Austin Gilgronis travel to San Antonio this week and will host Old Glory DC at Toyota Field on Saturday, February 29. The teams will play for the Cuisine Solutions Cup and it is also Military Appreciation Day. Kickoff is at 4 pm ET and the match will be broadcast on NBSSW and on Major League Rugby Facebook Live for international viewers.
Austin Gilgronis opened the 2020 MLR season with losses to the Toronto Arrows and to Rugby United New York. They were on the verge of a victory against the Utah Warriors before Utah scored in the final minute for a draw.
After Old Glory DC opened with a loss against NOLA Gold, they bounced back to win their home opener against the Seattle Seawolves, and then beat the Houston SaberCats.
The Gilgronis looked like they were going to win last week up to the final minute when the Utah Warriors came back to score for a draw. The team looked like they were in an attacking rhythm during the match and it comes as no surprise that the team looks the same, except for one change this week against Old Glory.
When Frank Halai entered the match during the second half, he immediately had an impact. He later scored a try and he gains his first start at the outside center with Peni Tagive moving to the reserves.
The Gilgronis have stepped up their fan experience and this week play at Toyota Field in an attempt to also capture the San Antonio market. There is a large military presence in the area and as such, it is military appreciation day.
Cuisine Solutions is a sponsor of both teams and will be playing for the first Cuisine Solutions Cup.
Old Glory DC
Old Glory DC Head Coach Andrew Douglas has made six changes in the starters since last week’s win over the Houston SaberCats.
One change is in the backs with Doug Fraser starting at wing with Renata Robert-Te Nana in the reserves. Congratulations to Jason Robertson for his selection to the All-MLR 1st XV last week.
In the forwards, Tendai Mtawarira has some soreness in his neck and shoulder and is not making the trip. This gives Jake Turnbull the start at loosehead prop, with tighthead prop Will Vakalahi joining him for his first start. USA National team hooker Mikey Sosene-Fengai will make his first appearance with the team.
The locks were also swapped as Fifji international Api Naikatini returns to action after missing a week and Canadian international Travis Larsen also starts.
Most of the reserves were in starting roles against the Houston SaberCats the previous week.
Old Glory DC has surprised many teams with their strong performance in their inaugural MLR season. The team is 2-1 in what looks like a very tough Eastern Conference. They will be looking for a third win in a row when they meet the Gilgronis.
Austin Gilgronis & Old Glory DC Squads With Player Article Links
Austin Gilgronis: 1 Jamie Mackintosh 2 Tiaan Strauss Erasmus 3 Mason Pedersen 4 Potu Leavasa 5 Maikeli Naramaitonga 6 Dominic Akina 7 Moe Abdelmonem 8 Lino Saunitoga 9 Marcelo Torrealba 10 Zinzan Elan-Puttick (C) 11 Roderick Waters 12 Gabe Farley 13 Frank Halai 14 Corey Jones 15 Rodrigo Silva 16 Brendan Rams 17 Juan Echeverria 18 LaRome White19 Luca Tani 20 Stewart Morris 21 Colby Stevens 22 Sione Fangaiuiha 23 Peni Tagive
Old Glory DC: 1 Jake Turnbull 2 Mikey Sosene-Feagai 3 Will Vakalahi 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 Doug Fraser12 Ciaran Hearn 13 Thretton Palamo (CC) 14 Declan O’Donnell 15 Dylan Taikato-Simpson16 Dante Lopresti 17 Max Lum 18 Gordon Fullerton19 Dylan Pieterse 20 Matt Hughston 21 Michael Reid 22 Mike Dubulas 23 Renata Roberts TeNana