Plymouth Albion / Rugby

POLL: Dawe praises Albion for an ‘outstanding’ team effort against Henley

Graham Dawe‘AN outstanding effort’ was how Plymouth Albion boss Graham Dawe described his team’s 27-8 home win over Henley Hawks on Saturday.

Albion had to play for an hour of the match with 14 men after Australian centre Marc Koteczky was sent off for retaliating to foul play by Henley’s Plymouth-born flanker Tom Hall, who was yellow carded for the incident.

But Dawe’s side, beaten just once in the last three months, overcame that handicap to run in four tries and claim yet another five point win, which keeps them in fourth place in National One.

“It was an outstanding effort from the boys,” said Dawe. “It was a big win.

“Henley certainly came down to challenge us. They took us on around the fringes and had a lot of ball.

“It was a real tight game. Not until maybe the 70th minute did we feel that we could win the game.

“We then we went on to get the bonus point, which was outstanding effort from all those involved.

“It was a huge result. Our supporters came here to hopefully watch us win and we delivered.

“The whole team performed really well. Our attacking game performed well, as did our defensive and kicking games, our scrum, line-out and kick-off receiving – it was very much a team effort.”

Koteczky was the first Albion player this season to pick up a red card. Tom Cowan-Dickie was the last Plymouth player to be sent off when he picked up a red card at Leeds last season in the Championship.

The Australian has had a perfect disciplinary record over the past two seasons in England, not even pick up a single yellow card in 36 previous competitive games.

When asked about Saturday’s incident, Dawe said: “It was just one of those things. It was unfortunate, but it is part and parcel of rugby, sometimes people react.”

Dawe said he did not see what had happened and would need to watch the DVD before making any specific comment.

“I was 100-metres away,” said the Albion boss. “It is very surprising when anyone gets a red card. A red card is a bit like a penalty try in the fact that in the referee’s mind there is no doubt. We have to take the referee’s view on that.

“Rugby is an emotional and confrontational sport, but whatever happened, happened, we just have to move on.”

Many people inside Brickfields were surprised that the referee showed one player yellow and the other red.

“You always think it is harsh if it is your own player,” said Dawe.

Koteczky will now have to appear in front of an RFU disciplinary hearing where they will decide whether to punish him further.

“Hopefully, the consequences are that the red card is deemed sufficient punishment, because we certainly had to work very hard to get the win,” said Dawe. “Hopefully, that was penalty enough.

“But we’ll wait to see what the RFU think and for them to go through their process and go from there.

“Marc is an outstanding player with his passing, kick and defensive game. Going without him for almost an hour was tough.”

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