Old Glory Head to Houston to Take on Sabercats – Week 10 Preview

DC will be hoping to take two in a row for the first time since the very start of the season after winning their match against Seattle last week. Houston, for their part, will be trying to get their first win since early April, having lost four in a row. It will be a tough match, with Old Glory finally starting to get healthy again and Houston getting better every week. However, with OGDC still in playoff contention, they will have the stronger motivation to pull out a win here.

Details

  • When: May 21, 2021
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Aveva Stadium (map)
  • Channel: NBCSW (DC), The Rugby Network (national & overseas)
  • Weather forecast: 66°F and cloudy, 20% chance of rain
  • Line: OGDC by 1 (from Tackle the Numbers)

Preview

How good are the Houston Sabercats?

Perpetually the team that shows a lot of promise but can’t put it together, the Sabercats have once again disappointed in 2021. They started strong with a win over Seattle, but as the season went on that seemed like less and less of an impressive win. Even worse, they followed it up with two matches where they scored absolutely nothing. The only other win Houston has managed was against the other struggling team in the west, the San Diego Legion.

But “disappointing” isn’t the same as “bad”. Houston are one of the only teams to have had a real shot against LA, having kept up with them for most of the match. In recent weeks they have also looked like a new team on attack, barely losing a 50-43 shoot-out with Utah and losing by two points to NOLA. They have the feel of a team that is only just hitting their stride.

Scrumhalf Nick Boyer and flyhalf Rob Povey have become a dynamic pair, with Boyer in particular doing great working filling in for the injured De Wet Roos. Sam Windsor, who in past seasons has played flyhalf, has been moved to fullback, and on the wing, Veramu Dikidikilati will be a player to watch out for. The forwards are full of good players, but in particular Tiaan Erasmus has been having a stellar year.

What will Old Glory need to do to win?

Houston is a wildcard this year, so it makes it difficult to know what to expect from this match. However, what we have seen recently is a team that will score in spades if you give them the chance. Old Glory will have to be on top of their game defensively or Houston could run away with it.

On attack, Old Glory is going to play physical and run hard. The teams that have most success against the Sabercats on attack have been teams that really push the gain line with their ball carriers, while more creative teams like Toronto have had a bit of trouble generating momentum. Hopefully, Roberts Te-Nana can continue his run of good form and provide some magic on the wing.

Honestly, this is a match Old Glory should win. They have a good defense that should hold Houston in check, and they have the firepower to get points of their own. And OGDC will have to win it to stay in the playoff conversation in the extremely tight east conference race.

On the roster, we are seeing Cory Daniel get his first start at flanker. More interestingly, there aren’t any other flankers or number eights on the bench, meaning that there is no backup if Daniel can’t hold his own. That could speak to the confidence the coaches have in him. We are also seeing Ciaran Hearn and Tevita Naqali make returns from injury, which is exciting news! Hearn hasn’t seen the pitch since week 3, so he will likely take a moment to get back up to speed.

Line ups

Old Glory DC

  1. Jamie Dever
  2. Mikey Sosnene-Feagai
  3. Steven Longwell
  4. Api Naikatini
  5. Stan South
  6. Callum Gibbins
  7. Cory Daniel
  8. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz
  9. Danny Tusitala
  10. Jason Robertson
  11. Renata Roberts Te-Nana
  12. Thretton Palamo
  13. Doug Fraser
  14. Mike Dabulas
  15. Dylan Taikato-Simpson

Reserves:

  1. Max Lum
  2. Jack Iscaro
  3. Dante Lopresti
  4. Casey Renaud
  5. Tevita Naqali
  6. Danny Thomas
  7. Ciaran Hearn
  8. D’Montae Noble

Houston Sabercats

  1. Nicolás Solveyra
  2. Tiaan Erasmus
  3. Nikoloz Khatiashvili
  4. Van Stewart
  5. Jérémy Lenaerts
  6. Cecil Garber
  7. Diego Magno
  8. Adriaan Booysen
  9. Nick Boyer
  10. Robbie Povey
  11. Paula Balekana
  12. Joe Thomas
  13. Veramu Dikidikilati
  14. Jake Hidalgo
  15. Sam Windsor

Reserves:

  1. Liam Murray
  2. Patrick Donovan
  3. Nik Hildebrand
  4. Apisai Tauyavuca
  5. Bronson Teles
  6. Zachary Short
  7. Taylor Howden
  8. Zack Godfrey