Old Glory to Host Resurgent NOLA Gold - Preview

By Alistair Kirsch-Poole
Mar 24, 2023 - 5:58pm

After a bounce back win against the Toronto Arrows last weekend, Old Glory DC will look to improve their 2-2 record against a resurgent NOLA Gold team tomorrow. The Gold may sport a losing record, but two dominant wins in a row promise to make this matchup a close one.

Before the match, there will be two curtain raiser matches. The first will feature a classic matchup between Army and Navy, a rivalry that promises to bring a ton of intensity. After that Virginia Tech will play James Madison University, another regional rivalry.

As a reminder, due to the possibility of rain, Segra Field does not allow umbrellas. The team has committed to giving out free ponchos to the first 850 fans, but if you intend to arrive later it would be worth bringing your own.



How good are the NOLA Gold

Before the season, many pundits had high expectations for this NOLA team. They were expected to improve significantly from their dismal 4-12 performance last season, with many expecting a playoff run from the Gold.

They faltered badly out of the gate, however, falling in successive double-digit losses to New England, Atlanta, and Houston. By the time they lined up against the New York in week 4, almost no one thought they had much of a chance. New York was coming off of a brace of blowouts over Toronto and Old Glory and didn't seem like they would be troubled by the struggling Gold.

It was a shock, then, when they summarily dismissed the Ironworkers in a 31-5 beat-down at home. They followed it up with an another impressive win, dispatching the Warriors 37-14 last weekend.

After two good wins at home, the Gold will now need to show that they can take that performance on the road. They will be expecting great things from their flyhalf Rodney Iona, who was on fire last weekend, as well as USA Eagles Cam Dolan and Moni Tongahuiha in the forward pack.

What does Old Glory need to do to win?

OGDC is coming off of a good win of its own, completely controlling their 29-3 victory over the Arrows. Tito Diaz Bonilla had a particularly good performance, controlling the match from his boot and kicking multiple 50-22's. With an almost unchanged back line, we should expect for him to build on that showing tomorrow.

However, the forward pack also played a huge role in wining the match against Toronto. After a couple weeks where they lost the physicality battle on the gain line, the forwards responded by shutting down the Arrows forwards and denying them easy progress up the center of the pitch.

The forwards will need a repeat of that performance on Saturday, since denying good inside ball forces a team to use riskier options out wide. It's a strategy of patience, where the attacking team is held back until they inevitable make a mistake or take a risk on a more difficult play.

However, the real test defensively will come in the backs. Of NOLA's 10 tries scored in the last couple weeks, all but one has been scored by a back. The Gold back line will be looking to exploit any potential mismatch in OGDC's defensive shape.

Overall, it's hard to say who has the edge in this match. Old Glory have struggled against better opponents but will certainly get an advantage from playing at home, while NOLA's record gives too wide a range of possibility to be a reliable guide.


Old Glory DC

The stability of Old Glory's lineup has been increasing as of recent weeks, with only a single change occuring between last week and this week. Kurt Baker is out after a head injury sustained against Toronto, with Mike Dabulas to starting at fullback as a result while Gradyn Bowd takes his place on the bench.

Old Glory has also confirmed several other players as injured, including wingers Peni Lasaqa and Junior Sa'u, as well as vice-captain Stan South at lock.

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

Nola Gold

  1. Matt Harmon
  2. Pat O'Toole
  3. Sean Paranihi
  4. Cam Dolan
  5. Billy Stewart
  6. Malcolm May
  7. Moni Tongahuiha
  8. Tom Florence
  9. Luke Campbell
  10. Rodney Iona
  11. Cael Hodgson
  12. Jordan Jackson-Hope
  13. JP du Plessis
  14. Dougie Fife
  15. Jordan Trainor
  1. Ale Lopeti
  2. Jarred Adams
  3. Doc Irey
  4. William Waguespack
  5. Maciu Kordi
  6. Damian Stevens
  7. Aaron Matthews
  8. Ross Depperschmidt