New England Free Jacks

Free Jacks begin title defense with season-opening win over Anthem RC

New England dominated its Round 1 matchup with newly-formed Anthem RC.

The New England Free Jacks in a scrum with Anthem RC
New England Free Jacks

The New England Free Jacks defeated Anthem RC 46-13 in their 2024 season opener on March 3.

The 2024 Major League Rugby season has arrived and the defending champs, the New England Free Jacks, set the tone for their title defense with a resounding round one win at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina against first year club Anthem RC, 46-13.

Going back to last season, the Free Jacks have now won 13 matches in a row.

Anthem RC consists of the youngest roster in the league, and despite a number of fiery performances and a pair of tries, the Free Jacks squad’s more advanced cohesion and experience won the day.

After starting off the season strong, head coach Scott Mathie stated, “We are very much focused on our own standards and performance this weekend. Having now got a pre-season game under our belt, we will be challenging ourselves to find collision dominance and accuracy early in the match, to set the tone for the season. There’s lots of competition for spots, and this is a valuable chance for players to stake their claim in New England.”

The Free Jacks dominated the first half with five tries. They were scored by Cam Davidowicz (back row), Andrew Quattrin (hooker), Ben Lesage (Center), and Reece Macdonald (Fly-Half) scored two.

Leading 29-3 coming out of halftime, The Free Jacks continued to score in the second half. Wian Conradie (back row) had his first try of the night, Ben Lesage had his second, and Reece Macdonald's score in the second half gave him a hat trick for the match. Macdonald was named player of the match.

Post match, Free Jacks general manager Thomas Kindley gave recognition to the home squad.

“Credit to Anthem for a really impressive showing tonight. They demonstrated the intent they’re going to bring to the competition this season for the first whistle, and they should be very proud of themselves for turning around that product so quickly. For us it was another good opportunity to put what we’ve been working on. We have still got a ways to go, but there was some good stuff tonight and we’re excited to build on it back home for a home opener against DC,” he said.

The Free Jacks will look to extend their overall win streak next Saturday, March 9 at home against conference rivals Old Glory DC at 2 p.m. ET.

The Free Jacks were undefeated at home in 2023 and have won 16 out of their last 18 home matches in front of their rowdy home supporters. The 2024 home opener will feature a banner raising to commemorate the Free Jacks first MLR title.

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