Not everyone in town knows this, but Washington, D.C. has a professional rugby team. Old Glory DC officially joined Major League Rugby in 2018 and began play two years later.
The franchise, along with the Washington Spirit and Loudoun United, plays its home games at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia. With a maximum capacity of only 5,000 people, Segra Field is definitely an intimate venue. Tickets for any of these three teams are very inexpensive and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
This was my first chance to see Old Glory DC in action, and honestly, my limited rugby knowledge stems from a trip to Las Vegas to see a USA Sevens competition more than a decade ago. The format for MLR features 15 players on each side of the ball who compete for 80 minutes, with two 40-minute halves. With positions like hookers, loose-head props and flankers, I fully admit I have a ways to go before I fully grasp the intricacies of the sport. That said, it didn’t take me long to figure out what was going on and what the two teams were trying to do.
On this night, DC hosted the New England Free Jacks as they hoped to bounce back from an 0-2 start to the season. Unfortunately New England jumped out to an early lead and Old Glory DC was never able to close the gap, ultimately falling to the Free Jacks, 41-25.
Rohan Saifoloi led Old Glory DC in scoring with 10 points. Robert Irimescu, Peni Lasaqa and Cory Gilliland-Daniel also scored for the home team.