The Luzern Dangels became Champions of Switzerland for the third year in a row on Saturday when an outstanding team performance saw 11 tries scored in front of a big Allmend crowd. Bern tackled hard all game but the relentless power of the Dangels forwards combined with the lightning quick speed in the backs meant there could be only one result.
Before the match it was clear in the dressing room that everyone was focussed and ready to play their very best rugby. The perfect scenario was set – win at home in front of the RCL supporters to take the title. However it would not be easy against a determined Bern side who came intending to spoil the Dangels’ party.
The coaches asked for a quick start from the home team and they got it. The forwards made huge ground up the pitch with every player in the pack getting her hands on the ball. The ball was played left through the backs and a nice pass from Schlumpf to Lolli saw her sprint past two Bern players for an early score.
It was quickly 10-0 when a powerful scrum – the first of many throughout the day – gave Cynthia a chance to pick up and run. Good support from Hannah was rewarded with her first try in Luzern colours.
Bern were shellshocked and seemed unable to get much possession. Whenever they did get their hands on the ball, the Luzern defence was up quickly to tackle before they could get the ball wide to their quick wingers and Selina at fullback. After 15 minutes another big scrum was stolen and Sarah Stuart ran the ball down the blindside. Aline and Lolli both carried the ball closer to the line and eventually Sarah S got it back to make it 15-0.
The only thing RCL seemed unable to do was score a conversion, but Lolli got another chance to change that when she ran 60 metres through the centre. With incredible support from Sarah Mac and Carien, quick ruck ball was given to Esti who had an easy run through the middle to score under the posts. 22-0 and a bonus point secured. But Luzern were not finished.
Sarah Mac broke through the opposition line and was supported by Julia on the inside. