Dragons vs Hammers
By Gareth Vaughan Jones
Best rugby so far this Season from the Dragons
London Welsh U13’s Dragons V Hammersmith & Fulham
13th January 2019
We arrived in Fulham for an early kick off, most of the team were nervous as we had played the Hammers before Christmas and they beat us well with their larger boys and powerful breaks.
In the changing room we talked about what we wanted to achieve : tackling low/hard and in numbers to stop their bigger lads and being first to the break down to turn over ball. We also wanted to move the ball as we have a fast back 3 and a wide pitch.
Kick off came and what a contest ! It was very evenly matched with some great running from both teams but the key battle was the ruck where the Dragons repeatedly turned over the ball by counter rucking and jackalling – Rhys McCarthy and Alfie Thompson were a complete nuisance for the Hammers who couldn’t maintain possession.
After some great passing and continuity through aggressive rucking we spent a long time on their line controlled by fly half Shay Dunne. Eventually Kalan Konstanz managed to score in the corner after a wonderful passing move from Left to right. 0-1 to Dragons.
Straight from the Kick off Hammers used their strength and power to score two very quick tries 2-1.
Kick off again and knock on straight away and scrum time with an excellent move held up on the line from our powerful forward running from Roman McGinley and Max Robinson (fantastic debut – congratulations). After more pressure Archie Davies danced through cutting inside to score a great solo try.
Nearing half time again straight from kick off we turned over the ball and Kalan sprinted into the corner again – great work from Ned Thomas and Boyd Inyundo in the turnover.
Half time 2-3.
After a good half time chat the team were encouraged to maintain their aggression and quick passing. The second half showed what this team can achieve – with some of the best rugby that we (coaches) have seen for some time. We scored 7 unanswered tries through powerful breaks (Alfie Thompson x 2 & Rhys McCarthy). Having repeatedly matched their aggression and forwards our backs started to cut loose. A nice sniping run from Osian Jones at scrum half, James Jackson cutting through the centre twice and then a final try from Kalan to score his hat trick (jugs in the bar next week please!)
Our wings were lethal in attack and defence (Rowan Bantick and Alex Knight) was amazing with running at all angles to create havoc against the tiring Hammers
We did let the Hammers score twice again towards the end but the relentless tackling from all the forwards plus Alex Knight, Shay Dunne, Rowan Bantick and Joshua Pincott and all the team put a stop to more.
Very proud of them all and congratulations. 20-50 to Dragons!
Charlie Thompson, Damian McCarthy & Mick Dunne.