Preview: Rugby ATL Preseason Match

Details

When: Sunday, January 26, 2020
Time: 6:00 pm Kickoff (doors open 5:00 pm)
Where: The St James Sports, Wellness and Entertainment Complex (map)
Opponent: Rugby ATL
Channel: No TV/Streaming is available

Preview

How good is Rugby ATL?

It’s always difficult to gauge a team before they’ve played a real game for real stakes, but let’s try anyway.

Rugby ATL has played two preseason games and a scrimmage so far. The first game was two weeks ago against NOLA Gold, a game which ATL won by the slimmest of margins, 34-33. If you missed this game, it’s still available to watch on facebook. Last weekend they played a controlled scrimmage against the Utah Warriors, followed by a game against the Colorado Raptors, which they lost 26-32. Unfortunately that match doesn’t seem to be available to watch anywhere.

While the scores of preseason games are never truly telling of quality, what is telling is that ATL was competitive against two decent and established teams. Against NOLA, ATL got off to a strong start and enforced their style of play, allowing them to effectively control the ball with the forwards and get to the edge of the defense with the backs. They also played with a surprising amount of cohesion for an expansion side, which is likely down to the strong core of Life players they have in their ranks.

What should we watch for from Old Glory?

There are a few trends from last week’s match with Navy that may or may not continue.

First, Old Glory had rough start to the game last week, and it was clearly the result of a lack of team cohesion. DC is a brand new side with almost no experience playing together, and that will probably show on Sunday. Expect a slow start to the game with turnovers and mistakes in the first 10-20 minutes.

However, once DC settles into a rhythm, though, they should have a high ceiling. They are quick to set up offensive rucks, which should help them capitalize on turnovers and in transition, and their passes and offloads look sharp. The scrum should also be a strong point, judging by the smoldering remains of the Navy pack. Just how high the ceiling is remains to be seen.

Will The Beast be playing?

No, Tendai Mtawarira will not play until the regular season.