DUNDEE DRAGONS WHEELCHAIR RUGBY LEAGUE v KEIGHLEY COUGARS
WRL PLATE SEMI-FINAL SUNDAY 10 JUNE 2018
DUNDEE AND ANGUS COLLEGE GARDYNE CAMPUS
Match Report by Kevin Rattray
The Dragons first home match of the season saw us facing our old friends Keighley Cougars, fourth match in 2 years, so the banter was strong in this one.
After our travel trials and tribulations in Keighley and Bradford in April it was fitting that Keighley would get lost, well not really Keighley, just Matthew and Alan who had the van and all the chairs, sometimes you should trust the sat nav!
Keighley arrived slightly depleted of playing numbers with only five to choose from, think that’s called Hobson’s choice, whereas the Dragons although missing Michael away on Invictus duty and a few of the juniors who may have played away doing basketball, Blair, or chair racing, Murran, it was still a strong Dragons team with several subs including yours truly Kevin “Father Ted” Rattray and Ian “Toon” Hall.
Dragons started with Jay Anderson, Ronny Robb, David Birtles, Stewart Squire and Stephen Carling making his first appearance of the season, and the two main subs of Mairi Simms and Gemma Lumsdaine.
Peter Lowis and Ollie Cruickshanks filled the match official positions, with Peter’s “Barra’s Rolex” discarded in favour of Ollies reliable timepiece keeping us all right, and Jen Muir taking up her, now accustomed position, to do the scoring and timekeeping.
A feature of the Dragons whether it is Basketball or Rugby is that we start quickly, only team I’ve ever been involved with that starts quickly, I’m putting the basketball down to Gemma’s comprehensive warm up and the rugby down to me not doing a comprehensive warm up.
Today was no exception the match kicked off and the Dragons were straight into the attack pinning Keighley back immediately and getting on the scoreboard very early by Stephen outpacing the defence, yes I know he does that to most defences, and scoring in the corner and converting his own try.
Dragons were in almost complete charge of possession for the first 20 minutes or so of the match with further tries from Ronny twice, Stewart and Stephen again with only one of the tries being converted.
Stewart then stepped aside to allow Mairi into the action, maybe stretch those hamstrings for next week Stewart?
What followed was probably the highlight of the match for me with Dragons playing some excellent sets and moving the ball through hands in a very impressive manner to the point where a position was created for Mairi to receive a scoring pass, her first competitive try for the club converted by Stephen.
Dragons continued to dominate the scoring with further tries by Ronny and Stephen interspersed with a Keighley drop goal and multiple sets where Cougars pinned us on our line for set after set, forcing multiple drop out restarts from under the posts.
The first half came to an end with the score now
Dundee Dragons 40 1 Keighley Cougars
The feeling was that the second half was going to be a much more competitive event with Keighley storming back into the game at the end of the first half signalling their intentions very clearly.
Then we were off and the game was now very competitive with set after set being defended vigorously and no quarter given.
The scoring chances were now down to a minimum with much of the action occurring more than four metres out from the goal lines.
Gemma was now introduced which was great to see as no one gives more in defence than Gemma, and was almost worked into a scoring position by Jay but was shut down by Cougars excellent scramble defence.
The match rumbled on with some great defensive play resulting in spilled passes and punishing pressure from both sides until a very astute kick by Keighley’s honorary man of Yorkshire resulted in a try in the corner and impressively converted from the touch line.
This stung the Dragons who responded almost immediately with a Stephen try and conversion, then defences took over again.
Final score of the match came from a Keighley penalty expertly slotted, why did you kick the penalty rather than play it out was asked, because I wanted to came the reply, not much you can say about that!
The match finished Dundee Dragons 46 9 Keighley Cougars
Every one then came together for food and drinks and lots of chat about rugby and any thing else we fancied, no subject too trivial from World Cup to Love Island.
While we did this the hall was dismantled expertly and in a blur by Ian Hall, Peter and Ollie, nothing these referees won’t do for the sport.
Great thanks to everyone involved Ian Hall what a grafter, Jen Muir no doubt you had the correct score, think Peter also had a “Barra’s” pencil and to the spectators who came along to support David and Stephen, bring a friend next time guys.
Learning points for Dragons
- Keep it simple
- Play out the sets
- Kick better
- Bring more food (Rugby guys can really eat)