The Dogs built up an 18-3 first-half lead, and hung on for an 18-15 final over Swilers Saturday to win their first Goodyear Cup St. John’s senior A men’s rugby championship in the Mount Pearl-based club’s 41-year history.
“It was certainly a game of two halves, in more ways than one,” said Dogs coach Simon Blanks of the game played at the Swilers Rugby Complex. “We dominated the first half, and then for the second, Swilers dominated.
“It was a real arm-wrestle out there. Guys were thundering each other.”
The win snapped the Swilers’ 14-year run as Goodyear Cup champions.
Kirk Fitzpatrick and Ryan Stratton had tries for the winners. Dean Blanks had a conversion and a pair of penalty kicks.
The Dogs now represent the province in next year’s national club championship. They will take on the winner from the Maritime provinces next Labour Day, with the winner of that match joining the top four men’s premier clubs to battle it out next Thanksgiving Day weekend for the national club championship.
Members of the Dogs are captain Jordon Power, Steve Cutliffe, Kirk Fitzpatrick, Brad Lester, Chris Browne, Kyle St. Croix, Matt O’Reilly, Matt Murphy, Danny Aylward, Alex Rogers, Paddy Pilon, Shane Stratton, Sheldon Ryan, Liam Buckley, Riley Simms, Tyler Power, Ryan Stratton, Grant Casey, Morgan Simms, Tommy Anstey, Mike Duff, Brady Walsh, Dennis Maher and coaches Simon Blanks and Terry Chaytor.
Edited to correct Sheldon Ryan's name