Chicago Falls to DC in Season Opener
WASHINGTON D.C.- The Hounds made their first Major League Rugby appearance on Saturday at Segra Field, located just half an hour from Washington D.C. The Hounds fell to a new-look Old Glory team, 42-27, after a strong performance from the home side.
Old Glory got the scoring started with just 30 seconds on the clock. A Chicago miscue on the opening kickoff gave DC possession of the ball in the attacking 22. After just three phases, rookie flanker Colin Grosse found paydirt after a Danny Tusitala offload. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla hit the sideline conversion and made it 7-0 very early on.
The teams traded successful penalty goals for the next couple of minutes. The Hounds earned a penalty from a scrum just inside Washington’s 22 meter line. They opted for a penalty kick and Luke Carty scored the first points in franchise history with a successful kick, making it 7-3 after five minutes. Bonilla kicked through a penalty goal of his own moments later and it was 10-3 after 12 minutes of action. Carty added another penalty to close the gap at 10-6.
Moments later, DC scored their second try of the match after a turnover in contact following the kickoff receipt. Quick hands from the DC forwards saw flanker Lautaro Bavaro go in for a score. After a missed conversion, it was 15-6 in favor of the home side. Just moments before the water break, the Hounds finally broke through for the first ever try in franchise history. Chris Mattina got the ball out to JP Eloff, who was held up just short of the try zone, before prop George Thornton barreled over and made it 15-11. Carty’s sideline conversion attempt was successful and it was 15-13 after roughly 20 minutes.
That was the last time Chicago scored in the first half. Bonilla added another penalty kick, 18-13, and a few minutes later flanker Luke Beauchamp was sent to the sideline on a yellow card due to a high tackle. Old Glory kicked to the corner and got their rolling maul working to widen the scoring gap. The kick was missed and it was now 23-13 after 32 minutes of play. Minutes before halftime, DC wing Junior Sa’u broke a few would-be tackles and made his way into the try zone. A successful Bonilla conversion made it 30-13 and that’s what the teams entered the locker room with for a scoreline.
Similarly to the first half, the second stanza started off poorly for the visiting side. DC fullback Kurt Baker found his way into the try zone, his first ever MLR score, and another successful kick by Bonilla made the deficit 37-13. The Hounds made it 37-20 after a Charlie Abel score under the post, earning him an automatic seven points.
The next ten minutes were scoreless for both sides and the 60th minute water break was on the horizon. DC had a lineout just meters away from the try zone and Danny Tusitala made a few Chicago defenders miss before crossing over for his first try of the season, widening the gap to 42-20. Chicago lock Luke White ran over for his first try of the year in the 67th minute and the kick was successful, 42-27, rounding out the scoring for the afternoon.
Chicago will look to lick their wounds and regroup during their bye this week. The team hosts the Utah Warriors, who fell to the San Diego Legion on Saturday night, for their inaugural home match in franchise history. Fans interested in being part of history can purchase tickets here.
DES PLAINES, Ill., Feb. 21, 2024—Illinois Bone & Joint Institute (IBJI), the
CHICAGO, IL (February 20, 2024)- The Chicago Hounds announced today a partnership
CHICAGO, IL- With the second week of preseason training camp on the
CHICAGO, IL- The Chicago Hounds announced today a partnership with the Midwest
Major League Rugby teams up with Gilbert and Sportable for a first-of-its-kind tech integration in MLR
DALLAS, TX (January 30, 2024) – Major League Rugby (MLR), which represents