South African utility back, Gerrie Labuschagné nailed a 51 meter penalty. during the pivotal Western Conference Final between the Seattle Seawolves and Houston SaberCats.
Before his long distance kicking heroics this weekend, Labuschagne was probably best know for his stint on Netflix’s popular reality dating show, ‘Too Hot To Handle’.
Ironically, when the South African stepped up to take a penalty, many thought it would be ‘too far to handle’. Labuschange backed his ability however, and the ball crept over the crossbar from over half the pitch away.
Alongside his Elliot Daly-esque kick, he also scored a try for the SaberCats in the opening exchanges of the second half.
It’s a dream start to the second half for @Hou_Sabercats as Gerrie Labuschagne touches one down to cut @SeawolvesRugby’s lead to just ten points.
📺 FS2 | #HOUvSEA | #MLR2022 pic.twitter.com/XZVLZnR2le
— Major League Rugby (@usmlr) June 19, 2022
Despite Labuschange’s monster kick and Houston’s fast start to the second period – it was Seattle who will advance into the final of the MLR after a 46-27 win.
After the SaberCats’ brief fightback, the Seawolves put the game well and truly to bed with three tries in six minutes.
Into the final against either the New England Free Jacks or Rugby New York, Seattle are playing for their third title in the four years since the MLR was formed.
Seattle Seawolves are heading to the 2022 final of Major League Rugby 🎉
📽️ @therugbynetwork pic.twitter.com/j45RMqif4Z
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 19, 2022
However, their rise to the top this season has been rather unconventional.
Rewind to one week before the end of the regular season and the Seawolves were eliminated from playoff contention and getting ready to look back on a rather disappointing season.
Following the penultimate week of the season however, the Austin Gilgronis (no.1 seed in the conference) were eliminated from the competition due to rule breaches – making space for the Seawolves in the playoffs.
Not satisfied with one slice of good fortune, the Seawolves’ opponents in the first round of the playoffs, the LA Gilitinis were also banned due to a violation of rules, allowing Seattle to walk into the semi finals of the Western Conference unapposed.
At this stage they faced Chris Robshaws’ San Diego Legion who they comfortably dispatched 43-19.
Now into the MLR final, could the most successful team in the league’s history win another title when they weren’t even meant to be in the playoffs!