|Saturday, Sep 12, 2015||15:00||National League Female||2015/16|
Luzern’s defence of the Swiss Championship got off to a tough start on Saturday as a motivated Redzones team deservingly won the opening match of the 2015/16 season. In perfect rugby conditions, the reds fought harder for every ball and showed more aggression and determination than a Dangels side that could not cope mentally with the challenge put in front of them. However it must be said this is a fantastic result for Swiss women’s rugby that will also provide some clear motivation for the Dangels in training. If the result was going to happen, it is good that is has happened now.
The visitors pinned Luzern back from the opening kick-off; a knock-on providing a scrum around 30 metres from the posts that allowed the Redzones to smash through weak Luzern tackling and take advantage of poor defensive communication. After several last-ditch tackles on the line, the Redzones eventually barraged their way through for the opening score.
Luzern came back but could not create enough space for their elusive runners to break through. The forwards began to win possession and compete at the breakdown, but there was no cutting edge to the home team’s play and frustration began to show. The first half ended with another score for the Redzones; Bern taking advantage of a white card against Carole for the team continually being caught offside and using their fast backs to break away and score. 14-0 at half-time.
The second half saw a more determined Dangels side come out and put their bodies on the line. Despite significant energy being spent, attacks would always break down at the last moment. The home team’s solitary score came about from loose play, Eva and Edith making good ground up the left wing with Sarah Stuart in support, before the fly-half took the loose ball out from a ruck and scrambled over in the corner. 14-5.
In truth, the score flattered Luzern as the Entente had more opportunities to increase their lead. 4 attempts at kicking penalties led to just one conversion, however the gap in the final scoreline could and should have been greater: 17-5 at the final whistle.
The Redzones should be congratulated for their aggressive, organised play and teamwork. They played to their strengths but sadly the one overriding factor that really led them to victory was desire – they wanted it more than most of our team, save for a few exceptions.
Luzern need to get back to training and in greater numbers than have been showing up previously. If we want to retain our title, we will now need to work harder than ever. But it will make for an interesting season and what should be a fun second game in Bern…
Angel of the Match: Jasi. Tackled superbly from the very start and ran well with the ball. What potential she has…
Devil of the Match: Bea. Left the lucky mascot, Black Pete, at home – and did we ever need some luck in this match!
Beers for: Edith. Made some typically dynamic runs and lots of metres. Hands were much improved too.