Sussex Merlins v Medway Dragons Under 14 – 6-56 - Sat 26 May 12
A great day at the coast.
A two hour trip to the seaside saw Medway Dragons U14s travel to play the newly formed Sussex Merlins for a friendly to welcome them into the Rugby League family. The newest team in the south are coached an lead by a former Dragons Junior, Toby Pumphrey
This was to be the Merlins first ever game at this age group, and with the sunny conditions being more suitable for cricket, the Dragons soon pressed home the advantage of their experience and dominated the Merlinsin the early stages. The four first half tries were all run in from long range and were scored by Josh Bruin, Roshaine Johnson
, David Harris
and Alfie Orris
But the Merlins werent to be taken lightly, they started the second half strongly and quickly bust their way through the Dragons defence to bring the score back to 6-24, in what was to be their first ever score.
The Dragons were disappointed in themselves and vowed not to allow a repeat. With some crunching tackles from Mitchell Dowsett
, William Vodo
and Atu Laqeratabua in the middle of the park, the defence stood strong.
In the transition to attack the Dragons began to pass the ball around with more confidence with Josh Bruin hunting to find the gaps to score twice more. On the wing Owen Baldwin
stood stong and resolute, having a superb performance. With Louis Dadson thoroughly enjoying his move to centre, the Dragons set off again pressing the Merlins defence hard with Roshaine Johnson
and David Harris
each scoring their second try of the afternoon.
By now the sun was beating down and the temperature was rising, but the Dragons knew they could do better and urged each other on. With a strong defensive frame of mind not to give ground, it served as a perfect springboard and Dan O'Brien
was rewarded with a try in the corner.
Credit to the Merlins, they didn’t let their heads drop for a moment, and tried to put up a stout defence with the Dragons eager to add to their tally. Unable to break through on the first four tackles the Dragons sent an inch perfect cross field kick for Dan O'Brien
to add his second in the left hand corner.
Somehow the Dragons then found the reserves to step it up a gear with free flowing interchange passing occurring whenever there was the opportunity, particularly impressive was the passing and support moves from Sam Sharpe
, and Matt and Stevie Davolls. It was a joy to watch.
Threatening the Merlins try line with a minute to go the Dragons were being held back heroically, but another inch perfect cross field kick allowed George Moore
to score in the opposite corner with the last play of the game.
Final score 6-56.
All handshakes at the end and a warm welcome for Sussex Merlins U14s to Rugby League in London & The South.