NOLA Gold opened the 2020 Major League Rugby season on Saturday, February 8 at the Shrine on Airline with a 46-13 win over Old Glory DC. The match was broadcast on NBCSW and streamed on ESPN+.
Last season NOLA Gold was among the MLR team leaders, but after a late season-ending injury to Ben Tarr, the team finished in fifth place in the league and missed the playoffs.
NOLA Gold scored first from a 5-meter scrum with a try by Cam Dolan with Carl Meyer adding the extras to lead 7-0.
NOLA Gold added a second try from a 5-meter scrum with Malcolm May dotting down and Carl Meyer slotting the conversion to push the lead to 14-0.
In the 25th minute, Malcolm May was sent to the bin with Jason Robertson slotting a penalty goal to cut the lead to 14-3. Old Glory attacked from the restart and from a lineout 5-meters from in-goal, added a try by Doug Fraser from a kick pass across the pitch, 14-8. Robertson’s conversion attempt from touch was wide.
NOLA Gold answered back after going through multiple phases with Robbie Coleman lofting a wide pass to Moni Tongauiha for an easy try. Meyer’s conversion then drifted just left of the posts, 19-8.
A scrum infraction had Meyer adding a penalty goal for a 22-8 lead at the break.
NOLA Gold added a bonus point after a Carl Meyer break and quick hands right for a Moni Tongauiha brace. Meyer then slotted the extras to push the lead to 29-8.
A NOLA Gold break by Cam Dolan kept the pressure on Old Glory deep inside their territory. A Gold lineout 5-meters out was turned over by a knock on giving Old Glory a 5-meter scrum. NOLA Gold had Old Glory on their back foot and created a turnover for their own 5-meter scrum. Six forward picks later, Gold tried again with another 5-meter scrum. The Gold drove and Cam Dolan finished with his brace with Meyer slotting again to lead 36-8.
Julian Dominguez added another try after a kick and chase for a 41-8 lead. with Meyer missing the extras.
Lindsey Stevens was sent to the bin for an obstruction penalty near in-goal. Old Glory was pushed back from a 5-meter scrum with Gold poaching and clearing.
Cam Dolan claimed Man of the Match honors picking up a loose ball from a NOLA lineout for a hat trick try, 46-8.
Following the restart, Nikola Bursic was sent to the bin for a breakdown infraction, the thrid NOLA Gold player that was sent to the bin.
Old Glory kicked into touch, setting up a lineout 10-meters from in-goal. A handling error then thwarted their attack. In the final minute, Dylan Taikato-Simpson chip kicked across the pitch for a try by Mike Dabulas for a final of 46-13.
Squads with Player Links & Match Preview
NOLA Gold: 1 Matt Harmon 2 Eric Howard 3 Dino Waldren 4 Ignacio Dotti 5 Kyle Baillie (C) 6 Moni Tongauiha 7 Malcolm May 8 Cam Dolan 9 Holden Yungert 10 Scott Gale 11 Julian Dominguez Widmer 12 Con Foley (VC) 13 Carl Meyer 14 Tim Maupin 15 Robbie Coleman16 Lindsey Stevens 17 Kevin Sullivan 18 Ben Tarr 19 Nikola Bursic 20 Billy Stewart 21 Kevin O’Connor 22 Ross Depperschmidt 23 Shawn Riley
Old Glory DC: 1 Jake Turnbull 2 Max Lum 3 Gordon Fullerton 4 Tevita Naqali 5 Api Naikatini 6 Travis Larsen 7 Mungo Mason (CC) 8 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz 9 Danny Tusitala 10 Jason Robertson 11 Renata Roberts TeNana 12 Ciaran Hearn 13 Thretton Palamo (CC) 14 Doug Fraser 15 Dylan Taikato-Simpson16 Dante Lopresti17 Khalid Williams 18 Will Vakalahi 19 Jack McLean20 Nic Mirhashem 21 Michael Reid 22 Mike Dubulas 23 Dylan Pieterse