2XV vs. Batavieren
It was an early rise on Sunday, only to wake up, see a small drizzle and feel a strong side wind. So perfect conditions to play a fine game of rugby. And coincidentally it were the exact same conditions we experienced when we played Delft in September. That day we lost in the final minutes with only a three point difference. Not just perfect conditions, but also a great opportunity for us to show how much we have learned and improved throughout the season.
It was clear that some of us were still a bit sleepy. During the warm up the focus was not yet up. And in the first five minutes this cost us five points. Although our defense was strong, Delft was still able to mess up our line and with clever kick gained a lot of space. The last couple of meters they powered over with their old and experienced forwards. But these five minutes were the only minutes Delft played dangerously.
Straight from the kick off we put pressure on their attacking line with good line speed.Because of the weather knock ons were made quickly. By letting them make mistakes we won a lot of ball. This meant a lot of scrums in which Delft were stronger than us. What was good to see though, was that we still retained a lot of our own ball. We did this by getting the ball out of the scrum fast and letting the backs run with it. With Dugan, OJ and Luuk van Zon the backline was fast and strong. They were able to make plenty of meters when in space.
But it was still a hard grind. A couple of times Delft was able to win the ball. And when they did they were eager to put it to the boot. Andrelon had a great day because of it and caught every ball. Next improvement will be to make the right decisions from that point on. Delft made mistakes with their kicks and knocks ons but we did as well. Mostly we are not aggressive enough in the rucks. If we can improve on this part of our game, we will win matches easier in the future. Luckily, one guy makes sure we don’t have to ruck! And this was Harry. Every time he got his hands on the ball he ran for 30+ meters. And with one of his runs in the first half he scored a great try. This helped us gain confidence for the second half and opened an easy as hell game plan: feed Harry the ball and run support.
The second half was more of the same with the exception that we had the back wind now. Delft was not able to utilise their kicking game anymore and we put the screws on them. And once again Harry made us cheer with a strong run. He almost had an assist as well but Tim was quick to put a stop to that. A forward offload was enough to mess up a sure try. Better luck next time.
The last few minutes of the game were really tough and it all ended with a shock. Leiden put up a great defense on our own try line. But what we didn’t notice was a Delft player laying on the field. Somewhere had got in on the neck and unfortunately an ambulance had to be called in. A terrible accident. The referee decided it was better to end the game. 5-14.
The day ended with another great win, this time for France who beat England in their opening Six Nations game. What a day to be alive!
Man of the match: Harry. If you don't look closely you will mistake him for a German Tiger Panzer Tank.
Dick of the Day: Tim Worp. Just. Go. To. The. Ground.