Old Glory DC will unleash the Beast for their inaugural Major League Rugby home opener against the Seattle Seawolves on Sunday at Cardinal Stadium at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, who signed for the side back in December, will suit up for the squad this weekend after being named in the starting XV and will boost a squad that looks to bounce back from a Round 1 defeat to Nola Gold last weekend.
Beast's presence will give an enormous boost of skill to a squad that sees the return of Josh Brown and Declan O’Donnell, while Mikey Sosene-Feagai and Mo Katz are still a few weeks out from returning.
“We lost the set piece [against NOLA],” head coach Andrew Douglas stated. “When you lose the set piece as badly as we did, it’s very hard to play the game of rugby. [Mtawarira] has some good thoughts on our scrum and our lineout. The thing is, we can’t just rely on him to fix it. He’s only one man, he’s one immense man, but he’s one man. It’s about attitude and the boys are pretty down on themselves. They want to get it right so hopefully, they can. It’s not an easy fix and it’s not something that is going to happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and energy. It’s repetition and building up their stamina with good technique. He will certainly help, but we shouldn’t think it will fix everything.”
According to STATS Perform, NOLA controlled 59% of the ball for 17.5 attacking minutes as opposed to OGDC’s 41% and 12.1 attacking minutes. NOLA outgained OGDC 741 meters to 614 and out-kicked them 22 times for 817 meters to 16 times for 468. OGDC made the gainline 84% of the time to NOLA’s 72%, but Old Glory conceded five more turnovers (15) than the Gold (10). Old Glory made more tackles (155) than NOLA (112) but missed 19 throughout the match.
The real difference came in the penalties and scrums. OGDC only committed one more penalty (14) than the Gold (13), but NOLA won 100% of its scrums and 91% of its lineouts while Old Glory only won 40% of its scrums and 67% of its lineouts. In the 17 scrums, OGDC was penalized in seven of them and the Gold stole two of Old Glory’s lineouts.
Seawolves side to face Old Glory