The Dungog Warriors game against Stockton at Bennett Park on Saturday was called off with 10 minutes remaining after the Warriors second rower Jeff Dixon suffered a neck injury.
Although Dixon had feeling in his arms and legs it was decided not to take any risks and wait for an ambulance to arrive.
Full marks to first aid officers John Styles and Luke Melon for the way they handled the situation and a special mention to the Stockton bus driver who was also a paramedic, for his invaluable help on the scene.
After being assessed at Maitland hospital Dickson was allowed to go home much to the relief of his family, teammates and supporters.
The only downside to the whole episode was despite Dungog and Stroud both having ambulance stations it took 1 hour and 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive from Raymond Terrace.
Now back to the game. Whilst Dungog showed definite signs of improvement after its first round loss to West Wallsend some poor reads in defence and wrong options in attack contributed to its downfall losing 28-12.
Chris Evans got the Warriors away to a great start when he picked the ball up from dummy half, split the defence and race 70m for a converted try after five minutes.
Stockton replied at the 15 minute mark when a bad read in defence allowed them to cross for an unconverted try. The Warriors were enjoying the better of play and creating plenty of chances but poor finishing was letting them down.
It appeared only a matter of time before the Warriors crossed but it was the sharks who scored next when they latched onto a loose Dungog pass and raced 90m to take the lead 10-6.
The home side regained the lead 10 minutes from the break when the Warriors most dangerous attacking player Chris Evans crossed for his second try. Evans was a constant menace to the sharks defence and made ground every time he ran the ball.
Dungog had a chance to increase its lead on the stroke of half time but the penalty goal attempt was waved away as it was the Warriors looked to be the better side going to the break leading 12-10
The second half in a lot of ways was very similar to the Warriors effort against West Wallsend a fortnight ago.
Dungog had more than its fair share of possession early on and as such were able to spend time attacking the Stockton line. Unfortunately it was a lack of ability by Dungog rather than solid defence from the Sharks that prevented the Warriors from scoring.
Poor passes and bad options contributed to the Warriors downfall in a game that was definitely winnable. The Sharks weathered the storm and replied when their fullback picked up the ball from dummy half stepped through some feeble defence and ran 80m to score under the posts.
The Warriors defence was again found waiting soon after when another missed tackle allowed Stockton to race 50m for another try and goal.
The Stockton halfback completed the try scoring for the day when he bamboozled the Dungog defence with a series of dummies to cross without a hand being laid on him for a final score of 28-12.
It was not long after this that the injury to Jeff Dixon occurred and the game was called off. The Warriors once again showed plenty of effort and commitment on the weekend but fell down in a few basic areas. Once these errors are rectified the wins will start coming.
Best for the Warriors were Chris Evans, Fletcher Celend and Lachlan Windebank in the backs and Ash Evans, Corey Skinner, Aaron Locke and John Ward having their moments in the forwards.
Stockton 28: 5 tries 4 goals
Dungog 12: C Evans 2 tries, J Bell 2 goals.
RSL best forward Ashley Evans, RSL best back Chris Evans, players’ player Chris Evans and Ray’s reserve Aaron Locke.
This Saturday Dungog travel to Paterson Showground to take on local rivals Paterson River at 2.30pm.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.