HMS Dragon v Doha RFC
Dragon arrived in Qatar to play Doha RFC full of confidence after their previous results. The squad had a number of injuries which meant the coach/manager CPO (CIS) Neil Evans had to play a few players out of position. The game started well for both teams and early penalties were exchanged at both ends. The heat and humidity (44 degrees and 85% humidity) took its toll on both sides and the game slowed in tempo within the first 20 minutes.
AB Darren Bamford was forced off with an early knee injury and was replaced by Evans. Evans almost immediately made an impact with a trademark side step through the Doha defence scoring under the posts which he also converted.
AB Foxwell then broke the Doha defensive line to score under the posts to give Dragon a 17-10 half time lead. Doha started the second half with greater intensity and scored two quick tries to lead 24-17. A few enforced changes for Dragon enabled them to rediscover their structure, and found themselves back in the game. AB Foxwell scored again after PO Delaney had powered through the Doha defensive line. With a the game breaking up, both teams struggled to find any continuity due to the heat, but Doha took advantage of a mix up in the Dragon’s back line to score in the corner leaving the game on a knife edge at 29-24 going into the final minutes of the game. Dragon were awarded a scrum on the half way line and broke down the blindside. Quick hands from Evans put CPO Daz Pounder free, running powerfully into the 22 where he popped the ball inside to the ever present Foxwell to claim his hat-trick of tries. It was left to Evans put over the kick on the final whistle for an exciting 29-31 win to retain their unbeaten record and leave the Doha players totally deflated.