TRAINING: Tuesday: 1XV 19.30-20.55, 2XV 18.00-19.25, Ladies XV 19.30-20.55 // Thursday: 1XV 21.00-23.00, 2XV 21.00-23.00, Ladies XV 21.00-23.00

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1XV vs. RC The Hookers

As last Sunday was canceled due to a storm with such a terrifying name that even Genghis Khan would be frightened, we were very keen on finally playing a game. We were looking for our first win of 2020. The gods again had chosen to make it unable for the Dutch inhabitants to even understand what the Aussies were going through over the last few weeks. It was hosing. As we travelled to the most utter corner of Holland, we knew that it was going to be a battle against the elements. Luckily we were with great numbers at the Hookers as the ladies kicked off before us. While supporting the ladies, we noticed that their battle against the wind and rain made the pitch look more and more like a mud pool. It was going to be a great game for the backs.

We made a tactical decision to start playing against the wind. We knew that it would be better to start of tough and with a strong defence after which we would run them over in the second half. UnLSRGlike, we started sharp and were pressuring the hookers. As we trained the zigzag over the last few weeks, this focused worked payed off immediately. We retained the ball over multiple phases in the hookers 22 and finally crashed over the line to score. We felt that we could take them up front and started playing in their half. In the words of Wilnus, we got trigger-happy. We wanted to do too much with the ball and smash them in defence which gave us at least 10 penalties in the first half. As the wind was also in their back we were set back at least 40 meters everything they could kick the ball. Nevertheless, we were the better team and still finished the second half with a 12-0 score.

The second half was pretty one-sided. We used the weather in our advantage and played at least 90% of the time in their half. We kept on bashing with our system and sucking in defender after which we played it through the hands to get good field position or the score. Also a unique moment for this season, we got some soft tries. Probably for the first time this season our inexhaustible pressure in defence got us some scores. Almost every time they did something else then one ups, we got a turnover. It was also great to see that we had solid rucks and supporting lines. We didn't get one steal against us. As this is the first fully positive paragraph in a while, you can guess the outcome of the game. We won 0-44.

Honourable mentions go to the team for keeping the fight up full game. With these weather conditions it's very easy to take a lower gear and grind yourself through the game. We didn't do this, we kept going in 5th gear(or 6th if you have a nice car) and didn't gave them an inch. Special mentions go to Peter Steph du Koen, Big Dan, Hent and the front row. First of all Koen with his first try ever, very well deserved. This guy just keeps on going and never gives up, the so called next gen players (The Tesla). Big Dan and Hent were both named man of the match. These guys are the always reliable carriers and tacklers in the team and good for both two tries. To stay in the car metaphor , we could compare these guys to the Volvo station wagons of the team. Big enough to carry a team but need to kick-start the motor sometimes. Last but not least the front row, the Trekkers of the team. Build to deliver horse power and to keep going in the same gear without shifting much. These guys are not the people with nice drifting runs but are doing all the dirty work in the scrum and probably even make more meters than the average player. I could probably give everyone a special mentions because everyone really performed well this match. Let's build on this and smash Obelix at our turf the first of March!

Always drifting,

Maurits

P.S. Don't forget to eat your fruits.

Ladies XV vs. Hookers/Bees

Storm Dennis was upon us. The cars of the Dames I team made their way steadily through the strong wind and the whipping rain towards Hoek van Holland. The opponent: a combination team of the Hookers of the Westland and the Bees of The Hagues derivate of Leiden University. They played their first competition match against us, which they won.

We were hopeful we could take the win home. In the first few minutes, we realised it was going to be harder than expected. They were big, the pitch was muddy, sandy and wet, the wind was still blowing and the hands in the ruck aplenty. We showed them our defense, and beautiful tackles were made all game long. Everyone fought for the ball, but they fought just that bit meaner harder. A lot of injuries occured, but that didn't matter: we needed just one more try to win! They were a heavy opponent with an active attack, which we withheld for most of the time. Our girls fought tremendously but had a hard time getting the ball into the backline. Though we showed that whenever we had the ball, we could come far - just not quite far enough for that second try.

The final score of 10-7 was a breakthrough for the 2e Klasse Dames Cuppoule 2e Fase, because these were the first points scored against our Ladies team. But fear not! We are still on top of the list! Our back-in-disguise Myrthe dashed past their defense and scored us a try with a conversion. A big shoutout to Pauline, who played her first match as a scrumhalf in these conditions!

