Old Glory Hosts Toronto Arrows for Must-Win Match - Preview

By Alistair Kirsch-Poole
Mar 17, 2023 - 5:45pm

After nearly a month away, Old Glory returns home to Segra Field for a pivotal match against the Toronto Arrows. The night match will see OGDC attempt to break a two-match losing streak, with a win potentially launching them into second place in the east.

The match will he preceded by a highly anticipated curtain raiser, with Penn State facing off against Navy. Both are top quality college teams, and both are likely to have good support in the stands.


How good are the Toronto Arrows?

The Arrows have struggled from the jump in 2023. They lost their first two matches, falling first against Atlanta 17-10 then getting blown out by New York 39-3. In total, they scored just one try and 13 points in those matches. A long and ever-changing injury list certainly didn't help matters, either.

They managed to rebound last week, though, with a narrow win over Chicago. It was a tight match, with several lead changes before a drop-goal minutes from the final whistle put Toronto ahead. While a win is a win, it certainly wasn't a comfortable victory.

That said, Arrows fans seem to have taken some confidence from the performance. They managed to score two tries and their star flyhalf Sam Malcolm made a sudden return to his previous form, scoring all of Toronto's points in the match.

However, there are also reasons for concern. While the Arrows increased their tries scored by 200% on the season, they're still averaging just one per match, with most of their points last weekend coming from kicks. They also struggled heavily in the discipline department, conceding no less than three yellow cards. Furthermore, this narrow victory came against the brand-new expansion team that has yet to win a match.

What does Old Glory need to do to win?

After a strong start with a convincing win at home over Chicago, Old Glory got blown out by New York, but rebounded in a narrow loss to New England. Now, they'll be looking right the ship before the losses become insurmountable. However, there are a few things that will need to improve if the team is to stay in the race for the top of the conference.

Firstly, they will need to get back to the defense they showed in preseason against the Hounds. They need to keep their tackle rate high and make more dominant tackles, something that has been lacking recently. They've allowed players too many meters after contact, allowing teams to maintain forward momentum and making scoring almost inevitable. With Toronto opting for size over speed, Old Glory will need make sure that they can't consistently break the gain line.

On attack, Old Glory will need to get more creative than they have been so far. A handful of players have been getting most of the carries, making the attack predictable and making it easier for teams to shut them down. There also hasn't been much motion or deception from the back line, which has made it relatively easy for defenses to prevent breaks and overlaps.

This lack of creativity has had an effect on the decision-making of key players as well. In particular, flyhalf Diaz Bonilla has been playing with an aggressive, almost frantic style in an effort to jump start some attacking momentum. It has sometimes worked, but it has also backfired on multiple occasions. He doesn't have a lot of choice, however, because the rest of the team isn't doing anything to take that pressure off of him.

Despite those flaws, Old Glory ought to be favored in this match. Playing at home is a clear advantage in this league, and Toronto has enough problems that it will be OGDC's to loss. However, this is a clear must-win for the team. A loss to this Arrows team would be a sign that Old Glory has very deep issues and would cast a bleak outlook on the harder games coming up in the schedule.


Old Glory DC

This week, we see Iscaro and Herrera return to the starting lineup. Both made a huge impact coming on in the second half last weekend. There is also a change in the backs, with Palamo moving to the bench, replaced by Talataina, who moves back to his natural position in the centers. He is replaced on the wing by Owen Sheehy, who looked solid against New England.

  1. Jack Iscaro
  2. Nic Souchon
  3. Ramiro Herrera
  4. Collin Grosse
  5. Tevita Naqali
  6. Lautaro Bavaro
  7. Cory Daniel
  8. Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz
  9. Danny Tusitala
  10. Tito Diaz Bonilla
  11. Owen Sheehy
  12. Fermin Martinez
  13. Willie Talataina
  14. Marcos Young
  15. Kurt Baker


  1. Facundo Gattas
  2. Quentin Newcomer
  3. Kyle Stewart
  4. Fintan Coleman
  5. Alejo Daireaux
  6. John Lefevre
  7. Thretton Palamo
  8. Mike Dabulas

Toronto Arrows

  1. Lolani Faleiva
  2. Ramon Ayarza
  3. Tyler Rowland
  4. Mike Sheppard
  5. Adrian Wadden
  6. Mason Flesch
  7. Lucas Rumball
  8. Mitch Eadie
  9. Ross Braude
  10. Sam Malcolm
  11. Mitch Richardson
  12. Noel Reid
  13. Tautalatasi Tasi
  14. Fabian Goodall
  15. Ciaran Breen


  1. Jack McRogers
  2. Nik Hildebrand
  3. Conan O'Donnell
  4. Owain Ruttan
  5. James O'Neill
  6. Will Grant
  7. Kobe Faust
  8. Avery Oitomen