OGDC Comes Out Ahead of Toronto in Preseason Match - Report
By: Alistair Kirsch-Poole
Feb 11, 2023 - 6:00pm
Preseason matches aren't about the final score, but still - it's nice to win. Old Glory were the victors in a full-speed preseason match against the Toronto Arrows, with a final score of 43-14. Much of the game was a lot closer, though, and highlighted areas that Old Glory still needs to work on.
Since this match wasn't broadcast, this report will be as detailed as possible.
Toronto kicked off to start the match, which was taken cleanly by Old Glory and booted right back. A brief kicking exchange followed, ending in a Toronto lineout just outside their 22. They took it successfully and opted to kick deep into OGDC territory. That turned out to be a smart move, as a miscommunication between Baker and Diaz Bonilla led to a knock on.
Toronto didn't make much headway, but had an opportunity after Old Glory failed to roll away. Their maul off the lineout collapsed, though, giving OGDC a scrum. Old Glory took full advantage, too, winning a penalty to put them up near halfway.
After the lineout, Cory Daniel shouldered a hit but stayed on his feet, breaking through the Arrows' line and making it almost to the Toronto 22. The opportunity looked like it might be squandered when a OGDC player got himself isolated and Toronto stole the ball, but a knock on gave it right back. Old Glory's dominant scrumming gave them another penalty and an lineout five meters out.
A first attempt over the line was held up, but penalty by Toronto gave Old Glory another shot. They called for a scrum, which they drove over the line for their first score. The easy conversion was good by Diaz Bonilla.
OGDC mishandled the kickoff and pushed early in the scrum to give Toronto possession at their 22. OGDC stole it at the break down, but handed it right back with a knock on before conceding a penalty. The Arrows pounded away at the Old Glory line with no success before knocking it on, and Old Glory won a penalty at the scrum to get themselves out of trouble.
Old Glory worked their way down the field, entering Toronto territory before a penalty gave them a lineout in the Toronto 22. The Arrows stole it in the lineout, though, and cleared to halfway.
There was a bit of drama not long after, when a no-arms tackle by Tusitala led to a scuffle in which he appeared to throw a punch. He was sent off with a yellow card. due to the special rules that the teams had agreed to, he was replaced rather than Old Glory going down to 14 men.
Toronto got a good opportunity when a chip kick into the try zone set up a goal line dropout for Old Glory. They struggled to make progress, though, with only Tasi managing to make any headway. Back-to-back dominant scrums from Old Glory got them out of trouble, but their penalty kick didn't find touch after the second and Toronto got right back into OGDC territory.
This time, Toronto got a good drive on a maul to make it within meters of the try line. They once again struggled to finish the job, though, until the finally found an undefended winger on the edge, who dotted it down for the Arrows' first points. The conversion off the edge was good.
The two teams swapped possession back and forth for the last few minutes of the half, with neither team getting themselves in a good position to score. A penalty gave OGDC a lineout in the Toronto red zone, but a knock on in the maul ended the half.
Halftime: Old Glory DC 7 - 7 Toronto Arrows
After the half, Toronto put a kick up which hit the ceiling, giving them a scrum at the point where it hit, which was near halfway. Old Glory took advantage and stole the scrum, with Tusitala breaking the line to get up to the 22. A penalty gave them a lineout at five meters, and while they weren't able to get across on the first attempt, they were awarded a penalty. They called for a scrum and pushed it almost over the line, before Tusitala passed it out to Palamo for the score. Bowd nailed the short conversion.
Old Glory cleared the kickoff back to Arrows territory and Toronto opted to run it back, making it to the half way line before being tackled. Strong counter rucking from OGDC turned the ball over, though, and Old Glory was able to drive into Toronto's half. They made the gainline with almost every carry before Bowd found a gap in the line and ran through for an automatic seven under the posts.
The momentum almost immediately swung the other way, though, as the kickoff was knocked on by Old Glory then played offside, giving the Arrows a five-meter lineout. They went short but were shut down, and subsequent drives failed to get them over the line. A offsides penalty gave them another lineout. They knocked it on, but Old Glory's clearance kick didn't go far, and they collapsed a maul illegally to give Toronto another shot in the corner. This time, they found an open man on the wing to get their second try. The conversion was good despite the difficult angle.
Any Canadian joy was short lived, as no one caught the kickoff and it was regathered by Daireaux for an easy score. Bowd made the conversion to put Old Glory even further up.
Old Glory attempted to run the ball instead of clearing on the kickoff, and were aided by a Toronto penalty. Bowd's kick didn't find touch, though, and Toronto's Davis made a stellar run before being tackled dangerously. Naqali was the offender and was sent off with a yellow card. The Arrows couldn't capitalize on the field position, knocking it on in the lineout. Tusitala kicked out past the halfway after the scrum.
Two penalties in a row gave Old Glory another chance to score with a five meter lineout. They knocked it on, though, and Toronto cleared to halfway. Momentum then swung back and forth, with both teams getting chances before making errors. Even Bowd's 50-22 didn't hand OGDC an advantage, as the lineout was overthrown.
It was Old Glory that finally broke the stalemate. After substituting many players in the tight five, their scrum was on the back foot. However, Grosse grabbed the ball and made a break, getting well over the half way line before being taken down. Bowd then skipped it to the edge, where Sheehy was able to cut straight through for a score. Bowd was able to stay perfect on the night with his conversion kick.
Immediately after the kickoff, Naqali was taken out in the air, leading to a yellow card for Toronto. Bowd's kick gave OGDC alineout at the Arrow's 22, but they knocked on in the lineout, then were destroyed in the scrum to get Toronto out of trouble. The two teams went back and forth from there, with both getting chances, but neither able to break through.
Old Glory got one last good chance with some great running by the backs, followed by a penalty to set up a five meter lineout. The team pushed the maul over and Nelligan dotted it down for a sixth OGDC try. Bowd's successful conversion ended the match.
Fulltime: Old Glory DC 42 - 14 Toronto Arrows