Scotland Under 20’s Romp to Victory in the District
May 29th, 2019
On Memorial Day D.C.’s new Major League Rugby club, Old Glory DC hosted the Scotland Under 20 national team at Cardinal Stadium on the campus of the Catholic University of America. The Scotland U20 rugby team put on a clinic with crisp passing, smooth lineouts, solid tackles and an unrelenting drive up and down the field.
Under near optimal weather conditions with another impressive crowd in attendance, Old Glory put up a gallant fight against a well-prepared Scotland. The Scots jumped out to a 14-0 lead, only to see Old Glory come back with a try to momentarily close the gap to 14-7. But that was as close as things were to be on this Memorial Day. By the 19th minute after a third try with successful conversion kick and 21-7 lead, it was clear Scotland was not going to look back on its way to a 10 try evening and a 70-7 victory over Old Glory.
While the score may have been lopsided, Old Glory, disorganized and sloppy at times, never gave up the fight. Despite conceding numerous penalties at the breakdown, Old Glory kept up its unorthodox approach to the game and at times stymied the Under 20’s. This was D.C.’s second exhibition game and a final tune up for Scotland which is off to Argentina for the World Rugby Under 20 World Championship. Scotland begins play there on Jun 4th. Old Glory returns to action with its third exhibition game on Saturday June 1st against USA Rugby South at Cardinal Stadium in D.C.
While the score on the pitch may have been unwelcome, the team was successful once more with organizing the event. Attendance was impressive with 2,296. The tailgating option is proving popular with another large crowd gathered in the tail gate section on the northern side of the field.
Among supporters in the tailgate area at this game was the Old Glory DC Rugby Supporters Club which is leading an effort to help drum up a fan support base for the team. The group’s founder, Patrick Hubble says he and his wife wanted to connect fans and help create an identity for Old Glory. The group already has over 500 members on its Facebook site.
When asked about organizing road trips for club members when MLR divides into conferences next season, Hubble said the initial focus would be on local watch parties for road games but that eventually they would likely try to organize road trips to New England or New York. Hubble has also been in touch with other supporter groups and is discussing some sort of exchange item to develop a rivalry with other clubs on the East Coast like Rugby United New York.
With expansion from 9 to 12 teams for the 2020 season and creation of two conferences, MLR could soon see regional rivalries develop. A natural one would be between New York and D.C. Another likely regional rivalry could well be between San Diego and Seattle. This could fuel further growth for the league.