Old Glory DC will make their 2021 home debut against Rugby ATL Ratlers at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia on Saturday, March 27. The game will be broadcast at 5:00 pm EST on NBC Sports Washington Plus and The Rugby Network worldwide.
Rugby ATL traded tries with the Toronto Arrows last week before hooker Nethling Gericke scored just before the break. The second half was a defensive battle, with the Ratlers holding off a late Arrows potential try-scoring opportunity for a 21-14 win.
In the final match last year, Old Glory edged Rugby ATL 31-29 for a 4-1 record during the pandemic shortened 2020 season, while the Ratlers finished 2-3.
Old Glory DC placed two players on the GEICO first XV Week One Player of the Week with Jason Robertson at flyhalf, and Danny Tusitala at scrumhalf. Danny also was named MLR Player of the Week. Marno Redelinghuys, a lock, represented Rugby ATL.
Read Evan Lappen’s article about the team’s home opener, which includes recap information from last week.
Old Glory lost Jason Robertson for at least three matches after having surgery after last week’s match NOLA Gold. Rugby ATL lost last year’s starting flyhalf with a broken leg which was sustained during the team’s preseason intrasquad match.
Old Glory DC Head Coach Andrew Douglas has made three changes in the starters from last week with Danny Tusitala shifting from scrumhalf to flyhalf, Sean Hartig making his MLR debut at scrumhalf, co-captain returning from a minor injury to start at the outside center. D”Montae Noble gains his first MLR start with Renata Roberts-TeNana shifting from left-wing to fullback.
In the reserves, former English Premiership lock, Stan South, and Danny Thomas can provide coverage as a replacement as either flyhalf or scrumhalf.
Rugby ATL Head Coach Scott Lawrence made two changes in the starters and four changes in the reserves. Conor Keys gains his first MLR start of the 2021 season at lock, while Robbie Petzer moves from the reserves to the outside center. Jeremy Misailegalu also shifts from #13 to right-wing. Marno Redelinghuys and Harley Davidson are not on the matchday roster, with Davidson being removed last week for an injury.
In the reserves, there are two new players joining the team. Manasa Saulo is a tighthead prop, who played for Fiji’s national team, while Irish center/wing Mark O’Keeffe, played with both Lansdowne and Rugby United New York. Former Life University forward Daemon Torres and scrumhalf Ryan Rees are also on the roster.
Last week’s match team statistics below were on the MLR App. Download the MLR app for the team, player information, results, and standings.
The Eastern Conference Standings after Week One has Rugby ATL in second-place with 4 points, while OLD Glory DC is in fourth place with 2 points. The MLR has an 18 match regular season with each team playing teams in the conference twice, home and away, and each of the Western Conference teams once, for a 16 match season. The top two teams in each Conference will then meet in the playoffs for the right as Conference Champions to meet on August 1 in the MLR Shield Final.
Squads With Player Article Links
Old Glory DC: 1 Jamie Dever 2 Mikey Sosene-Feagai 3 Steven Longwell 4 Api Naikatini 5 Tevita Naqali 6 Callum Gibbins 7 Mungo Mason (c) 8 Jamason Fa’anana Schultz 9 Sean Hartig 10 Danny Tusitala11 D’Montae Noble 12 Ciaran Hearn 13 Doug Fraser 14 Sam Cusano 15 Renata Roberts-TeNana16 James King 17 Jack Iscaro 18 Jack Carroll 19 Stan South 20 Luke Campbell 21 Daniel Thomas 22 Mike Dabulas 23 Josh Brown
Rugby ATL: 1 Chance Wenglewski 2 Neethling Gericke 3 Alex Maughan 4 Conor Keys 5 Johan Momsen 6 Connor Cook 7 Matt Heaton (c) 8 Jason Damm 9 Rowan Gouws 10 Duncan van Schalkwyk 11 Rory van Vugt 12 Bautista Ezcurra 13 Robbie Petzer 14 Jeremy Misailegalu 15 Martini Talapusi 16 Jonas Petrakopoulos 17 Will Burke 18 Manasa Saulo19 Vili Helu 20 Daemon Torres 21 Mark O’Keeffe 22 Zander van Schalkwyk 23 Ryan Rees
Following this week’s match, Old Glory DC is at home on Saturday, April 3 at 5 pm ET against the Toronto Arrows, and Rugby ATL is also at home at 7 pm ET against San Diego Legion.