The Dogs came away from their Friday night double points clash with ADFA with three things.
1. A 36-0 victory
2. Their undefeated record intact; and
3. The knowledge that there will be no easy games in the second round.
Coming off a hugely successful and tough on personnel weekend against the brilliantly talented Taralga Tigers, the Dogs took the opportunity to rest some senior and some injured players as well as blood some youth.
From all reports the ADFA side would be an easy victory. They had not yet registered a win and had been on the negative end of some big score lines. The Dogs were undefeated. On paper all they had to do was show up and smile for the photographers.
Playing under lights for the first time this year, with untested combinations, in slightly damp conditions and an air of expected victory, the Dogs were bashed and crashed by a youthful, fit, exuberant and enthusiastic Defence Force side. Had the ball bounced the other way and the visitors had one or two more senior players, the score line could have read much differently.
Coach Smirk can however take several positives from the game. Firstly, there were (next to) no injuries. Make that, no additions to the already long team injury toll. Ryan Seaman may not enjoy the experience of coughing, burping, laughing or breathing for a while, but rib cartilage injuries are fickle things... sometimes they aren’t quite so painful RJ. (Here’s hoping for your sake).
Positive number two would have to be the emergence of Patrick Peter Foley. Patrick was on hand the weekend prior to witness his talented Old Dog father Peter lead his team to victory in a boat race of epic proportion.
Young Pat has obviously used his father’s brilliant, second leg as inspiration for a performance that can put future Pups minds at ease. While ever this guy is around, the Dog pack will be strong.
Positive three is the finishing ability of Jono Chapple. Jono has been around the Dogs since just after Christ finished his illustrious but incident ridden career at fullback with the Jerusalem Jewfish. Jono used every ounce of this experience to be in exactly the right place at precisely the right time.
He finished with two great tries and was Ladies’ Choice.
Positive number four is the ‘to 0’ score line. Having no points scored against them is testament to the Dogs gritty determination and commitment to each other.
Even when not all passes are going to hand, the timing isn’t quite there and not all first up tackles are made, the commitment and effort levels were high, and you should be commended for that.
Next week the Dogs head to our nation’s capital to take on Gungahlin Eagles.
This will be an interesting encounter, as Gungahlin are fresh from a loss to Bungendore, but had two big wins against ADFA and Braidwood in the weeks prior.
They currently sit at seventh on the ladder but are not far behind Bungendore and Batemans Bay.
The Dogs will welcome back Sam Elliott after a compulsory two-week blue card (concussion) lay off, as well as captain Aaron Leighton and front-row enforcer Charles Zouch.
It is doubtful that coach Smirk will allow complacency to sneak its head into this performance.
- Try Scorers: Johno Chapple 2; Gearin Price; Neil Seaman; Nick Skelly and Mitch McGeechan
- Best and Fairest: Pat Foley 3; Jono Chapple 2; Mitchel McGeechan 1.
- Player’s Player: Pat Foley.
- Coach’s Pick, Pat Foley.
- Chick’s Pick: Jono Chapple