After dominating for much of the game, both in possession and territory, RCL1 let it slip against Monthey.
Winning contests: there were many many instances where sharpness of attitude in the line-out won the contest for us. Andy Tonazzi did a lot to make it difficult for them to dominate at the front. At the back, Sven was ever watchful and ready to pick up loose ball. Sami too had a very good game in this respect. Good jumping/contesting all round. Plenty of really good ball for Kevin to deliver to the backs in the first half. This sent the backs on their way many a time. Sami had a great game in the loose play also finding space and destroying tacklers at times. Same can be said for Martin, who also got stuck in big time. In fact, the forwards all looked very skilled with the ball in their hands making good passes and strong catches.
The backs created gaps in Monthey’s defence well by drawing players, or exploiting overlaps. There was a lot of good running with the ball in hand particularly in light of the fact that this was done out of the defending twenty-two! Courageous, bold rugby exploiting weaknesses in the opponent’s game.
Brilliant line-out call which won us such considerable territory in the first half. Ball was thrown short and low and took them by surprise. This is excellence: rugby played with wit and intelligence. They had no idea what had hit them. However, they came back and hit back hard. Was to be expected and the team soaked up a lot of pressure before conceding a try. The defence held up extremely well under a lot of pressure many times throughout the game. This is to be commended.
In the second half, we played a substantial stretch of the game in their half and they did not like that at all – particularly when that was in the second half. You could sense the disaffection in the opposition at this and they became anxious to kick the ball out of trouble. The team’s ability to keep them in their twenty-two troubled them towards the latter end of the second half. What we have now is a team able to keep opposition in its own half and keep the screw tightened. There has been a sizeable shift in the momentum of Luzern’s rugby. No small thanks to valiant forward play! Indeed, the shift in motive unifying a fighting pack made its presence felt as this was what launched Wurst off on a couple of spirited runs as he handed off opponents. Accumulation of force earned us good ground. The try off set-play was a well devised, earned and thought out bit of rugby owing its fruition to the product of pressure!
It was great to see forwards side-stepping opposing forwards, again Sven showed some very fancy footwork. This goes for the whole team: when they looked for space, they found it and made territorial gains showing the opposition to be ill-equipped to deal with skill and cunning. This was no-where better to be found than in those dazzling runs Dan made from securely caught kicks into our territory. A well-earned man of the match award there.
Incredible running with the ball in hand by individuals displays the confidence that reigns amongst a highly skilled back-line. From the side-line we could smell success on the horizon, we could smell it each time the back-line got ball almost. However its allure can be deceptive – success. Having the patience perhaps to look for support and give and receive in a further phase of play. We have marked men on our side.
All in all, it was a terrific improvement and the team keeps moving forward. You are all moving forward so fast, we can’t keep up so it is difficult to give everyone a mention. We recognise that there is a lot of unseen work that goes on and we should like to acknowledge this too. We will become the talk of the league by the end of the season. We should become the talk of the town by the end of the season.
The game was ours, but all credit to Monthey: their cooler heads won it on the day. Lessons to be learned by RCL as to how to use so much possession well, keep cool heads at critical decision-making points of the game – and to kill off a game!
Finally, the old war-horse Martin suffered a severe blow to the head Saturday. Early reports are that his IQ went up 20 points.
Final score: RCL1 12-29 Monthey
Man of the Match: Dan; nominees: Sven, Mario
Twat of the Day: Wurst (for not playing this well consistently)