Old Glory to Square Off Against Depleted Toronto – Week 16 Preview

With playoff hopes official put to rest after last weekend, Old Glory will be looking towards next year. That starts on Saturday, when OGDC will have the chance to avenge a blowout loss against Toronto earlier in the season. The Arrows will be significantly depleted, with a large swath of their team called up to the Canadian national team. However, Old Glory can’t assume they’ll win this one. Toronto very nearly beat RUNY last week, and will desperately want to avoid ending the season at the bottom of the table in the east.

Details

  • When: July 4, 2021
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Lupo Family Field (map)
  • Channel: FS1 (US), TSN (Canada), The Rugby Network (overseas)
  • Weather forecast: 89°F and mostly sunny, light breeze
  • Line: TOR by 1 (from Tackle the Numbers)

Preview

How good are the Toronto Arrows?

Toronto has had an up-and-down season this year. After a rough few matches to start the year, they found new gear that accelerated them to multiple blowout wins (including against Old Glory). However, as the season wore on the Arrows began to lose their shine. Their dynamic attack has struggled to make much headway, and on defense they haven’t been able to hold teams back. They’ve lost five straight matches, and seven of their last eight.

Still, the Arrows have been dangerous. Three of their last five loses have been decided by a single score, and reinforcements including former captain Sam Malcolm have given a little extra life into the team.

In the forwards, OGDC fans should watch out for Mike Sheppard and Tomás de la Vega, two high work-rate players. In the backs, Guiseppe du Toit has done a solid job captaining the ship from flyhalf, while winger Joaquin Tuculet and the aforementioned Sam Malcom at fullback will be dangerous.

What does Old Glory need to do to win?

OGDC will be missing a few of its own players, with Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, Mikey Sosnene-Feagai, and Mike Dabulas leaving for England. However, with the vast majority of the roster intact, Old Glory will definitely be feeling the pain less than Toronto.

Physicality will be essential in this match. Toronto’s players are a little on the smaller side, and it’s something we’ve seen a few teams exploit. RUNY and NOLA were able to make significant ground by getting forward pods moving and crashing them into the defense. Old Glory should use their size to their advantage to smash hard on attack and on defense.

For the backs, the key will be to not underestimate the speed of the Toronto line. DC’s speedsters are used to having a speed edge on their opponents, and they use it to readjust quickly on defense and outrun opponents on attack. Toronto can definitely match Old Glory for speed, so the backs will need to be careful not to let them get into space. Patience on defense will be important, as Toronto will be able to exploit any gaps opened up by aggressive defensive play.

Aside from that, Old Glory will need to clean up the basics. In recent weeks, we’ve seen far to many errant passes, dropped balls, and failed lineouts that have killed momentum. It will be hard to beat Toronto if we are too busy beating ourselves.

Taking a look at the rosters, the coaches are clearly looking towards next year. Three of the players haven’t even seen the bench: Dacoda Worth, Mo Katz, and Owen Sheehy. Another, Simi Moala, has a single cap for Old Glory. This roster, as a whole, has played an average of just 30 minutes per match. And that’s being dragged up by high-usage players like Danny Tusitala. The median minutes played is just 22 per match. That’s a ton of inexperience, which should make it a fun and interesting watch.

Lineups

Old Glory DC

  1. Jamie Dever
  2. James King
  3. Steven Longwell
  4. Api Naikatini
  5. Tevita Naqali
  6. Cory Daniel
  7. Mungo Mason
  8. Josh Brown
  9. Danny Tusitala
  10. Jason Robertson
  11. D’Montae Noble
  12. Ciaran Hearn
  13. Renata Roberts-Te Nana
  14. Sam Cusano
  15. Dylan Taikato-Simpson

Reserves:

  1. Max Lum
  2. Jack Iscaro
  3. Dante Lopresti
  4. Mo Katz
  5. Dacoda Worth
  6. Danny Thomas
  7. Owen Sheehy
  8. Simi Moala

Toronto Arrows

  1. Pat Lynott
  2. Jack McRogers
  3. Gastón Cortes
  4. Mike Sheppard
  5. Paul Ciulini
  6. Ollie Nott
  7. Tomás de la Vega
  8. Ronan Foley
  9. Andrew Ferguson
  10. Tayler Adams
  11. Joaquín Tuculet
  12. Guiseppe du Toit
  13. Mitch Richardson
  14. Johnny Sheridan
  15. Sam Malcolm

Reserves:

  1. Joe Tomlinson,
  2. Rob Brouwer
  3. Marc-Antoine Ouellet
  4. Adrian Wadden
  5. Mason Flesch
  6. Jason Higgins
  7. Manuel Montero
  8. Kobe Faust