Luzern began the second half of the season Saturday with a satisfying and hard-fought victory in CERN. Playing in perfect rugby conditions and a pleasant Spring sun, a full squad of 22 players were able to take part and every single player contributed to a bonus-point win which puts the team top of the league again with a 100% record and a great opportunity to retain the Swiss Championship. But there are still plenty of matches to come and lots of work to do before then.
With the hosts only able to field 14 players, Luzern reduced their numbers accordingly to match up. Despite the additional space made through the loss of a winger, both teams covered the spaces well and the early exchanges saw the ball kept in play around the centre of the field. After 5 minutes, a dominant Luzern scrum won a CERN put-in which Lea grabbed and passed to Eva, who did brilliantly to support so quickly up the right side. After making 20 metres, a quick pass to Carole was run in easily under the posts to make it 5-0.
The Dangels continued to dominate possession but kept suffering from bad hands, with the knock-on count hitting double-figures very quickly. There was plenty of play in the CERN 22 but no end result. Some strong pressure from Luzern saw Angie power over from close-range for what seemed like a good try, however the referee was unsighted and decided that the ball had been held-up.
CERN reduced the score on 30 minutes with a penalty after a good break from the outside centre saw Luzern penalised for holding on in the tackle. As discussed before the match, any penalties in Dangels’ territory would be gobbled up by Cati and she made no mistake. 5-3.
It looked like the teams would go into half-time with just 2 points difference. However a sustained period of pressure from Luzern allowed a quick-tap penalty to be passed through 3 sets of hands and end up with Henni, who ran over in the left corner to make it 10-3 at the half.
The second half began in much the same fashion as the first ended – Luzern in control but CERN defending well with strong tackles. 10 minutes in and following a CERN scrum on their 22m line, Judith and Lea pressured the fly-half into giving up possession. The ball was quickly passed wide left and Edith sprinted in for a try with her first touch of the game. 15-3
Seven minutes later, Edith was given the ball again, this time on the right side of the field. Only this time, she received the ball on her own 10 metre line. No matter. With a massive space to run into, she left burn marks on the grass such was her speed, nobody on the opposition getting near her. She went under the posts and Carole converted from the tee to make it 22-3 and secure the bonus Point.
Complacency allowed CERN to get back into the game with two quick penalties to kick within the Luzern half. Respect has to go to Cati for the quality of the kicks from some distance out, reducing the score to 22-9 and even missing one which could have really made a game of it.
However, with 7 minutes remaining, Luzern finished the game completely with a 5th try. Judith ran onto a quickly-taken penalty, making it to within 3 metres of the opposition line. She handed off to Iris, who easily went over to make it 27-9.
This was a perfect game to blow the cobwebs out. CERN always provide a tough game and never give up. It was pleasing to see how the mentality of this Luzern team never changed even when we were not getting the points for all our possession and control. Never any panic! Hands must improve and will improve.
A big thank you to CERN for providing their usual excellent hospitality, marvellous post-match buffet and playing the game in a great spirit. We look forward to welcoming them to Luzern in a month’s time.
Angel wings: Angie. Executed the instructions given to her superbly, played for the team and should have had a try too.
Horns: Edith. How could she forget the schnupf when there was a 4 hour journey home???
Beers for: Judith. Given best player by CERN, but as she left already Sarah drank for her!
written by our Coach –