Old Glory Hits the Road to face New York Ironworkers

By Alistair Kirsch-Poole
Mar 4, 2023 - 9:00pm

Old Glory will hit the road this weekend to face last year's MLR champions, the New York Ironworkers. Both teams are coming in with momentum, with Old Glory looking very convincing against Chicago before having a bye last week, while New York overcame their round one loss to Seattle with a blowout of Toronto. The teams are also practically tied at the top of the standings, making this one of the most anticipated matches of round 3.



How good are the New York Ironworkers?

New York is coming off a championship season in 2022, which would suggest that they're pretty good. However, the details suggest a more complicated narrative. Their 11-5 record reflected some mid-season struggles, and their point differential of just 25 points suggests that their record required a certain amount of luck. They brought in several former All Blacks near the end of the season, which improved their results markedly and helped them win two tight matches to make it to the finals. In the finals, they downed a Seattle squad that had only made the playoffs after two teams were disqualified.

Of course, none of this takes away from the achievement of winning a title. Only three teams have lifted the MLR shield, and New York did it less than a year ago. However, there are reasons to suspect that this team will take a step back. There have been significant changes to the roster, with former All Blacks Waisake Naholo and Nehe Milner Skudder leaving, Andy Ellis retiring, and Will Tucker signing with a Super Rugby franchise. On top of that, head coach Marty Veale also left the team.

In 2023, what we've seen New York has been a mixed bag. They won both of their preseason matches, including beating Old Glory six tries to five. However, in their first official match they fell to the Seattle Seawolves 11-25. Despite showing impressive attacking ability in preseason, they managed only a single try in that match.

They bounced by last weekend, blowing out the Toronto Arrows 39-3 with six tries on the day. It proved that the team is capable of running up a big score and has certainly given them confidence before their first match at their new home in Mount Vernon.

What does Old Glory need to do to win?

Against Chicago, we saw definitive proof that this OGDC team is much, much better than it was last year. The biggest improvement was on defense, where the team succeeded in making 93% of their tackles and largely stifled the Hounds' attack.

New York will test this defensive improvement immensely. The Ironworkers are full of tough, physical players who are difficult to bring down. They also attack the wings aggressively, which has been an area of relative weakness for Old Glory.

However, all Old Glory needs to do to win is to stick to their game plan and force New York to be inefficient on attack. New York has shown a tendency to commit a lot of penalties on defense and is mistake-prone on attack. If OGDC can deny them easy scores, they will likely falter.


Old Glory DC

Old Glory has changed the lineup this week in some subtle ways. Most obvious is the introduction of Ramiro Herrera at toghthead, who ought to be a significant force opposite Jack Iscaro. Cory Daniel, who was injured in week one, gets the nod at flanker. Both wingers are different too, with Marcos Young and Peni Lasaqa starting, pushing Dabulas to the bench.

  1. Jack Iscaro
  2. Nic Souchon
  3. Ramiro Herrera
  4. Api Naikatini
  5. Tevita Naqali
  6. Lautaro Bavaro
  7. Cory Daniel
  8. Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz
  9. Danny Tusitala
  10. Tito Diaz Bonilla
  11. Peni Lasaqa
  12. Fermin Martinez
  13. Thretton Palamo
  14. Marcos Young
  15. Kurt Baker


  1. Facundo Gattas
  2. Quentin Newcomer
  3. Cali Martinez
  4. Collin Grosse
  5. Fintan Coleman
  6. John Lefevre
  7. Mike Dabulas
  8. Gradyn Bowd

New York Ironworkers

  1. Chance Wenglewski
  2. Dylan Fawsitt
  3. Sam Davies
  4. Nate Brakeley
  5. Hamish Dalzell
  6. Brad Tucker
  7. Brendan O'Conner
  8. Kara Pryor
  9. Connor Buckley
  10. Jack Heighton
  11. Ed Fidow
  12. Jason Emery
  13. Tei Walden
  14. Fa'asui Fuatai
  15. Andrew Coe
  16. Bench:

  1. Kaleb Geiger
  2. Tevita Langi
  3. Enrique Quinteros
  4. Charlie Hewitt
  5. Pago Haini
  6. Eamonn Matthews
  7. Sam Windsor
  8. John Powers