Plymouth Albion / Rugby

POLL: Praising his team was Dawe’s only focus after Albion’s win over Wharfedale

graham dawe

GRAHAM DAWE would not be drawn on Plymouth Albion’s off-the-field situation after his side’s 30-10 victory over Wharfedale on Saturday.

Albion’s new owners are expected to be confirmed at a press conference on Monday morning.

It remains to be seen if they will want the former England hooker to continue his rebuilding job at the club or whether he will want to stay.

All Dawe wanted to do after Saturday’s match was praise his squad’s spirit and team ethos.

His young side responded to their heavy loss at Ampthill the previous week to come back from 10-3 down against Wharfedale to claim their 19th win of the season.

“It was a really pleasing performance,” said Albion’s director of rugby.

“We started the game strong and produced some good phase play. Although we did not score in the opening period we looked a very comfortable team on the ball and without the ball.

“Wharfedale also brought a lot to the party. They scored the first try and were good opponents.

“But we just kept trying to build pressure and get some momentum into our game and tried to continue where we finished off against Ampthill.

“Although they went 10-3 up away from the scoreboard we were looking good in contact and phase play and just felt they got quite a lot of field position from a high penalty count against us at the breakdown. Although that was a concern we always felt we could challenge their try line, which we did.

“Our set piece – scrums, line-outs and kick-offs – went well again and we took our chances.

“Although we did kick away a couple of good opportunities in the final 22, when we held on to the ball we certainly challenged their defensive game.”

Dawe refused to comment on how unsettling it had been for the players since the club gave notice of their intention to go into administration, which will result in a 30-point deduction.

“We don’t want to focus on that,” said Dawe.

“What we do focus on and what we have prided ourselves on all season is team work – no individuals.  The three big words we carry are integrity, trust and honesty.

“You don’t always get it right, but we keep harping back to those three words which we build our game-plan around.”

When asked if he and his team were disappointed to just miss out on a try scoring bonus point, Dawe said: “Life is not about being disappointed. It is about achieving small things and taking small steps. If you can continue to rejoice in good standards and performances what more can you ask for?”

What did please Dawe was the size of the crowd for Saturday’s match against Wharfedale. The club attracted an attendance of 1,393, despite Argyle being at home on the same day.

“We were hoping and praying we would get a good crowd after the Blackheath game and it was very pleasing that we did,” said Dawe. “I would like to thank every individual person who came along and supported the team.”

Meanwhile, when asked about his own future at the club, Dawe would only say:  “I’m just really looking forward to next week and going to Loughborough. Hopefully, we can back this win up with a good performance.”

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