Wounded Dukes miss out on points

The Dukes were unable to get competition points in their Round 2 match up with the Lions, going down 42-7 in Engadine.

For the first 15 minutes the Dukes were unable to get the ball in hand with the Lions forwards recycling the ball from the kick off and working their way down field before some slick back line play saw Engadine jump out to a 12-0 lead.

Finally, 20 minutes into the game, the Dukes had their hands on the ball for more than 3 phases and were making strides. Fullback Stefan van Zelewski was able to make a defender miss and cut through the line to cross over for his first try of the season, despite being coathangered while putting the ball down. 12-7 by way of the Lions.

The Lions went back to business and held the ball in the forwards and marching downfield, earning 2 penalties on the Dukes 22 and slotting both attempts to hit 18-7.

5 minutes out from half time and the Dukes had the ball in hand inside the Lions 22. A penalty earned by the forward back was capitalised on by halfback Reece Milne with a quick tap and a try…or so we thought.

The referee brought the play back and the ball was soon turned over, the Lions putting together some play straight out of the Fiji sevens playbook, crossing over to push the score out to 23-7. Another quick hit try from the kickoff sent the score to 30-7 at half time.

The start of the second half was tightly contested with both teams unable to crack the line. 15 minutes into the half and the Lions backs put on another try off the back of their forwards maintaining possession, pushing it out to 35-7.

The Dukes were found camped in their 22 again and were holding the fort after multiple phases from the Lions pressing the line. A penalty for offside was taken quickly by the Engadine halfback and was able to sneak across from 10m out. Full time was blown 10 minutes later, 42-7 to the Lions.

A strong showing by the Lions on home turf showed that they were not the same team the Dukes faced in the trial match. The Dukes injury ward may have grown a touch with at least 3 players going off during the game for various issues. Hopefully we see them back on the park soon.

Coaches points went to;
3 – Chris Stephenson (# 8)
2 – Alex Schulz (Second Row)
1 – Stefan von Zelewski (Fullback).

Other games on the day had the Convicts knock off Maccabi 23-14 and a late try from North Cronulla got them over line against Burraneer 28-24.