Natixis HKFC Dragons Grand Champions
The best game of the Grand Championship day belonged to the encounter between the Natixis HKFC Dragons and the Valley Knights. The two teams have been battling it out between each other at the top of the second grade rugby for the last few seasons. Last season the Dragons romped to a league title but lost comfortably in the Grand Final to Valley. This season Valley beat the Dragons on the last league weekend to win the league and thus set the scene for what was always going to be a tight and enthralling contest.
The Dragons started the stronger of the two teams almost scoring in the first couple of minutes but after some slick passing from the backs, centre Tom Isaacs broke through but managed to lose the ball as he was diving for the line. During this sustained period the Dragons were only able to come away with a penalty by Will Mellor.
Valley then came back into the game and scored two opportunist tries, both originating from the half way line to make the score 12-3. The Dragons though fought their way back into the game and pretty much camped themselves on the Valley try line turning down kicks at goal to opt for a five metre scrum. Although they wasted plenty of opportunities they did cross the whitewash with young flanker James Mason converted by Will Mellor to make the score at half time 12-10 to Valley.
Whatever the Dragons Head Coach, Thierry Barot, said at half time seemed to work as they flew out of the blocks and scored three unanswered tries from hooker Mitch Andrews, centre Tom McColl and back row James Hooper, with Will Mellor converting one and making the score 27-12.
Most of the crowd thought this lead was too much to give up but Valley had other ideas and came roaring back dominating the remainder of the game. They scored two converted tries to take the game to 27-26 with the final nine minutes of the game toing and froing from one end of the pitch to the other as both teams looked for an elusive score. The Dragons defence however held out and they deserved to pick up the Grand Championship trophy.