Rugby New York vs Old Glory DC Playoff Eliminator Preview

Rugby New York hosts Old Glory DC on Sunday, June 25 at 6 pm ET at Memorial Field in Mt. Vernon, New York in the MLR Eastern Conference playoff eliminator. Click here for tickets! For those who can’t attend, the match will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and internationally on The Rugby Network.

The teams split the regular season matches with Rugby New York defeating Old Glory DC 34-8 in Mt. Vernon, NY, and Old Glory beating the Ironworkers 42-31 in Leesburg, VA.

Match officials for the playoff eliminator match include referee Federico Anselmi, assistant referees Chris Assmus and Cisco Lopez with Derek Summers the TMO.

The winner of the Eastern Conference playoff eliminator will travel to Quincy, Massachusetts to play the New England Free Jacks on Saturday, July 1 at 5:30 pm ET.

Rugby  New York Ironworkers

Rugby New York earned a bonus point in their 43-33 loss to the Utah Warriors to clinch second place in the MLR Eastern Conference with an 8-8 record based on a tiebreaker of having more wins than Old Glory DC.

Head Coach James Semple has made three changes in the starters and another in the reserves. Hamish Dalzell returns at lock with Brad Tucker shifting to blindside flanker with Kara Pryor moving to the reserves. Connor Buckley swaps with Conor McManus at scrumhalf and Ed Fidow returns at left wing with Ishmail Shabazz, who made the MLR Week 18 XV, out of the matchday 23. Andrew Coe, who is 4th in MLR meters gained with 1429, is also out of the matchday squad.

Sam Davies, who was a last-minute replacement for Nic Mayhew against Utah, continues as a tighthead replacement and Monate Akuei returns to the squad in place of Joe Basser in the back row.

Expect an exciting match of attacking rugby with both teams capable of scoring multiple tries. The Ironworkers will need to cut down on penalties, especially within their own half, or it will likely lead to penalty goals by Canadian international Gradyn Bowd. A number of the penalties have been at the breakdown.

Look for Rugby New York to move the ball to the wide channels and to score from lineouts from deep inside Old Glory DC territory.

Old Glory DC

Old Glory DC finished the MLR regular season in third place with a 7-8-1 record.

Head Coach Josh Syms has made three changes in the starters since their regular season 36-28 win over Rugby ATL. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz is at blindside flanker, Marcos Young at right wing, and Kurt Baker at fullback in place of Peni Lasaqa, who is not on the matchday squad. The team will have a 6-2 split in the reserves.

Jack Iscaro and Tevita Naqali were named to the MLR Week 18 XV at loosehead prop and at lock, respectively. Cali Martinez is one of four finalists for the Marcus S. Calloway  Community Impact Award.

Tito Bonilla, who is not in the matchday 23 is 5th in the MLR with 79 points scored and 2nd in kicking meters with 5229. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz is 4th in ball carries with 148.

Old Glory also plays a fast-paced game and is dangerous when counter-attacking. They expect a physical battle and will have forward replacements available when needed. The team has only two back replacements with Thretton Palamo and John Rizzo expected to provide a boost in the centers and wing, respectively.

Squads with Player Profile Links

Rugby New York Ironworkers: 1 Chance Wenglewski 2 Dylan Fawsitt (C) 3 Kaleb GeigerCharlie Hewitt 5 Hamish DalzellBrad Tucker 7 Brendon O’Connor 8 Pago Haini 9 Connor Buckley10 Jason Emery 11 Ishmail Shabazz 12 Teihorangi Walden 13 Fa’asiu Fuatai 14 Brooklyn Hardaker 15 Sam Windsor 16 Daquan Perry 17 Tevita Langi 18 Sam Davies 19 Monate Akuei 20 Kara Pryor 21 Conor McManus 22 Quinn Ngawati 23 Nick Feakes

Old Glory DC: 1 Jack Iscaro 2 Nic Souchon 3 Kyle Stewart 4 Tevita Naqali 5 Kyle Bailie (CC) 6  Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (CC) 7 Lautaro Bavaro 8 Niko Jones 9 Danny Tusitala 10 Gradyn Bowd 11 Junior Sa’u12 Doug Fraser 13 William Talataina 14 Marcos Young  15 Kurt Baker 16 Facundo Gattas 17 Quentin Newcomber 18 Cali Martinez 19  Collin Grosse 20 Langilangi Haupeakui 21 John Rizzo 22 Thretton Palamo 23 Alejo Daireaux

2023 Team Rosters with Player Article Links

Rugby New York Ironworkers

Props: Nic  Mayhew, Tevita Langi, Anthony Parry, Chance Wenglewski, Sam Davies, Enrique Quiinteros

Hookers: Dylan Fawsitt, Kaleb Geiger, DaQuan Perry 

Locks: Nate Brakeley, Hamish Dalzell, Charlie Hewitt, Brad Tucker (L/BR)

Back-row: Joe Basser, Ben Bonasso, Brendon O’Connor, Pago Haini, Kara Pryor, Monate Akuei

Scrum-half: Connor Buckley, Eamonn Matthews, Conor McManus, Cristian Rodriguez

Flyhalf: Jack Heighton, Sam Windsor (Both FH/FB)

Center: Jason Emery, Fa’asiu Fuatai, Quinn Ngawati, Ishmail Shabazz, Teihorangi Walden, Kieran Joyce

Back three: Andrew Coe, Nick Feakes, Ed Fidow, Brooklyn Hardaker, Troy Lockyear*, John Powers

Note: The players listed above were part of the Ironworkers squad in 2023. Two of their drafted players Doyle Hedgepeth and Bill Whiteside were signed to APC contracts and played with the USA Hawks, at hooker and lock, respectively. Whiteside was named to the Ironworkers matchday roster once but did not make his MLR debut. Instead, he also played for Old Blue, including in the USA Rugby Club XVs Division 1 Nationals.

Old Glory DC

Props: Alex Balladares*, Jack Iscaro, Quentin Newcomer, Ramiro Herrera, Cali Martinez, Kyle Stewart

Hookers: Facundo Gattas, Koi Koi Nelligan, Nic Souchon

Locks:  David Beach*, Apisai Naikatini, Tevita Naqali, Stan South, Kyle Bailie

Back-row: Lautaro Bavaro, Fintan Coleman, Alejo Daireaux, Brady Daniel, Cory Daniel, Collin Grosse, Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, Langilangi Haupeakui, Niko Jones

Scrum-half: Gardy Lebon*, John LeFevre, Jose Reyes*, Danny Tusitala

Flyhalf: Joaquín “Tito” Díaz Bonilla, Gradyn Bowd, Mike Weir

Center: Doug Fraser, Fermín Martínez, Thretton Palamo, William Talataina

Back three: Junior Sa’u, Peni Lasaqa, John Rizzo, Marcos Young, Kurt Baker, Mike Dabulas, Owen Sheehy

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant