“I thought we were outstanding today” All the reaction as Dulwich College retain the Daily Mail Cup

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Coach Logic

Dulwich College yesterday became only the fifth side to retain the Daily Mail Cup after they beat Northampton School for Boys 27-17 at Twickenham. Here is all of the reaction to that wonderful victory:

Dulwich College Head Coach, Sam Howard:

On the Final:

“I thought we were outstanding today, I thought we drove the ball terrifically well, just in that last 15 minutes we maybe started to get a bit nervous but we held out, they’re a good side but we did well.”

“It’s a brutal tournament to win, just look at some of the games we’ve had, the semi final was absolutely heart wrenching. The boys have been outstanding for two years though, we’ve fought tough, we’ve only been in the Daily Mail Cup for two years and we haven’t lost a game and you can just see how much it means to the boys out there, and the supporters who were phenomenal again.”

“What’s been brilliant for us since about half term in the Michaelmas Term is our lineout drive, it’s been brilliant all year, Hector McKimm at the back just controls it magnificently, he doesn’t panic. That has been crucial to us and again it has worked well today.”

On how this years run compares with last year:

“I think it is fair to say that we probably had an easier run this year than last, having had Abingdon, Whitgift, Hampton and St Joseph’s last year, so I suppose on paper it was a little easier, but then again the semi final was as tough a game as we’ve had in the last two years.”

“I think we’ve known all along that maybe we’ve got a better side than last year, a lot of those boys are a year older with more experience. I’ve always said all along that it’s going to take a very good side to beat us, I suppose thankfully we haven’t come up against one yet!”

On Dulwich’s style of play:

“I’ve got no idea (How Dulwich College manage to continue to produce such good forward packs), it’s got nothing to do with me, I don’t know what they do in there! It’s the players though, we’ve got big boys, they buy into the culture of it, we’ve a fairly structured way of playing and the boys buy into it and they don’t deviate, that works well”

“Again though, Ali Neden came up with a bit of magic for our second try which shows that we can play a bit. But the conditions dictated it, we actually wanted to throw it around a bit and show that we’re not just one-dimensional but there was no way you could do that in those conditions. We had to tuck it up the jumper and the big boys up front carried brilliantly in that second half particularly. We knew they’d tire if just kept them in.”

On his captain:

“Dom Wroe Wright’s been carrying his knee since Epsom, the last game of the Michaelmas term. He was man of the match by a million miles today, he was phenomenal. On one leg, when he got the ball back on the 10 metre line when the ten kicked it through, fantastic. He was absolutely massive today, he was phenomenal.”

On a possible third in a row, and the future of this years leavers:

“We’re not even going to think about that, we’re going to enjoy this one! A few of them will hopefully play for the Old Alleynians. I think it’s one of the jobs as Master in charge of Rugby, to keep the boys in the game.”  

Dulwich College Captain and Openside Flanker, Dom Wroe Wright:

On this year compared to last:

“Last year went by really quickly, this year I thought I’d try to remember it but I don’t remember any of the game, it just flashed by, it hasn’t really sunk in.”

“I think this year we felt that we could play a bit more rugby, we didn’t have to defend as much. When we got towards the end of the first half we were on the back foot in the final, we used our experience from last year and that helped us a lot.”

On dealing with NSB coming back into the game:

“We had it as well in the semi final with Hampton where they just came back into the game, we just tried to keep our heads and keep things simple, to get back on the front foot and to get our momentum back. I think we managed to do that, and then to an extent we just made some silly mistakes that we shouldn’t have.”

On the sides development since last year:

“When we came here today our original plan was to play rugby then obviously the weather conditions didn’t let us do that. That limited us, we had to play our forwards game and keep it tight, but we have expanded a lot since last year, we’ve beaten teams by 50 points this year, we didn’t do that last year at all, we’ve really taken teams to the cleaners. I think we have gone back to our original game plan when we’ve needed to but I think we can play rugby any time we need to.”

