Old Glory to Face New England Free Jacks – Match Preview

Old Glory DC will be looking to break their two-game losing streak against the New England Free Jacks at Segra Field. A win here would go a long way towards getting the team back on the right track for the playoffs.

Preview

How good are is New England?

New England had an inauspicious start to the season with a 42-27 shellacking at the hands of the LA team that wasn’t even as close as the score suggests. They bounced back with a 32-0 shutout of Houston and a tight win against Utah. Like DC, they then came off of a bye week for a close loss, falling to the NOLA Gold.

it’s a little difficult to judge the Free Jacks on their record. LA has blown out everyone, so that’s not much of a negative. Similarly, they aren’t the only ones to have shut out Houston, so that’s not much of a positive. However, their two close matches against Utah and NOLA suggest that this a decent-to-good team.

New England has a fearsome back line. Their 9-10 combination, John Poland to Harrison Boyle, has been really effective this season. They’ve also had a lot of potency from their wings, Dougie Fife and Beaudein Waaka. Containing them will be essential for this DC defense.

What does Old Glory need to do to win?

This will be an important match for OGDC, both for their standings in the conference and for their mentality moving forward. They have lost two straight; losing a third would be a big problem. This is what I’d known in the business as a “get-right” game.

This losing streak has really been down to one thing: injuries. Old Glory was concerningly thin in the backline at the start of the season, and it became a problem almost instantly. When Robertson was injured, the attack looked flat. When Fraser and Hear got injured, the defense on the edges started to fall apart.

Robertson is back now, and with him the attack has returned. They put up an impressive 34 points last weekend, and they very nearly scored even more. Hearn and Fraser are still out, but experienced center Thomas Morani and Figian gold medalist Osea Kolinisau have been brought into cover for them.

This match will likely come down to how well those two are able to integrate into the team on short notice. A good defense can sometimes take time to get into a groove with each other. Still, it has to be an improvement over relying on rookies who, while talented, haven’t quite refined their rugby IQ to a professional level.

Winning will require a disciplined, never-give-up defense and an aggressive, go-forward attack. Hopefully the new recruits can make it happen.

Lineups

Old Glory DC

  1. Jamie Dever
  2. Mikey Sosnene-Feagai
  3. Steven Longwell
  4. Tevita Naqali
  5. Stan South
  6. Callum Gibbins
  7. Mungo Mason
  8. Jameson Fa’anana-Schultz
  9. Danny Tusitala
  10. Jason Robertson
  11. Renata Roberts Te-Nana
  12. Thomas Morani
  13. Thretton Palamo
  14. Osea Kolinisau
  15. Mike Dabulas

Reserves:

  1. Max Lum
  2. Jack Iscaro
  3. Dante Lopresti
  4. Casey Renaud
  5. Josh Brown
  6. Danny Thomas
  7. D’Montae Noble
  8. Cory Daniel

New England Free Jacks

  1. Sef Fa’agase
  2. Pieter Jansen
  3. Erich De Jager
  4. Jackson Thiebes
  5. Ronan McCusker
  6. Josh Larsen ‘C
  7. Justin Johnson
  8. Wian Conradie
  9. John Poland
  10. Harrison Boyle
  11. Harry Barlow
  12. Aleki Morris Lome
  13. Poasa Waqanibau
  14. Dougie Fife
  15. Beaudein Waaka

Reserves:

  1. Vili Toluta’u
  2. Kensuke Hatakeyama
  3. Quentin Newcomer
  4. Evan Geist
  5. Tera Mtembu
  6. Tom Brusati
  7. Jared Collison
  8. Peceli Rinakama