Seattle Seawolves managed to edge out Glendale Raptors in San Diego with a 23-19 triumph to win the inaugural Major League Rugby championship.
This was also the first win for Seawolves over Raptors this season after losing both their league games against them earlier. Raptors though dominated the regular season which saw them lose just one game and was the top-ranked team in the play-offs but their dreams were shattered by a clinical performance from Seawolves.
Fly-half Peter Smith opened Seawolves' account with an early penalty kick but the response from Raptors came when Zach Fenoglio touched down and Will Magie improved it to make it 3-7.
However, Seawolves managed to seize the lead just before the break with Ray Barkwill going over the line to take the score to 8-7.
Raptors were quick to get off the block in the second half as they scored back to back tries to take their lead to 8-19 but Seawolves were unwilling to relent as William Rasileka and Riekert Hattingh powered to score to take them to a slender 20-19 lead.
As the game was heading for a tight finish, it was Smith, who provided Seawolves a breathing space with a penalty kick that saw them complete a 23-19 win.
The Major League Rugby Championship was seen as an initiative to bring top tier rugby in the United States and could see the tournament expand to 10 teams next season.