NOLA Gold hosts Rugby New York on Military Appreciation Day on Sunday, March 12 at 3 pm ET (2 pm local). For those who can’t attend, the match may be viewed on The Rugby Network, Yurview in the New Orleans area, and MSG in New York.
Rugby New York enters the match in first place in the Eastern Conference, while NOLA Gold is 0-3 and is in sixth place.
Head Coach Kane Thompson has kept the starters intact and made two changes in the reserves with Dino Waldren at tighthead prop and Devin Short, as a flanker. He elected for a 6-2 split in the reserves anticipating a physical match with temperatures in the 80s with high humidity.
Jordan Jackson-Hope was named to the week 3 All-MLR team at inside center after scoring one try, running 94 meters, and having 12 ruck arrivals against Rugby ATL.
NOLA Gold is faced with a must-win match against the Iroworkers and needs to play a full 80 minutes of contested rugby. That hasn’t happened yet this season, but against Rugby ATL last week, the team lead 16-14 at the break, before losing 29-16.
Rugby New York Ironworkers
Head Coach James Semple has made two starter changes with Nic Mayhew returning as tighthead prop and Sam Windsor at flyhalf. Sam Davies shifts to the reserves and last week’s player of the match, Jack Heighton, is given a week off.
There was one change in the reserves as Quinn Ngawati rejoined the matchday 23 since week one against the Seawolves.
Ed Fidow and Andrew Coe are ranked one and four, respectively, as the top MLR meter gainers. That is largely due to the Ironworkers’ tendency to attack the wide channels. The team was solid in their set pieces and scored from attacking lineouts. They were aggressive at the breakdown and their defense was stellar. They still need to minimize penalties.
Last week Rugby New York jumped to a 13-0 lead, but a strong second half resulted in a 39-8 win over Old Glory DC. The team hopes that the momentum from the second half continues against NOLA Gold this week.
Squads With Player Profile Article Links
NOLA Gold: 1 Jarred Adams 2 Pat O’Toole 3 Sean Paranhi 4 Liam Hallam-Eames 5 Cam Dolan (C) 6 Malcolm May 7 Tesimoni Tonga’uiha 8 Tom Florence 9 Luke Campbell 10 Rodney Iona 11 Dougie Fife 12 Jordan Jackson-Hope 13 JP Duplessis 14 Harley Wheeler 15 Jordan Trainor 16 Eric Howard 17 Kevin Sullivan 18 Dino Waldren 19 Billy Stewart 20 Maciu Koroi 21Devin Short 22 Damian Stevens 23 Ross Depperschmidt
Rugby New York Ironworkers: 1 Chance Wenglewski 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Nic Mayhew 4 Nate Brakeley (C) 5 Hamish Dalzell 6 Brad Tucker 7 Brendon O’Connor 8 Kara Pryor 9 Connor Buckley 10 Sam Windsor 11 Ed Fidow 12 Jason Emery 13 Teihorangi Walden 14 Fa’asiu Fuatai 15 Andrew Coe 16 Kaleb Geiger 17 Tevita Langi 18 Sam Davies 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Pago Haini 21 Eamonn Matthews 22 Quinn Ngawati 23 John Powers