The Dukes have had a few bad weeks with Injuries of late and this week was one of the same, having 19 players unavailable for the Round 10 clash with Dundas Valley Vikings.
There was a simple game plan set out by new coach Phil Tovey, but with no training in recent weeks due to ground closures the Dukes looked scrappy, and had a number of handling errors and defensive lapses, which lead to 3 early tries by Dundas.
The Dukes closed ranks for the rest of the half nearly crossing for 2 tries late in the half, but were denied by some sloppy hands and 1 extremely rough referees call. Dundas capitalised and scored right on half time to go to the break 26-0.
The Dukes knew that they were better than what they had been playing and started the 2nd half strong with some big hits up front, but again some sloppy hands gave the the Vikings good field position and they went over for 2 more tries.
From the restart the Dukes started to play to the plan and started pressuring the Vikings. In the next 10 minutes the Dukes put 3 tries on from quick phase ball, determined rucking and simple backline movements.
Dennis Lee, scored all 3 tries, taking him back into the top 3 try scorers in the whole of Suburban Rugby (table below). The tries were converted by Fullback David Hooper, putting a bounce in the Dukes game with a score line of 38-21.
Thoughts of one of the biggest comebacks in history were short lived however, with the Vikings setting up some good short side plays to get over for 2 quick tries, and burning the dream.
There was a small consolation for the Dukes, with Luke Greer scoring his 2nd try of the season to close out the game and at secure a much needed bonus point.
Some good points to come out of the game were that the Dukes showed that they were a dangerous team when they play smart, simple rugby.
The referee’s points went to:
1pt – Adam Hamburger (Vikings number 3)
2pts – Dennis Lee (Dukes number 13)
3pts – Adam Rust (Vikings Number 1)
The Dukes player points were:
1pt – David Hooper
2pts – Matt Dench
3pts – Dennis Lee.
Results and Stats
The Dukes next match is against Burraneer @ John Dwyer Oval Caringbah.