Old Glory won for the first time over Rugby New York 42-31 at Segra Field on Sunday, April 16. The Ironworkers led 24-12 at the break, but Old Glory’s second-half surge propelled the home team to victory.
New York struck first in the second minute after a turnover from the opening kick. Dylan Fawistt, wearing the number 8 jersey, throw the ball in from the lineout and mauled in for a try near the right corner. Jason Emery slotted the conversion, 0-7.
After a win at the breakdown, a Tei Walden grub kick had Danny Tusitala’s clearance kick gaining little territory. The Ironworkers had another attacking lineout close to Old Glory’s in-goal. After a DC penalty, New York chose to kick for points with Emery successful with his boot, 0-10.
Old Glory stormed back after a Tusitala box kick was mishandled by Nick Feakes. Collin Grosse claimed the loose ball and William Talataina scored in the left corner with Gradyn Bowyd’s conversion from touch off the mark, 5-10.
New York had an early replacement with Sam Davies replacing a limping Nic Mayhew, while Alejo Daireaux replaced Fintan Coleman for a while due to an HIA. Coleman returned later after passing the HIA.
The Ironworkers struck quickly moving the ball out wide to Andrew Coe for a try in the right corner. Emery added the extras to extend their lead, 5-17. Meanwhile, DC’s Fermin Martinez left the pitch after a collision and was replaced by Thretton Palamo.
Old Glory narrowed the gap after an attacking lineout with a try by flanker Lautaro Bavaro with Bowd adding the extras, 12-17.
The attrition continued with New York’s Tevita Langi limping off and being replaced by Anthony Parry at loosehead prop.
A Conor McManus break and an offload to Hamish Dalzell gave the visitors a 12-24 lead at the break.
Old Glory had the first scoring chance of the half after a New York penalty gave DC an attacking lineout 5 meters from in goal. AN New York lineout near their 22-meters resulted in an Ironworkers take, but a loose ball offload from Conor McManus turned the ball over and resulted in a try by Junior Sa’u in the left corner with Bowd’s conversion wide, 17-24.
Old Glory added another try after a counterattack, as Kurk Baker offloaded to Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, who then knocked Andrew Coe aside for a try in the left corner, sustained after a TMO review. Bowd missed the conversion, 22-24.
Momentum had swung to DC, with Lautaro Bavaro adding another try as Old Glory took their first match lead 29-24 after Bowd’s successful conversion.
The restart was taken by Walden and after an offload to Fawsitt to Quinn Ngawati, Kara Pryor finished with a try in the left corner with Jason Emery converting from near touch to reclaim the lead, 29-31.
The seesaw scoring continued as Bowd chipped ahead with William Talataina gathering for a try under the posts, 36-31.
Brooklyn Hardaker, who made his MLR debut, then muffed a box kick from Tusitala, and after the DC scrum, the ball went wide to Peni Lasaqa, who grounded the ball in goal. That try was waived off as the offload from Baker went forward.
Old Glory sealed the match after a scrum penalty as Tito Díaz Bonilla slotted a penalty goal, 39-31. That kept New York from gaining a second bonus point for losing by 7 or fewer points. Díaz Bonilla added another in the closing minutes for a 42-31 win.
Before the match ended Alex Daireaux was sent to the bin, but that was inconsequential.
New York also had another player making his MLR debut, with Kenyan international Monate Akuei entering late in the match.
Next Saturday Old Glory hosts the Utah Warriors in a battle of fourth-place teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences. Both teams will be looking for a win to move into playoff contention, as the top three teams in each conference move on to the postseason.
New York will also face another stern test against the Houston SaberCats at home in a match between second-place Eastern and Western Conference teams on Sunday.
OLD GLORY DC
1 Jack Iscaro, 2 Nic Souchon, 3 Kyle Stewart, 4 Collin Grosse, 5 Fintan Coleman, 6 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (capt.), 7 Lautaro Bavaro, 8 Langilangi Haupeakui, 9 Danny Tusitala, 10 Gradyn Bowd, 11 Junior Sa’u, 12 Fermín Martínez, 13 William Talataina, 14 Peni Lasaqa, 15 Kurt Baker 16 Facundo Gattas, 17 Quentin Newcomer, 18 Cali Martinez, 19 Brady Daniel, 20 Alejo Daireaux, 21 John LeFevre, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Thretton Palamo
NEW YORK IRONWORKERS
1 Tevita Langi, 2 Kaleb Geiger, 3 Nic Mayhew, 4 Nate Brakeley (capt.), 5 Hamish Dalzell, 6 Brad Tucker, 7 Kara Pryor, 8 Dylan Fawsitt, 9 Conor McManus, 10 Jason Emery, 11 Quinn Ngawati, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 13 Fa’asiu Fuatai, 14 Andrew Coe, 15 Nick Feakes 16 DaQuan Perry, 17 Anthony Parry, 18 Sam Davies, 19 Charlie Hewitt, 20 Monate Akuei, 21 Connor Buckley, 22 Sam Windsor, 23 Brooklyn Hardaker
DJCoil Rugby Post-Match Interviews
Rugby New York Ironworkers/Canadian international wing Andrew Coe discusses how professional and international rugby has improved his game, as well as the playing challenges of long-distance travel.
Old Glory DC captain/USA international Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz discusses how professional and international rugby has improved him as a player. He also discusses the differences between working with veterans and less experienced players.
Rugby New York Ironworkers Head Coach James Semple discusses the challenges of coaching the team, giving feedback to the team’s players, veteran leadership, and second-half-of-season expectations.