The Daegu Dragons went up to Seoul on Saturday and had no idea how things would go. We had 2 matches scheduled for the day. First up were the Seoul Survivors, who Daegu have never beaten before, and later on we would play the Busan Bandits. We warmed up and sorted out our set pieces just before kick-off. Seoul were ready to impress their home supporters. All the other rugby sides were backing us to pull off an upset.
This is how we lined up:
1.Todd Miller - U.S.A
2. Chris Tredoux - South Africa
3. Patrick Davis - U.S.A
4. Tim Berger - U.S.A
5. Ceej Zumbar - U.S.A
9. Lee Gaskell (Capt.) - New Zealand
10. Stefan Kruger - South Africa
12. Thomas Davidson - England
14. Ivan Stacy - England
15. Juan Viola - South Africa
16. John Beaton - Canada
17. Michael Mallary - U.S.A
18. Warren Minnaar - South Africa
21. Alex Patriquen - Canada
22. Art Oogjen - U.S.A
The first half wasn't bad, but the Dragons failed to use their chances. We were a bit tentative and Seoul played some dominant and relentless rugby. Their star full-back scored twice and one try was converted. 12 - 0 to Seoul at the break. We knew we were still in the game and just had to hold on to the ball more and not try anything out of the ordinary. We had a good chance if we just made more use of the backline.
Seoul got a penalty and made their first real mistake by not finding touch. A great counter attacking run by Todd Miller set up the back line to use quick hands, as an overlap was created. We finished off through Thomas Davidson, with some great hands, support play and communication. The kick was unsuccessful. 12 - 5 to Seoul. The momentum shifted and Warren Minnaar was brilliant at winning our own kick-off. A few phases later and some fancy footwork from some forwards, saw Todd Miller jump accross the white wash. 12 - 12.
Again from the kick-off Minnaar got the ball back to the Dragons side and we made our way to the line. Some sneaky hands in a ruck got Seoul a turn over, but their kick was charged down by Stefan Kruger. Kruger calmly gathered the ball and over he went for a third Dragons try. 12 - 17 to Daegu. Seoul weren't happy, as they didn't have much possesion of the ball in the second half. They made another crucial mistake by not finding touch from another penalty, and we ran it back to them.
Another infringement at ruck time from Seoul gave us a penalty with a minute to go. Lee Gaskell found the sideline and it was our line-out. I found my jumper successfully and we tried to maul it to the line. Lee Gaskell was stuck in the maul, so that left me at the half back position. I threw a dummy to the left and went down the right-hand blind side. Got the ball out quickly and Gaskell got out of that previous maul to run in the fourth try, untouched in the corner. Final score 12 - 22 to the Dragons.
The Busan game was a much more convincing game for the Dragons. We were up 12 - 0 at half-time. It wasn't by all means an easy match as Busan had us tackling for long periods. Eventually Daegu ran out 29 - 0 winners and took maximum points from the season opening tournament.
The Daegu Dragons, The Cheongju/Daejeon Knights and the Jeonnam Aliens were all unbeaten on the day, while the Seoul Survivors lost again, at the death, against the Knights 7 - 12. The Busan Bandits and the Killer Bees (Seoul B/Military combination) were on the recieving end, too, and didn't register a win yet. All in all, it was a very successful day for Daegu, and I am proud to be on this team.