TRAINING: Tuesday: 1XV 21.00-22.30, 2XV 18.00-19.30, Ladies XV 21.00-22.30 // Thursday: 1XV 19.30-21.00, 2XV 19.30-21.00, Ladies XV 19.30-21.00

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2XV vs. Delftse Studenten

For the third time this season we played the Bicycle Repair(wo)men from Delft. The first time was quite the disappointment. We lost undeservedly by just 5 points and it left us feeling a bit down. When we met them for the second time, we did win, but only against 11 players of Delft. This game would measure our growth during the season properly and we would have an idea of where we stand now.

The team was filled with guys who made great progress from the beginning of this season. It’s great to see players who only started playing the game half a year ago are developing the way they are. I can’t imagine the team without someone like Jeroen. Always present at practise, enjoying every minute of rugby, learning the game and becoming a great fullback and strong asset to the team. Then there are the players like Hidde who has been with us for a couple of years now and is becoming one of the pillars of the Second XV. The confidence he is playing with is noticeable and especially in the scrum he is important for us. And lastly we got the opportunity to bring some players with us who have First XV experience. The extra push a player like Corrado gives us in Second Team is huge.

All this came together in Delft. Right from the start it was Leiden who pushed Delft against the wall and we didn’t let go. We made use of our strength in the centers and of course it was Harry who got over the line first. Using his big legs to power him forward, Delft was unable to stop him multiple times. After our lighting fast start it was time for the forwards to control the game. Unfortunately during the first half we made a lot of silly mistakes. Mostly it had to do with discipline. Standing offside next to the ruck is easily avoidable and the high tackles were unnecessary. When we play versus better teams we will get punished for these mistakes. That said we scored some great tries. Taxi Chris charging the line and making three hand offs was one highlight, Jeroen scoring the first try of his hattrick was another. HT: 34-0.

During half time the discipline issue was addressed and it got better in the second half. What was not so good, was the fact that Delft had no subs. In the true spirit of the game Luuk and Hein valiantly volunteered to swap the Skyblue and Maroon for the Black and Blue. Let’s hope for Delft that at their next game everyone does show up to play. Having Luuk in their team had an immediate impact and the result was two tries against us. Not that the game became close because we didn’t stop scoring as well, but still it was nice to have the competitive edge back. The best score of the day was saved for last and was an example of what went exceptionally well this game. The focus of this game: running in support. And this was textbook. Ernst, who was playing a great game, almost made it to the tryline. Maybe with a little bit more effort and greediness he could have made it. But instead he looked for the offload, found his support runner Hein and gave a perfect pop. Congrats to Hein for scoring his first try! Score: 10-66.

Man of the Match: Andrelon. Playing solid under the kicks, strong running with the ball in hands and scoring three tries because of your support. Maybe pass the ball to Matthijs one time?

Dick of the Day: Big Bart. Great game. Again you are demolishing defenses with your running and you tackle everyone who stands in your way. But why drop the ball when you’re over the tryline? Twice???

Your Coach

2XV vs. Batavieren 1

A long anticipated game was upon us. After 5 wins we were hungry for an opponent who would test our abilities to the point of getting to know our limits. The improvements we underwent this season are huge and this was shown by the scores we racked up in the previous matches. But we also knew that, looking at the standings, The Batavieren are the only true competition for the topspot. We beat them the first time we met, back in October. And having grown in the season, we were confident we had the quality to beat them again.

With Sine Regno still in the back of the headache, we all assembled at ‘t Palenpadje to see our ladies win a great game. The conditions seemed unchanged from the last couple of weeks. Wind was battering the goalposts and some well timed rain made us remember we were still in the Netherlands. The game plan was simple: Try to avoid contact and get the ball wide. It was an obvious choice for us we wanted this type of game. Too bad for us it didn’t work out.

All the credit must go to the Combination Team for making this happen though. While our game was to avoid contact, their game plan was to go into contact as much as possible. It was as simple as it was effective. Everytime a player charged the gainline he went over and took about five meters. And in the centers a mean looking, bearded Romanian made the lives of the men in Skyblue and Maroon even worse. The score at the end of the first half said a lot: 24-0 to the visitors from below the riverlands.

But it didn’t tell the whole story. Every single one of us put our heart into tackling and running the ball. Maybe the score didn’t say so much, but the effort was there. Tim dominated his opponent a couple of times, Jurre was quick to make good hits and Falke made his mark in his first real game! In our running game we were a bit panicking. We tried so hard to put points on the board, that the game went too quickly for support to be present. Or we made a knock on after a good run. When we play this type of games, with lots of pressure on our defense, we must be precious with the ball in our possession. Settle a bit. Follow the plan. Let the forwards hit it up two times, create some space for the backs to run the ball. And then play again.

The second half was a more fun half to watch, except for two painful moments. Our scrum twice took a beating so hard, we crumbled under the pressure. This was a harsh reality for which the ref took action to. For the remainder of the game it would be uncontested scrums to ensure the safety of the players. Both teams scored a couple more tries, with Falke, playing his first match, immediately scoring his first try as well! Awesome job. We hope to see you play a lot more games for het Gezelschap.

The match was hard and all the players felt the pain of losing. But know that everyone played to their potential that day. The Batavieren are a tough bunch to play against and they deserved the win this day. Score: 19-48. We will now lick our wounds and come back with a vengeance on March 29th!

Man of the Match: Jurre. Still new to the club, he performed well above the average. The intensity of your tackles makes you a force to reckon with.

Dick of the Day: Aidan. Complaining about your country’s best players is one thing, but then not putting your money where your mouth is, is a second. The honour of bringing a sausage is well earned!

Your coach

Ladies XV vs. Wageningen

Whilst the majority of the Dutch population was drinking beer, either enjoying carnaval or enjoying the après ski, we had a game to win. With only 13 girls on our beloved Palenpadje, el capitan off to South America and the 'vjeze' being knocked down by the flue, this surely was no easy task. After last week's tight loss we could not afford to lose points against Wageningen, the bottom team of the poule.
Luckily we are quite friendly with the Wageningen women (perhaps because Sofie tightened the bond at the start of the season), so they agreed to an uncontested scrum before the match due to our lack of front row players.

The first half was tough against the strong wind. We were disorganized in defense because we lacked some of our experienced players and because of the hustled lineup. Still, we were the ones putting the first points on the board, with Marie making a run across their half. This gave us the much needed confidence we could win this game. We diverted a bit from our usual gameplan, with some crashes and pick-and-go's, creating space for our fast runners. With a HT score of 14-7 we were eager to smash them in the second half.

We owned the next 40 minutes, with 5 more tries and almost playing exclusively on Wageningen's half. Under pressure in their own 22, Wageningen gave away some penalties, resulting in some nice crashes over the tryline. Wageningen scoring was out of the question, with our defense back to the concrete wall it was during the first 5 games. Zoë's right foot was reliable as ever throughout the game, despite the wind, which made the FT score 47-7. The game was a true team effort, which made me even more proud of the result. People pushed through, played at completely new positions, stepped up their game and overcame the initial difficulties. Massive thanks to Karolina, who had not played in six months due to injury, but surprised us on sunday morning to help the team out and played a full game. WOTM was awarded to Daphne, who made amazing tackles, put the Wageningen backs under pressure and had the ungrateful task to throw lineouts in for the first time ever with an unforgiving wind. Thanks to the zijlijngezelschap and the 2XV for the support, hope to see you again at Palenpadje 3.0 on the 8th of march as we battle against the number two of the poule, hopefully on our way to the second division.

Iris

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.

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