The Score Dragons ran out 6-4 winners over the Score Raiders at WIN Stadium on Saturday 19 June 2021. The teams play twice a year, once in Wollongong once in Canberra, with the return hopefully played soon, subject to COVID restrictions.
The Score Dragons and Score Raiders programmes were developed by The Disability Trust, working with the St.George Illawarra Dragons and the Canberra Raiders. Both Clubs have really invested in these programmes, and are passionate about delivering positive outcomes and ensuring that people with disabilities are included in the local rugby league community.
Last week, the St. George Illawarra Dragons held their regular press day in the lead up to the game at the WIN Stadium. As well as the NRL players giving press interviews, the team also arranged for the Score Dragons and Score Raiders players to be a part of it, which was fantastic. Two participants, Joshua Lacovelli and Marcus Innus were interviewed by WIN news and The Illawarra Mercury.
The teams got to participate in the NRL captains training runs. The Dragons and Raiders also hyped the game up on their social media, and the high point was for the Score Dragons and Score Raiders players to be able to run out on the field at WIN Stadium before the main game. The St George Illawarra Dragons and the Raiders formed a Guard of honour for the teams and for the players to be welcomed out by current NRL players was a huge highlight.
The game itself was twenty minutes of two-handed touch, with the Score Dragons winning and securing bragging rights. It was a great opportunity for the teams to showcase their skills for the local community, and the response was fantastic. The crowd was overwhelmingly positive watching and cheering on their team. The Score Dragons really felt like they were a part of the St. George Illawarra Dragons, and the local crowd acknowledged that. The comments on social media in the lead up to the game and afterwards were overwhelmingly positive, happy to see people with disabilities getting the chance to play, and many surprised by the skill level of the players.
The Score Dragons and Score Raiders feel very integrated with the rest of the footy community. They play in the local Illawarra and ACT junior rugby league competitions throughout the season, so it’s an extension of that sense of belonging and their opponents are always so welcoming. It’s really positive to see that inclusiveness across different levels of the rugby league community.
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