Rugby United New York made its 2021 Major League Rugby home debut against Old Glory DC a success, winning 38-34, on Sunday, April 18 at Cochrane Stadium in Jersey City, N.J.
There was excitement in the stands for friends and guests who attended the match, Rugby United New York’s first home one since 2019. The match was broadcast on MSG and NBCSW, as well as streamed on The Rugby Network.
With the win, Rugby United New York is 3-1 and is in first place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points. Old Glory DC is 1-2-1 and is in sixth place with 8 points. The Conference is a very competitive one with any team capable of gaining a win any given week.
Only 1 point separates New York from NOLA Gold, and next Sunday’s 2 pm ET opponent for RUNY, the Toronto Arrows, is in third place with 11 points, the same as New England and Rugby ATL. Old Glory will host the Free Jacks in another Sunday match at 3:30 pm ET.
Rugby United New York struck first from a scrum in the 6th minute with Andy Ellis looking right and No. 8 Kara Pryor picking up and motoring down the blindside until being tackled three meters from in-goal. Andy Ellis finished the attack with a try, which was converted by Dan Hollinshead to lead 7-0.
Following an attacking lineout, Old Glory moved the ball right to Sam Cusano, who touched down in the right corner for his first professional try, to cut the lead to 7-5 with the difficult kick by Danny Tusitala wide.
Two minutes later, a New York penalty had Old Glory ignoring a chance to kick for points, and instead, set up an attacking lineout with Callum Gibbons for his first MLR try. Jason Robertson, who returned to the team after a three-week absence, slotted the kick to lead 12-7.
The restart catch was muffed by Mungo Mason, and RUNY took control with a Troy Lockyear try and Hollinshead conversion to reclaim the lead 14-12.
After a New York knock-on inside their 22-meters, Old Glory controlled a scrum at the right time, however, Jason Robertson was vigorously sacked, and RUNY penalized, but not before both teams were involved in some heated interaction.
After the referee took control, Old Glory elected to spurn the posts in favor of an attacking lineout. An Old Glory player mauled in-goal but was held up for a 5-meter scrum. The ensuing scrum had RUNY driving the Old Glory scrum into touch, but New York was penalized again. Old Glory opted to kick into touch for a lineout, but a turnover thwarted the attack.
An Old Glory kick to Troy Lockyear, who called a mark, resulted in another DC attack when the kick did not find touch. The ball cycled left with Mungo Mason break and offload to D’Montae Noble for a try in the left corner, 14-17.
Old Glory was penalized shortly after the restart, and RUNY ignored going for goal, and instead opted for an attacking lineout 9-meters from in-goal. Nick Civetta gathered the throw and mauled, but DC was penalized for collapsing. a subsequent lineout and maul resulted in a Dylan Fawsitt try and Hollinshead conversion to reclaim the lead 21-17.
RUNY’s Dan Hollinshead would add another penalty goal in the 40th minute to take a 24-17 lead into the break.
During the first half and throughout the match, the New York scrum was dominant and created numerous DC penalties. Both teams capitalized on attacking opportunities and the excitement of the first half, continued throughout the match.
Old Glory struck first early in the second half with a Jason Robertson penalty goal, cutting the lead to 24-20.
A RUNY scrum served as an attacking platform inside New York’s territory with Dan Hollinshead finding a gap and racing down the pitch for a try under the posts, 31-20. This also provided the team with a standings bonus point for the team’s fourth try.
A New York knock-on after the restart, and a penalty resulted in an Old Glory lineout from close range with Renata Roberts-TeNana finishing with a try under the posts, 31-27, which was DC’s fourth try.
A New York lineout was taken by Nate Brakeley, but ripped away from the breakdown by Longwell, with D’Montae Noble isolated and turned over in the tackle and resulted in a Quinn Ngwati try with Hollinshead adding the extras, 38-27.
Following Ben Bonasso being sent to the bin for cumulative New York infractions, Josh Brown mauled over for his first MLR try, and Robertson’s conversion to cut the lead to 38-34 with ten minutes remaining in the match.
Although both teams had additional attacking opportunities, neither would score, and New York claimed a home bonus-point win to move into first place in the challenging MLR Eastern Conference.
Old Glory will be pleased with their attack, as well as the two bonus points obtained. They will be a difficult opponent for other teams.
The #RoosterBooster Rooster of the match was Dan Hollinshead. The Man of the Match easily could have gone to the forward pack.
POSTGAME commentary from our 38-34 win against Old Glory DC
— Rugby United New York (@rugbyunitedny) April 18, 2021
Squads with Player Article Links & Match Preview
Rugby United New York: 1 James Rochford 2 Dylan Fawsitt (c) 3 Zak Taulafo 4 Charlie Hewitt 5 Nick Civetta 6 Nate Brakeley 7 Ben Bonasso 8 Kyra Pryor 9 Andy Ellis 10 Dan Hollinshead 11 Joel Miranda 12 Will Leonard 13 Fa’asiu Fuatai 14 Quinn Ngawati 15 Troy Lockyear 16 Wilton Rebolo 17 Anthony Parry 18 Samu Tawake 19 Evan Mintern 20 Kyle Sumsion 21 Conor McManus 22 Harry Bennett 23 Chris Mattina
Old Glory DC: 1 Jamie Dever 2 Mikey Sosene-Feagai 3 Steven Longwell 4 Tevita Naqali 5 Stan South 6 Callum Gibbins 7 Mungo Mason (c) 8 Jamason Fa’anana Schultz 9 Danny Tusitala 10 Jason Robertson 11 D’Montae Noble 12 Thretton Palamo (c) 13 Renata Roberts-TeNana 14 Sam Cusano 15 Mike Dabulas 16 James King 17 Max Lum 18 Jack Carroll 19 Api Naikatini 20 Josh Brown 21 Daniel Thomas 22 Simi Moala 23 Cory Daniel
The Old Glory DC Clonakilty Captain’s Bottle is a symbol of hard work and tradition; awarded to the player chosen by the Old Glory squad from the opposite team who showed excellent play and leadership on the pitch.
Congratulations to Troy Lockyear from Rugby United New York for being selected as Old Glory’s Man of the Match!