Old Glory DC Seeks to Silence New York at Full Segra Field
By Evan Lappen
Fresh off a 21-13 road win, Old Glory DC returns to Segra Field this Memorial Day weekend for a rematch against Rugby United New York. DC is on a two-game winning streak and will attempt to make it three in a row against the second placed team in the MLR Eastern Conference. Since its Week 4 loss to New York, much has changed for the home team, and DC is eager to continue its upward trajectory in the standings.
Sunday will be OGDC’s first match without COVID restrictions and hopes the DC faithful will show up in record numbers to give the squad a true home-field advantage.
Tickets are available at https://ogdc.oldglorydc.com/og-season-ticket-2021.
Gates open at 9:00 am with a pair of curtain-raisers before kickoff. The Roosters play the Old Breed at 9:30 am followed by Winchester/Loudoun/Great Falls youth exhibition matches at 10:45 am. The match will broadcast live on NBC Sports Washington and the Rugby Network at 1:00 pm.
OGDC welcomes all current and former service members and their families for Armed Forces Day on Sunday at Segra Field. The Quantico Marine Corps Band and Color Guard will be performing the National Anthem and during halftime. Old Glory will be auctioning off the team’s special Memorial Day game-worn jerseys after the match, with all proceeds benefiting “Veterans Moving Forward,” a non-profit organization that provides service dogs and canine therapy services to veterans. Additionally, the team will be selling a limited edition military inspired OGDC t-shirt only available at the game.
After a rain-soaked victory last weekend in Houston, Old Glory is ready to further its quest for the playoffs this Sunday against New York. The forward pack will look to continue its outstanding form from last week. They dominated Houston’s vaunted scrum and the OG driving maul is fast becoming lethal from any distance. Cory Daniel was a defensive force on Sunday leading the team with 15 tackles with Stevie Longwell and Jamie Dever right behind him with 12 and 11 respectively. Because of his red card against Houston in Week 10, Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz will miss the next three matches while he serves his suspension
Consistency in the backline has produced results on the field. Danny Tusitala and Robertson are finding their groove, and it won’t be long until the rest of the backline follows suit. The addition of Hearn and possibly young Sam Cusano will only make the team better.
Speaking of Robertson, he is getting healthier by the week. “He hasn’t played a game where he’s been 100% yet until Saturday against Houston,” head coach Andrew Douglas said. “I thought he played very well. I think he is playing with more freedom with his body which allowed him to be more himself.”
“Obviously, they are a great team,” Robertson remarked. “A pretty strong forward pack and exciting backs. They are pretty adjustable and can play any game. They can play it tight or play an expansive game with really smart operators at #9 and #10 who are their game drivers and are quite experienced in getting the team around the field.”
Dylan Fawsitt captains NY and he has some big horses in front of him leading the way. Nate Brakeley, Nick Civetta, Evan Mintern, Kara Pryor, and Hanco Germishuys are all key components of the forward pack and are always looking for work on both sides of the ball. DC’s improved maul defense will be tested, and team cohesiveness will be taken to task on Sunday for sure.
In the backs, former All Black Andy Ellis is as advertised, and Harry Bennett stepped in seamlessly for an injured Dan Hollinshead against the Freejacks. Will Leonard and Fa’asiu Fuatai are weapons in the centers, and Ben Foden is stout at sweeper. Fijian Apenisa Cakaubalavu was strong in his NY debut with a try, two line breaks, and a team-high of 91 meters gained.
RUNY are not a one-trick pony and will hit you from multiple angles. “They’re dangerous in whatever the situation is,” Douglas said. “They like to speed the game up at times, play at tempo, and grind you down. They’ll chuck a range of things at us. Andy Ellis controls them pretty well and controls the referees even better. We have to make sure we stay mentally tuned in for the whole 80 minutes.”
The one thing that will put Old Glory on the front foot on Sunday will be their fans at Segra Field. “It’s going to be our 16th man,” Robertson concluded. “We showed at Catholic that we could fill out our stadium and make a bit of noise. Segra Field is a great arena, so we can’t wait to play at home in front of a full house. Playing on Memorial Day is special and the more people that turn up, the more the boys will be excited to play, and hopefully bring home the win.”