Youthful Dragons come up just short in rugby loss to Saskatoon All Blacks

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Dave Leaderhouse
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The Saskatchewan Rivers Dragons, right, and Saskatoon All Blacks locked horns in a North Saskatchewan Rugby Union contest on Thursday at Max Clunie Field. The Dragons scored the game's first points, but were shut out the rest of the way as Saskatoon claimed a 12-7 victory in soggy and cool conditions.

Sometimes losing isn’t such a bad thing.

The Saskatchewan Rivers Dragons dropped a 12-7 decision to the Saskatoon All Blacks in North Saskatchewan Rugby Union action on Thursday at Max Clunie Field, but they still took a lot away from the defeat.

“Paul Roy (Dragons’ assistant coach) asked (after the game) if everyone learnt something and everyone put up their hands,” said Prince Albert head coach Cory Trann following the soggy contest. “We will get better with experience.”

The Dragons have a lot of new faces in the line-up this year and with just one previous game under their belt – a 33-0 win last week in Saskatoon against the Wallabies – it is going to take some time for them to mesh.

“We want to keep the ball alive and moving,” noted Trann. “They were reverting to the latest things we taught them, but that will come with time and experience.”

Prince Albert opened the scoring when veteran Lukas McConechy broke through the line and scored a try. Ashton Milligan converted the play to make the score 7-0.

Saskatoon stormed right back with a try of their own, but the convert was wide leaving the score 7-5 for Prince Albert at halftime.

The All Blacks then scored the winning points early in the second half and while the convert appeared to sail just wide of the far post it was signalled good by the judges leaving the Dragons down by a try.

Prince Albert struggled at times in the second half with anxious plays resulting in turnovers, but they still had a chance to tie the game in the dying seconds only to have a final push stopped five yards short of the goal line.

“They (All Blacks) are our main rivals every year,” said Trann. “We love playing them. They play a lot like us; they play with an edge all the time. They play gritty and real hard.”

The Dragons won’t have to wait long for another chance at their rivals as the same two clubs will meet in Saskatoon next Thursday. Prince Albert’s next home game is not until June 3 when they will host the Wallabies at 6 p.m. at Max Clunie Field.

 

Organizations: All Blacks, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Rivers Dragons North Saskatchewan Rugby Union

Geographic location: Saskatoon

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