Solomon and Moe pave way for DeA's victory
MARK Solomon and Fred Moe scored five of DeA's seven tries between them as the team who were on the verge of pulling out of the Hong Kong rugby union First Division before the season recorded their first win in the Super Eights yesterday.
Solomon, playing in midfield, had a fine game as he jinked and jibed to a hat-trick while the powerful No 8 Moe grabbed a brace as DeA swept to a 44-8 win over Aberdeen.
It was DeA's first win from three games. And it was greeted with exultation by everyone, from those players who have kept faith in the club - like unsung stalwart Ben Harding to newcomer Leighton Duley - to hardworking officials Trevor Gregory and Franco Fabian.
'This win was much needed. There is a great spirit in the club now,' said a happy Gregory afterwards.
Both Gregory and Fabian (absent yesterday as he was on duty with DeA seconds) had added reasons for celebrations as their teenage sons were turning out for DeA.
Flanker Justin Gregory and winger Adam Fabian are a couple of DeA's young guns who were on show yesterday. Both played their hearts out. Fabian, making his First Division debut, capped it all by scoring DeA's final try.
There were other noteworthy faces around, not teenagers but still fresh blood. Like prop Andy Tilke, one of the many new faces netted in by DeA's persuasive Duley.
Tilke, a work-mate of Duley's, was banking on a nice easy day on the touchlines as DeA were boasting the luxury of having two reserves. But the Englishman was drafted in five minutes into the second half when Duley failed to rise from a ruck, laid prone with a head injury which needed eight stitches.
Leading 22-8 at this point, DeA were down to 13 men. One of their reserves, Paul Welham, had been graciously handed over to the opposition who themselves had lost a man - flyhalf Hannes Boshoff who suffered a suspected broken ankle - and hooker-cum-coach Gary Cross had been sin-binned.
Tilke came on for Duley. But a no-push rule was implemented in the scrums due to the temporary absence of Cross. It did nothing to halt DeA's momentum, which gathered force after a hiccup in the opening minutes of the game when Aberdeen's impressive flanker Jarred Gallagher scored his side's solitary try. Moe put DeA back on level terms, scoring off a five-metre scrum.
Aberdeen took the lead again with a penalty by Boshoff, but that was the end of their dominance.
Solomon scored the first of his three tries and Moe followed with his second as DeA led 15-8 at half-time. Rob Naylor did not have his kicking boots on, but it did not matter on this occasion, as DeA were wallowing in tries.
Wallaby legend David Campese says he won't play any rugby next season but has stopped short of announcing yet another retirement.
Campese, Test rugby's all-time leading try scorer, captained the Australian sevens team this year and led the team to a bronze medal in the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in September.
The winger, who has retired several times, said then he would continue playing club rugby for Sydney side Randwick but, asked to confirm that yesterday, the 36-year-old Campese said: 'No rugby at all.' Asked if he was retiring, his cryptic response was: 'No, I just won't play. There's too much work to be done, I'm just too old, mate.'