1XV vs. RC Tovaal 1
Sunday 27 October,
Het Palenpadje, Leiden
Home match against again one of the top teams in our league, Tovaal. We played these guys three times last year we knew exactly what to expect from them. As we were unbeaten at home this year, we were looking to maintain this record and get us in a higher position in the ranks.
We started of slow, sometimes a bit typical for the LSRG. A few weird penalties in a row caused us to be pinned in our own five meters. After some minutes of big defence our line was broken and we needed to start firing from there. We quickly noticed that Tovaal couldn't keep up with our system and the strength of our forwards. We were outplaying them for the bigger part of the first half and winning and stealing most the line outs. We broke their line after some great phases and a small replay in combination with overthrowing their winger let our Belgium Luuk du Soleil score in his first start for the first team. As we were outplaying them some risky play from our side caused them to stay in the game. The ref also played part in this by giving penalties for correctly placing the ball and diving on the ball that's lose on the ground. This last penalty gave Tovaal the opportunity to kick the ball in the corner. We stole the line out but after this was not caught and one of their players cleared out the guy closest to the ball after which another one dived on it and scored. They again converted leaving us with a half time score of 5 – 14.
The second half started great as we were again dominating their team in open play but we just weren't able to get points on the board. Replays being called without overlaps in combination with unlucky offloads turned this game into a tug of war. After we finally played into the spaces Jan Hein finished a great attack with a barnstorming run leaving at least three players of Tovaal looking for oysters in the astro turf, 10-14. This same moment also ended the game for Hent as one of the Tovaal coaches, who came on the field without being on the list, 'fell' upon him and crushed the air out of his lungs. Like the line out of Ireland after the release of Devin Toner, ours also lost structure resulting in more taps from the jumper but still no loses. As we noticed that Tovaal clearly was knocked down by our score, the taste of blood led us into a strong last 15 minutes. Again Jan Hein got the ball at the wing after some great phase play and again leaving multiple tovaal players biting the dust after rushing through their defensive line and scoring, 15-14. We knew that this game was ours and we kept on firing but again we weren't able to get more points on the board. Again two penalties in a row for no reason pinned us in our own 5 meters. This time we weren't able to disrupt their line out but big Dan almost immediately swam through their maul getting hands on the ball. As luck was not on our side they got the maul moving and miraculously grounded the ball, 15-21. We still didn't gave up and went looking for the score to win the game. Again looking for that one SBW pop behind the back resulting in the try of the season, we didn't get the score. This gave them the room to kick us back into the corner. As we again stole the line out, the bounce didn't went our way ending up in their Prop getting the ball 1 meter in front of the line. The game was ended with this ending in a 15-26 score...
Again I can copy past this part from the last two games we played. Everyone worked their asses off. The work rate was there and even the phase play was the best that I've seen all season. Really everybody should again be proud of their game as you can see the exponential growth of rugby skills and knowledge.
The things we need to work on is our exit plays, scrum position and maintaining the ball. Something to take into consideration, why should we score in the first phase with a great offload when you can smash them for another 20 phases and scoring with a small run under the post leaving them making 20 tackles without touching the ball and running down at least 5 minutes of the clock.