Drummoyne scored a late entry into the Crescent Head Sevens this year, and fielded one team playing in the Mens open. There was a representation of players from quite a few grades, and with only one post training session during the week for preparation, we were unsure on how we would go. Some last minute changes to available players saw three of the DD family join in whilst doing their rural work in Kempsey.
Our pool match against Woolgoolga got off to a bumpy start on the warm overcast morning at the Kempsey Rugby grounds with a few rusty passes, but quickly kicked into gear with a bit of contact and a sideline run from Rob Hahn, giving Drummoyne the first points of the day. From here it seemed the flood gates opened, with only a few penalties given away in adjusting to the speed required when releasing tackled players, and contesting the ball at the ruck. With tries scored by the majority of the players, including a brace for Patrick Long, Drummoyne secured a comfortable win against Woolgoolga, by 48 points to 0.
A two and a half hour wait to till the next game left the team a little restless, as we shaped up against Easts Rugby Club (Shute Shield). Easts had come off a strong win with a 68-0 thrashing of Burraneer, and the game started with the ball being contested heavily. Some smart play saw Drummoyne create some space and claim first points of the game with a try in the far right corner and a missed conversion. Easts were quick to hit back straight under the posts, and this two point difference would be telling in the end.
Easts scored again and managed a 14-5 lead, until some strong defence from Dave Shaw and Andrew Martin, and turnovers from Shaun Dixon saw Drummoyne rally to close the gap to 14-12. Some great footwork from Teddy Ratsaralafy put Dave Shaw into the clear, with the conversion made by Tom Stephenson. Another converted try a piece, including a great conversion out wide from Gavin Taylor, saw the scores settle at 21-19, with Drummoyne starting to dominate towards the end. It certainly felt like a game that we could have won with another minute on the clock.
This result saw Drummoyne out of contention for the Cup, and put into the race for the Plate against the Hornsby Lions, which to most of the players held no previous rivalry, but certainly made club stalwart Inoke Turuva wish he had his boots at the ready! Unluckily a spare pair of size 13 boots were not on hand, and the sun made its way out in full force for the early afternoon kick off.
Two quick scores from Hornsby could have lead to a slump in the shoulders and a decision to let the game slip away, but Drummoyne fought back, despite the referee deciding to turn over possession at a crucial point, based on thinking Drummoyne had 8 players on the field. We closed the gap to two points, and only a late converted try from Hornsby saw the score slip out to 19-12.
All in all it was a great weekend, with a huge thanks to the hospitality provided by Fred and Jane Andrews at Wallum Cottages, our main sponsors from the Hotel Kempsey, David Warne, Sarah and Fua Veiru for the fantastic feed on Saturday night, Fua Veiru and Inoke Turuva for running waters all day, our coach Darren Lawrence for keeping us to task, and for the players who represented the DD:
– Luke Maybank
– Luke Fletcher
– Sam Ratabua
– Dave Shaw
– Rob Hahn
– Patrick Hahn
– Andrew Martin
– Teddy Ratsaralafy
– Gavin Taylor
– Shaun Dixon
– Tom Stephenson
– Patrick Long
– Trevor Rangel
Photos are available here.