TRAINING: Tuesday: 1XV 19.30-21.00, 2XV 18.00-19.30, Ladies XV 18.30-20.00 // Thursday: 1XV 19.30-21.00, 2XV 19.30-21.00, Ladies XV 19.00-20.30

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1XV vs. Bekaro

Sunday 8 December, Roosendaal

Last Sunday the 1XV played their last game of 2019. The choice was made to rest some player with minor injuries. The withdrawal of two players, who tried everything to be fit on time, due to illness shook up the line-up even more.  Nevertheless, the line-up was great and showed a lot of promising players making their debut for the first team.

Our arrival did me think of the game against Tilburg three years ago when Iain wasn't able to find the club and we needed to free wheel the line-up, warm-up and coaching. The normal road to the club was blocked and we weren't noticed. Therefore, the kit was in 50 minutes before kick-off. Also, our young centre Pi-Air had at least three car accidents and one road-block on his way to Bekaro and therefore couldn't start the game. These minor things normally have their effect on the mind and so it did. We started the game of slow but Bekaro also did. The wind was blowing like a foreigner for the first time in Amsterdam which had a big influence on the kicks and lineouts. We used this to our advantage and pinned them into their corner. The first 5 to 10 minutes were played in their half. We were knockin' on the trylines door but unfortunately weren't able to score. As the wind had his influence on the game, we couldn't win our lineout. This led to a few scrappy plays in which we are known to not be at our best. They scored in the corner, but we knew that we could take them. We regrouped and started playing our system. Within a few minutes Sebash and Dan made two consecutive breaks getting us 5 meters to the tryline with a penalty advantage. After this resulted in slow ball our scrumhalf took his chances and placed a small chip kick over the defensive line and collected it himself to score, 5-7. After this Bekaro got some reinforcements in, in Wilnus's words: ereklasse rejects. This had its effect in the amount of illegal and legal charges in the game. A tug of war began between us and Bekaro and the ref was not liking it at all. At least half of the game was scrum time and kicks from one side to another. Just before halftime Bekaro took the led after we lost our lineout and one of their ereklasse rejects steps through a few tackles to score. We knew that we could take these guys and tried to redeem our self in the second half.

The second half doesn't need as large of a report as the second half. This half was dominated by scrums, missed offences and parts of brilliant play by the LSRG. Where the ref in the beginning of the game was kindly penalising them for the large amount of offences, he forgot to do so in the second half. Bekaro saw this opportunity and started to bully us with late hits, eye gouging and other nasty stuff. This got into our heads and this is how we got the tries against us. Rugby also has a big mental aspect to it and when this starts to break than the dykes are broken. Again, this was a really familiar moment as we at least had had this every year against teams like HRC, Te Werve, Octopus 2015(#neverforget #Joeri&Marco) and the Bassets. The great thing that I did see today and already for more games this season is that we got back into it. Even though we let our heads hang at some moment we got back into it and had some great moments throughout this half. This resulted in another two tries for us in the last 10 minutes of the game.

There are a few things to learn from a game like this. When the game gets scrappy and you see that people are having a tough game, get your mate out of the dirt and start fighting for the sake of the game. The best thing you could do it to lead by example: give your teammate a knife underneath the belt and work your ass of to kill some fat farmers. Your killer tackle could be the catalyst for Guus's anger that turns him into the incredible hulk after all the radiation he already received during his medicine study. The next thing is to stop feeling terrible when mistakes happen and just get into easy system play. Hit it up a few times, keep the ball in your possession and lose the anxiety. There are only two teams in the world that would like to defend for 80 minutes and that are the all blacks and the springboks.

I am very proud of everybody this game. Although we lost spirit sometimes I the game we can only learn from this and again we regrouped mid-game and started playing again. This is not something many teams can do so we could be very proud on this! Shout out goes to all the new players in the squad. Koen, Vincent, Taxi and Aidan played without fear and this is what everyone should do.

Always drifting and probably trying to chip kick during the next few games,

Maurits aka Aziz the Great

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