After a long (and yet unending) winter, RCL Men has a good opportunity to get back to match fitness against Ligue B counterparts Würenlos. With no competitive rugby since mid-November, the team was at risk of being very rusty as we were to return to the league against Neuchâtel the following week.
Within the first few minutes, however, concerns ended. The RCL pack showed they were up to the challenge, providing quick, clean ball for the backs. The backs attacked well, showing clean hands and a hunger for running rugby. The first of 7 tries was scored within a few minutes. The backs were particularly expansive and experimental in attack, and individually showed improvement with respect to running angles and desire for the ball. Improved communication enabled moves to be better executed.
The first half was to continue in quite a one-sided manner, with RCL attacking consistently, defending well, and showing highly dangerous counter-attacking running. Lineouts were good, with the continued use of more complicated moves. There was an overall hunger and tenacity for the ball, with ruthless punishment of Würenlos mistakes.
With a large squad, and, within 20 minutes, clearly no risk of defeat, all players were used as early as possible. This brought about its expected organisational problems, but RCL defended well nonetheless to a resurgent Würenlos team for most of the second half. After prolonged pressure, RCL conceded only one second half try, which is a testament to our concentration and commitment.
The backs utilised tactical kicking extremely well. This massively assisted our ability to break out of defense and to gain ground efficiently. There was a great overall improvement in the backs playing as a unit, offering alternatives to the ball-carrier, and more dangerous running. The pack rucked well in the first half, and the speed of ball to the backs is improving. They scrummed well, and as a solid unit. Our percentage of lineout wins is improving.
Aspects to improve:
Low tackling and taking the man to the ground is an ongoing issue; weaknesses here provide opponents far more ground, and the opportunity to maul. The forwards often attacked alone – both in pick-and-go, and in fatboys. Indeed, Würenlos demonstrated to RCL how to go so, forming “trains” and staying close and in solid support. Forward communication – particularly when not in control of the ball – put too much pressure on our defense. Support for the catcher across the team is still weak, with the catcher being left isolated. A continued use of kicking – and to the corners in particular – will help the backs put pressure on the opposition with great effect.
Result: RCL 43 – 12 Würenlos
Man of the match: Chreegu (for bothering to turn up, then playing so well)
Twat of the match: Giusi (for excessive nudity and being clearly too comfortable with it)