Old Glory fall at home to Seattle Seawolves


DC Old Glory hosted the Seattle Seawolves at Segra Field on Saturday afternoon, ending in a rather convincing 19-41 victory for the visiting team to mark two losses out of our last three matches.

Old Glory started the game incredibly positively, scoring their first try just after the ten-minute mark through wing John Rizzo, who scored in textbook fashion. The try was a perfect display of training ground rugby, as Old Glory won their scrum and quickly shifted the ball out wide to allow Rizzo to get round the outside, scoring in the corner.

That was about the extent of Old Glory’s first half joy, though, as the Seawolves made efforts to shake off their slow start. Despite attacking with pace and venom, Old Glory couldn’t manage to score again for the remainder of the half.

Seattle took up the slack, doing some scoring of their own a quarter of the way through the match as winger Futi intercepted a pass near halfway, catching DC off guard to run in almost unopposed and open the visitor’s account, though a missed conversion allowed DC to hold on to the lead for a few more minutes. The lead was lost just minutes later, though, as a Seattle runner broke two Old Glory tackles to crash over the Old Glory line, taking the score to 7-12 in favour of the Seawolves. They added a third try just before halftime to put Old Glory firmly in the hole at the break.

Unfortunately, very little changed in the second half. All one could say is that Seattle played even better, and Old Glory slightly worse. If Seawolves were cooking with gas in the first period, their burners were turned all the way up to 11 in the second as they attacked relentlessly, barely allowing Old Glory to hold possession until the match’s late stages.

The Seawolves opened the half with two unanswered tries, staying very much on top of any threats Old Glory could produce. In the dying moments of the match, however, Seattle grew a touch complacent, allowing Willy Talataina and Doug Fraser to reduce the deficit slightly, though these tries were mere consolations.

Throughout the match, Old Glory were affected by the kinds of mistakes that one might expect from a youth team: an abundance of unforced handling errors, missed kicks, and general disorganization. While we managed some good sequences of play, one would expect a team of our quality to have worked out such growing pains by this point in the season. Whether you put it down to daunting opponents or fatigue from a run of four matches in as many weeks, the standard has to be raised for the run in to the end of the season.

One OG reached an impressive milestone on Saturday, as Danny Tusitala became the first player in franchise history to make 50 MLR appearances. Our talismanic scrummy has been a part of the Old Glory project since its inception, and while it would have been nice to mark the occasion with a W in the record books, the occasion was toasted by a postgame celebration attended by Danny’s family and children alongside a host of Old Glory players, staff, and fans.

This loss has dented Old Glory’s playoff hopes, where there are only two spots remaining after New England secured qualification this morning. The MLR Eastern Conference remains just as tight now as it did at the start of the weekend, so don’t go writing off Old Glory just yet! We will carry our middling form into our final road trips of the season, which will see us travel to New Orleans and Houston before we round off the regular season at Segra Field, where we will face Rugby ATL.

by Arthur Ferridge, @rthur_ferridge

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