Despite an inexperienced roster missing a number of starters, Old Glory took a lead and held it until the end to upset the San Diego Legion. In front of a record-breaking crowd at Segra Field, the team played with a lively confidence that helped them break their five match losing streak. They scored more points than they ever have before in a match that saw them score five tries.
For the first ten minutes, both teams felt each other out. They each had visits inside the other’s 22’s, but neither could come away with points. However, Old Glory drew first blood with a brilliant series of offloads: Tevita Naqali to Api Naikatini to Josh Brown then back to Naqali, who made it over the line. Jason Robertson made the tough conversion to put them up seven.
As they did all night long, San Diego matched Old Glory’s try with one of their own just minutes later. However, their conversion attempt missed, leaving OGDC with a two point lead. Old Glory kept the pressure on, though, and a good scrum set up Jack Iscaro to dive over the line. Robertson was again accurate on the kick.
The response was again almost immediate from the Legion, as a run from former Old Glory player Thomas Morani set up another try. The conversion was good this time, to set the lead back to just two for Old Glory.
Mungo Mason was the next to score with a brilliant individual effort, picking up a loose ball, breaking a tackle, and outrunning several players. Robertson missed his kick, though, making it just a seven points lead. It looked like the half would end with that, but quick tap-and-go penalty near the line let San Diego grab a third try before the end of the half. They missed their chance to tie it up, though, as the conversion went wide.
Halftime: Old Glory DC 19-17 San Diego Legion
Old Glory came out roaring in the second half, as a Ciaran Hearn ran in a try of his own just a couple minutes into the half. Robertson slots the kick, putting them up by nine again.
Unlike previous tries, though, there wasn’t an immediate answer, as DC put in an excellent defensive shift on their own goal line. D’Montae Noble saved one potential try with his quick reactions, letting Old Glory clear. San Diego got right back down there after a couple of penalties, though. However, OGDC’s strong maul defense and solid tackling pushed them back out.
San Diego did eventually get a try, with some solid phase play setting up an overload. However, Old Glory got a penalty off the subsequent restart to set up their own play in the San Diego half. Simi Moala was held up in a tackle, but OGDC dominated the subsequent scrum and Josh Brown fought through four tacklers to get a try. Robertson missed the conversion, though, keeping it a one score game.
With just ten minutes left, a Legion player was sent off with a yellow card, giving Robertson a shot at a penalty that went wide. However, Old Glory kept up a lot of pressure in the Legion half, eventually winning another scrum that allowed Danny Thomas to get feet from the line. A couple phases later, Naikatini dove over for the try. Robertson made the conversion to make it a fourteen point lead.
San Diego made a last ditch effort, scoring a try with a minute left, but a missed conversion left them two scores short. Hearn intercepted a pass and the match was over.
Final score: Old Glory DC 38-29 San Diego Legion