The Dungog Warriors have recorded their first victory of the 2012 season with a gutsy 38 to 18 win over Stroud at Stroud on Saturday.
With depleted playing stocks due to a host of unavailable players, the Warriors finally showed their capabilities racing away to a 38 to 0 lead before fatigue set in within the final 10 minutes.
The platform for Saturday’s victory was laid by the Warriors forwards who dominated their opponents both offensively and defensively ensuring the backline had plenty of room to move.
The Dungog backline was quick to capitalise on this dominance with centre Mark Blandford finishing off a movement on the last tackle to score the day’s first points.
Lee Nevin converted for a 6-0 lead.
Blandford soon after crossed for is second try after a deft Dave Taylor pass creating an overlap.
Dave Taylor got in on the scoring action himself regathering his own kick to post Dungog’s third try. Lee Nevin converted to extend the Warriors lead to 18 to 0.
Mark Blandford, who was proving a handful for the Raiders’ defence, scored his third try for the afternoon capitalising on a big run from coal miner Mitch Evans, who showed no ill effects from the previous night shift in the pit, charging through the defensive line.
All season Dungog have put themselves into a winning position at half time and failed to go on with the job, but this week the Warriors were determined not to give up their 22 to 0 lead.
Jake Clifton continued on from the first half with a untouched 20 metre run to the try line for the first points in the second half.
When Dave Taylor followed up with his second for the afternoon, Dungog’s lead had ballooned to 32 to 0.
A Mitch Evans pass found his brother Hamish in open space and he proved too slick for his opponents scoring out wide.
Lee Nevin converted put the score line at 38 to 0.
Fatigue from the 16 man squad caught up with the Warriors in the final 10 minutes and Stroud scored three quick tries to put some respectability into the final score line of 38 to 18.
Overall it was a great display from Dungog with all players contributing to the team’s victory, especially the young backs Hamish Evans, Jess Clifton and Lochlan Windebank.
Award recipients were Dungog RSL best forward Aaron Locke, RSL best back and players’ player Mark Blandford and Ray’s reserve Terry Drinkwater.
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