks (1-2) in the second half, Devereaux Ferris scored the fourth San Diego try in the 67th minute, with Luke Burton scoring the conversion goal and later a penalty goal in the 75th minute.
“I think it was a tough game out there,” said Legion rookie Ma’a Nonu, the New Zealand legend. “Sometimes we can fall asleep in the second half. Give credit to … New England because it’s a new side.”
San Diego’s Psalm Wooching, named the Player of the Match, said: “Hats off to the opposing team,” which he called super strong and super physical. “They didn’t take a step back when we went up on the board.”
The difference, said the Hawiian-born player said, was “our boys just kind of buckled together. … The penalties went our way, and we were close enough to win the game.”
Coach Hoadley noted the Legion lost the first games of the first two seasons.
“So now we’re three wins in a row,” he said. “Maximum points, top of the league. So it’s a great start.”
The difference this year?
A longer preseason, he said, and working “pretty hard in the offseason on our conditioning and setting new standards.”
(Wooching concurred: “Coming into the season, we’re fitter the first few games than we were the last few games last year at the end. That’s a huge thing. We had a full preseason this year with the boys. Yeah, we really hit that hard.”)
Also, said Hoadley: “Nonu has been fantastic. But there’s a whole raft of players that come in.”
Hoadley said Nonu’s contribution off the field has been key as well — lending his experience to the younger guys, he said, and “in terms of the team unity. In terms of his cool head. Such a calm and humble character. I can’t state enough the impact that he’s had.”
Said Nonu: “I’m just thankful that the fans come out, you know. Put on a show for our home side.”
Next up: San Diego hosts the 2-1 NOLA Gold in a 1 p.m. game Saturday at Torero Stadium. New Orleans is tied for second in the Eastern Conference after beating the Colorado Raptors Saturday.
San Diego Legion Stays Unbeaten, Cements No. 1 Status in MLR with 30-21 Win was last modified: February 24th, 2020 by Ken Stone
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click here