The Story so Far: The Upshot on Old Glory’s 2023 MLR campaign to date


Nine regular season matches down, seven to go. It really is hard to believe that the 2023 MLR season is going by so quickly, but what a ride it has been! As I look back from our week 11 bye, I can say that this Old Glory season has had it all, from triumphant highs at Segra Field to windblown, rain-soaked lows on the road. With more than half of the season now behind us, let’s take a look back at the story of the 2023 season so far, and look ahead to the final stages of the season.

Our season really couldn’t have started better as we hosted the highly rated Chicago Hounds, scoring our first try of the season in under a minute on our way to a 42-27 victory. New signing Tito Diaz Bonilla stretched his legs in Old Glory colours for the first time alongside a host of other new OGs, and Coach Syms claimed his first win in the Capital.

Unfortunately, after a high-flying first week things went quite dramatically downhill. We went straight into a bye week, after which we conceded back-to-back defeats away to the New York Ironworkers and New England Free Jacks.

Despite the result in New England, there was positive progress for Old Glory, as was evidenced in our next matchup against the Toronto Arrows, whom we sent crawling back to Canada nursing a 29-3 defeat. As you might guess from the scoreline, we produced what was until recently our best defensive performance of the year, completing 215 tackles over the 80 minutes for an average of one tackle every 22 seconds!

Once again, Old Glory’s fortunes took a downward turn after this victory as we lost three in a row to New Orleans, San Diego, and Atlanta. Interestingly, we posted some brilliant performances in these matches, losing to New Orleans by just three points and making a strong account of ourselves in San Diego against one of the best teams in the country.

After this run of defeats, our record totalled up to 2-5. The team was languishing second from bottom of the Eastern Conference, and it seems that the boys had had enough of being on the receiving end of these close losses. This sentiment motivated Old Glory to pull a brilliant 42-31 victory out of the bag against the New York Ironworkers while sporting our one-off Cherry Blossom jerseys in the April sunshine. That was a fine day of rugby, with all the team’s big names doing what they do best, from Tusitala at 9 to Palamo at center. Captain Fantastic Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz could have made himself a lengthy highlight reel from this performance alone, and Gradyn Bowd secured his place in the side, producing an assured performance in Bonilla’s absence.

The following week we produced an even more impressive performance, upsetting the Utah Warriors in dramatic fashion by a score of 36-22. The meat of this match’s story all came in the second half, in which Old Glory defence rallied for a full half hour on defence, finally breaking out of their own half in the final ten minutes to score two late tries and seal our most important victory of the season so far.

So, we really have seen it all, eh? Makes you excited to see what the rest of the season holds, doesn’t it?

 Unfortunately, our run in is not the easiest. Our next match will see us road tripping to Dallas before hosting the New England Free Jacks at Segra Field. After that, we will visit the Toronto Arrows, return home to host the Seattle Seawolves, then hit the road again to face NOLA Gold and the Houston SaberCats before finishing the regular season at home to Rugby ATL.

Of course, the ultimate goal for the season is to finish in the top three spots in the Eastern Conference and secure a spot in the playoffs, though given the level of competition in our remaining matches this will be no mean feat.

We currently find ourselves second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 4 wins, 5 losses, and 25 points to our name. As good as this may seem, just five points separate us from Atlanta in fifth place, meaning that if we lose our next game and Atlanta secure a bonus point victory we could find ourselves well outside of the playoff places.

With matches remaining in the season it is all still to play for. There is plenty of good rugby still to come, so put some popcorn on and get ready to watch it all unfold!

-by Arthur Ferridge, @rthur_ferridge

Don't miss a thing, stay in touch with the team

Read More

Rugby 101

Want to Play Rugby? These organizations will help you find a rugby team near by! Youth level Washington DC Youth Rugby Rugby Maryland