Medway Dragons Under 14’s crossed The River Thames into Essex and faced up to Brentwood Eels, great friends and respected rivals, for Round 7 of the competition. A big squad assembled, one that is growing in ability and confidence and beginning to become a real force in the game in London & The South East.
The game started and it was clear from the off that The Dragons were in the mood to move the ball around. Establishing immediate dominance in the middle of the field with some hard work and very good technique in defence, the Dragons gained possession, ran hard and passed to the right. Tom Scoines
took a great pass to touch down on the right, a debut try, to get the scoreboard moving. Steve Davolls knocked over the conversion.
The Dragons, asserting a strong grip, increased the pressure and broke through again when David Harris
hit the hole. Once through, Harris is tough to catch and scored under the sticks. Davolls added the extras. Jack Bryant, improving game by game was rewarded for his efforts when he broke down the right hand side, having escaped a couple of tacklers, and touched down for The Dragons third. Davolls goaled again.
The Eels hit back, having found some rhythm, and pinched a try back with a cut out pass to the left winger. It would be the last time they crossed the line.
The Dragons were able to defend four consecutive penalties, inside their own twenty, with some exceptional goal line defence and, regaining the ball, broke away from their own lines, went the length of the field with some outstanding handling skills and were rewarded with a try for Dan O’Brien on the right.
Half time came with a healthy 22-4 lead. The Dragons welcomed back, half back Joe Hicks
and centre Kieran Palmer
after a period of injury and both had a positive impact on the game.
The second half opened up with the Dragons upping the intensity and they were quickly rewarded with tries, two for Robert Butler
, with one from Alfie Orris
in between. Orris, playing at centre again, improved two of them and Josh Bruin also joined in the conversion taking.
The game was now over as a contest and the team was moved around, players trying plays and supporting one another without fail.
got into his stride and got on to the score sheet, goaled by Bruin. Dan Rooke continued his very good progress with some fine runs, using feet and a strong hand off to be at opponents. Playing second row, he stepped in from the right hand side and powered his way towards the line for a fine try.
, playing in the pivot role and swapping with Team Captain Amrik Bains
and Sam Sharpe
, used his electric pace to open up the defence and add to the tally and was quickly followed by another for Dady. Max Savage
added the extras.
The game was closed out by Mitchell Stone
who, playing on the wing, broke up the middle and ran the length of the field supported all the way by Joe Hawkridge
for a try under the posts. Savage goaled
Dragons Head Coach Martin Coyd
said ‘This was a very good team performance. Coaches learn every time the team takes to the field and we learned more today. It is clear that all of the squad have bought into our style of play and we can change players without disrupting the flow and heartbeat of the team’
‘I was delighted by our attitude towards our own line. You could see the anger and disappointment in the players when they scored and the response was fantastic. The defensive intensity, our line speed and aggression increased and they didn’t come close again’
‘We are going to need and even higher level of desire, belief, courage and determination if we are to be successful next week in the Challenge Cup Final. That is sure to be a massive test and one the lads are up for. A couple of the lads stepped up today and claimed a place in the twenty for the Final. We now have a very tough job selecting the team for the day’
The Lioncrest London RL Junior League Challenge Cup Final is at @ Medway Park on Sat 19 May 12.