Old Glory Stays on the Road to Face Free Jacks - Match Preview

By Alistair Kirsch-Poole
Mar 10, 2023 - 12:00pm

Old Glory is on the road once again this week, this time facing last season's runners up in the the Eastern Conference, the New England Free Jacks. For OGDC, mission one will be moving past the disappointing loss of last week, but Fort Quincy is a tough place to win.



How good are the New England Free Jacks?

Like Old Glory, New England is 1-1 on the season so far. They started with an impressive 36-12 win over NOLA in week one, but then fell 12-29 to a San Diego a week later. Now, they are coming off a bye week and will be looking to right the ship again.

Assessing a team on such a small sample size is difficult. As Old Glory fans will now be painfully aware, a good week or a bad week early on doesn't guarantee future success or failure.

What we do know, though, is that the Free Jacks have stout defense and an excellent kicking game. They will be looking to boot the ball to Old Glory frequently, relying on a consistent defense and breakdown turnovers to put them back in a position to score. This will definitely test OGDC's back three, who will likely spend a lot of time under the high ball tomorrow afternoon.

Unlike New York, though, New England isn't just packed to the gills with size. They likely won't be able to win the contact on attack like the Ironworkers were able to, which should ease the defensive burden on OGDC somewhat.

What does Old Glory need to do to win?

First and foremost, OGDC will need to get back to tackling consistently and tackling dominantly. Last week saw the team slip in both areas, with New York able to move down the field at a decent pace. New England should be a little less physical, which should help OGDC in this area.

Old Glory will also need to be on top of the kicking game. While New England's star flyhalf of last season, Beaudien Waaka, has left the team, they still have multiple good kicking options. Old Glory's back three will be under significant pressure, so there won't be a lot of room for silly mistakes.

On attack, Old Glory needs to find ways to break up play. Against New York, they were unable to put the defense on the back foot or open gaps in the defensive line, in part due to unimaginative play by the backs. Getting those gaps and unleashing the athleticism of OGDC's players will be essential to scoring points.


Old Glory DC

There have been significant changes to OGDC's lineup this week. In the forwards, Newcomer and Stewart will start in the front row, while Iscaro and Herrera move to the bench. This is odd because Iscaro and Herrera looked great last week, but could be a "bomb squad" style arrangement in order to dominate the second half. It also means that Newcomer will start against his former team. In the second row, Grosse will take over for Naikatini, likely due to foreign player limits.

In the backs, Talataina, who normally plays center, will slot in at wing. He also plays flyhalf occasionally, so this could be an attempt to have a true kicking threat on the wings. Sheehy also gets his first appearance this year coming off the bench.

  1. Quentin Newcomer
  2. Nic Souchon
  3. Kyle Stewart
  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. Willie Talataina
  12. Fermin Martinez
  13. Thretton Palamo
  14. Marcos Young
  15. Kurt Baker
  1. Facundo Gattas
  2. Jack Iscaro
  3. Ramiro Herrera
  4. Fintan Coleman
  5. Alejo Daireaux
  6. John Lefevre
  7. Mike Dabulas
  8. Owen Sheehy

New England Free Jacks

  1. Kyle Ciquera
  2. Andrew Quattrin
  3. Cole Keith
  4. Josh Larson
  5. Jesse Parete
  6. Sam Fischli
  7. Joe Johnston
  8. Wian Conradie
  9. John Poland
  10. Jayson Potroz
  11. Paula Balekana
  12. Wayne Van Der Bank
  13. Ben Lesage
  14. Mitch Wilson
  15. Reece MacDonald
  1. Kianu Kereru-Symes
  2. Joe Hintz
  3. Tevita Sole
  4. Conor Keys
  5. Cam Davidowicz
  6. Holden Youngert
  7. Spencer Jones
  8. Taniela Filimone