Ingezonden door Jan van Dehn:
Wedstrijdverslag Rugby Club Groningen 1 – ASRV Ascrum 2

As I’m cycling to the club on my Brompton, my heart is filled with mixed feelings. The excitation of a championship game and the sadness of being merely an observer on the sideline compete in my heart. Two AC dislocations gave me too few games with this great RCG1 team. But here I am, feeling the first and best supporter of them all, ready to cheer and shout encouragements!

The large crowd around the pitch enjoys an early spring day, and the North East champions from Almelo, tired of their game against RCG2, wait for the game to start.

I watch the warm up, and it just looks a bit nervous. The moves are not as smooth as we can play and the backs drop a few balls. The reinforced A-scrum team, fighting for its place in the 3rd class, is the perfect ingredient for an exciting game.

And nerves showed from the kick-off, with a knock on followed by a penalty against our scrum, a rare error from Mathijs who otherwise whistled brilliantly. Early lead for the visitors, 0-3.

The reaction from our team was immediate. Sietse feeds Ben after receiving a kick cleanly. Ben chips for himself above the defensive line but the rebound would deny him – great skills though from both players. It was only a few minutes later that a seven-men line out and maul resulted in a try for our men by Tjarko. Our superior forwards showing their strength. Thomas converted to make the lead four points, 7-3.

The game continues, and both team play good moves but small mistakes prevent any scoring. Scrums too often result in penalties despite the obvious domination of our front five composed of Reinder, Kris, Erwin, Lars and Niels.

A Lester steal in defence results in a kick from Marten. On the lineout, the men in black recover the ball again. The back move is too easy to read and Reoland is intercepted. This was possibly Sietse’s and Lars’s faster run of the day with a superb combined tackle, which prevented a try! The defence quality would be a constant factor throughout the game.

A scrum finally results in a move, and the RCG has a platform to go forward. Tjarko scores again after a succession of pick and gos – 14-3.

The game is back in our half, Roeland kicks to move the game back to A-scrum’s half, on the counter, Marten intercepts and uses his strength to wait for the support from Thomas and Roeland. Kris comes and shows that he can do better than not so straight throws, opens to Ilya. Lars catches the pop at full speed and scores in the right corner after a 30 m run – 19-3. Brilliant from all involved in the play!

Finally, Niels closes the half by scoring in the left corner on an assist from Reinder – 24-3. The captain also displayed the kind of aggression needed on such a day. The ref forgetting a late tackle I’d call just fine! But yet again, I am French… Half time.

The second half was different from the first, with our players tiring and the subs of A-scrum bringing in strong support. The RCG1 spent most of its time defending in the first 20 minutes with short incursions in the opponent’s 22m.

Thomas had one of his runs, but went a little too far, losing the support with an extra twist and lost the ball. Pity his running skills would not be rewarded!

Henk decides that fresh blood is required, and Gerke came in for Lars. But this does not stop the waves from A-scrum who finally scores in the left corner after a kick and chase – 24-10. The tension on the pitch and the sideline rises a little more as the visitors fancy their chance to prevent our victory in the championship.

The tactics change, the forwards try to keep the ball in control and we kick for territory when in our half. Bert proves precious in the small perimeter the game is played in. Ilya diligently manages the time. Marten brings big tackles and Lars is chasing every ball, supporting, and making himself useful wherever needed. Both show the consistency they displayed all season even in the more obscure tasks.

The game plan is applied in A-scrum’s 22m, the ball goes to the backs, recycles and finally gets to Roeland who finds Ben coming full speed for a try in the right corner – 29-10.

Eric comes in for Thomas, Chennah for Lars. The game comes to an end when the forwards play a blackboard 7-men lineout and maul. Gerke scores for them all – 34-10.

Marijn and Jerry come in to enjoy a few minutes of a championship game for Sietse and Kris.

For all the hard work he’s done and converting two tries, Tjarko is man of the match.

In the game I saw on Sunday, the influence of the coaching team was evident. Even if he spent a fair bit of the game moaning about the not so good choices, I know that Henk was very proud of his troops on the field. And I think that we can be pretty proud of playing for such a coach. He is tough, compliments rarely, but his dedication to the club, his vision of the game brought us to the title.

It is now time for photos and celebration. Beers and bubbly wine. Marten can finally shout “Voor rood, voor geel, voor zwart, voor de kampioenschap!” “Brothers!”

Jean-Michel Savignat

OOGTV verslag van de westrijd