On Dom Fraser’s kicking:

“He’s out there a lot practicing, it pays off and it shows, he really does put in the hours, fair play to him. Also without the team, without the work of some of the forwards like Beno (Obano) Josh (Ibuanokpe) and Jeremy (Reason) he wouldn’t get the opportunity to slot those kicks. A lot of players contribute to the penalties and then he does very well to slot them over from anywhere!”

On what make s the win so special:

“Especially in the forwards, but as a team, we work really hard for each other.  I think we’ve got a real team ethic and we always have done since year nine when I joined the school, we’ve always thought we can go on and become a great team and I think that’s what we’ve done by securing this second Daily Mail Cup in a row.”

Dulwich College double try scorer and Second Row, Hector McKimm:

“We have a decent maul I’d say, we’ve scored a lot of tries from it. I’m lucky enough to be the guy at the back of the maul, the guys at the front of it are doing the real hard work, it’s a team effort, and my tries are a reward for the teams work, it’s unbelievable really, with the maul being so strong I get to score a few.”

Dulwich College inside centre and place kicker, Dom Fraser:

On the game:

“I think whenever we scored some points, whether it was a penalty or a try, we always let off, we never carried on putting more points on. The first twenty we showed what we could do, ten points up, but we never actually capitalised on us winning, we just let them come back into the game over and over again. But our defence at the end was incredible.”

“We have a call where we got back to a default setting and I thought in the second half we did that really well, especially one man down near the end, we did that really well.”

On his kicking:

“It isn’t easy, I just concentrate on where I want to hit the ball and that’s it really. The forwards got me there, they’re the ones that actually get the penalties, I just put them over. They do their job so then I can do mine.”

How winning this year compares to last year:

“I’d say it’s better than last year, just because we actually scored this year as well. It wasn’t just about scoring though, the team effort this season has been unbelievable, an unbeaten season, and leading up to this has been unbelievable. It’s cool, not many words to describe it.”

On his celebration plans:

“I think we might just go home and rest for a bit (laughs)”

Northampton School for Boys Head Coach, Mark Lee:

On the conditions:

“Of course Id have preferred a dry day so that our backs could get on the ball a bit, and we could bring a bit more pace and tempo to the game because Dulwich were very big up front and they could maul the ball forward and just edge and edge and edge, they scored two tries like that.”

“So I’d have probably preferred a bit of a nicer day but it’s the same for both teams and I try to say that to our boys, we mustn’t ever look to blame the weather or the conditions, we must just play what’s in front of us and that’s what we did.”

On dealing with the Dulwich maul:

“I think their kilogram per man was bigger than ours. Without cheating it’s probably impossible (to stop it). We should have probably sacked it a bit earlier but we try and contest at the lineout and if we don’t win we try and drive. But if you’ve got two tonnes against three tonnes then I think that the three tonnes will win, as it proved today.”

On his side coming into the game in the latter stages:

“When we saw Dulwich play in the semi final we thought they tired, and I thought they tired again today, so we deliberately said in the middle third we were going to tap and go and break the game up and take it away from their big pack.”

”If we can attack outside that thirteen channel and recycle the ball we’ve got the individuals who can score from anywhere. They managed to keep it in there a bit though but we did break it up a little and my feeling of the performance is that we did play really, really well today.”

On his team’s reaction to defeat:

“They’re gutted initially, but we’ve been trying to instil in them that there is a massive sense of pride. The crowd go behind them and they have done themselves proud today. They came up against a side that’s won it last year, Dulwich are a strong outfit, they’ve been favourites all the time, they’re undefeated, and we got close.”

”Had these little tiny bits gone our way we could have pulled off a shock but huge congratulations to Dulwich. As the minutes tick by though I’m feeling better and better because we’ve come here today and we’ve performed on the biggest stage and we’ve got in sight of Dulwich.”

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