Many thanks in advance to the Vajayjays of the day for providing scrumptious schnacks next week, myself and Marthe, who subconsciously preferred Amsterdam over Westland. And last but definitely not least, the dashing return of Iris! After a year of obtaining and getting used to a new cruciate ligament, she played a fabulous full 80 minutes.

2XV vs. RSRC

After storm Ciara it was time for Dennis to wreak havoc and mess up the playing schedule. Luckily the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute can only signal a minor breeze as a storm once a full moon so the play could continue this time. The one adjustment that was made, gave us some extra sleep because the match would be played in Leiden instead of Rotterdam. Their club being “the lowest rugby club in the world” comes with a pitch which becomes unplayable when someone takes a piss over it, let alone when it actually rains.

Het Palenpadje on the other hand is in perfect condition with rainy weather. The wind did make it harder to effectively use our passing game but we managed really well considering. Right from the start we weren’t afraid to give Jillis the ball and work his magic with his new center duo. Harry and Luuk showed that being new to a position doesn’t mean you can’t play good rugby. And after 25 minutes it all accumulated in an awesome Ja Toch. The move was executed with perfect running lines, timing and passing and the Rotterdam defence was completely flustered. It was followed up with go support running by Jeroen and it could have been a try were it not for the touch line. A bit unlucky but the move was still great. And it all happened without a lot of practise. For me this shows the potential and talent you guys possess.

But the first half started off with some strong refereeing. Rotterdam wanted to let us know they knew what a hit to the jaw is. So within five minutes three times the ref had to penalise them and with the third penalty came a yellow card. This helped the red and green pigs to tackle more disciplined and almost no high tackles were made in the rest of the game.

In general the first half was mostly the forwards fighting for the ball in scrums, line outs and rucks. Scrums were tough but we managed to control it most of the time. Line outs went well again when the ball was thrown straight. But we improved the most in the rucking game. The practise is paying off with this one. We had no problem keeping our own ball and we were even able to steal the ball a couple of times. Our strong offence was complemented by an excellent defence. Rotterdam was rarely able to break our line and kicked quite a lot. Just once they broke our defence and ran the ball in. They took the lead after the conversion because the try Luuk du Soleil wasn’t converted. The score at half time didn’t resemble the statistics. We dominated them but we were down 5-7.

The second half started where the first half stopped. From the beginning we put RSRC under pressure and started punching their defensive line. And it didn’t take long before we crossed the try line for the second time. This time it was Tim who stormed over and pushed the ball down, giving us the lead back. A much deserved lead. Although at that point we didn’t know it yet, but when we got ahead of them, the match was essentially over. Not only did we dominate the Leden from 010 but racked up the score as well after the break. One after the other, Sebas, Hollywood, Tim again and Harry scored tries and Jillis was solid with his kicks. Willem also scored his first try, so he will be running his Zumba somewhere in 2025! The final score of the game belonged to Luuk, who didn’t make a knock on fortunately while doing it. Score: 50-7.

One more memorable event of the game was one scrum where we totally owned them. It looked like everything suddenly clicked for us. So far in the season we have some issues controlling the scrum, but this scrum does give a hope we can turn it around. Together with the training we had this Tuesday, we will continue to build a stronger and tighter scrum and make this a foundation to build on.

Man of the Match: Lucas. The Ball Boy showed us what it’s like to be a team player. While everyone who didn’t play was taking shelter in the dugout, he was weathering the storm as our trusted linesman.

Dick of the Day: Rik. It’s sad to see one Committee member is working his ass off, while the other is cutting corners. Coming in late is not how we roll.

Your Coach

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.

Your Coach

Ladies XV vs. REL/Bekaro

Last Sunday we played against REL/Bekaro. We were a bit nervous because the last time we played against them, it was quite a nerve wrecking game. We were off to a rough start and the strong wind made passing difficult, resulting in a lot of knock-ons. REL/Bekaro on the other hand started strong and they almost made a try in the first 10 minutes. But our defense was strong and we pushed them over the sideline. 

After the second injured REL/Bekaro player had to be carried of the pitch and we had reorganised ourselves, the tide started to turn. Marie scored the first try and this gave us new energy to keep pushing. 

In the second half we had the wind in our back and combined with our strong play, we continued to score tries and Arie made most conversions too! REL/Bekaro started to crumble. At full time the score was 48-0, making it our fifth win and still zero tries against!

Try scorers: Marie, Wendy (2x), Myrthe (2x), Yvonne, Arie, Pauline

Woman of the match: Arie

Vajayjay: Loes

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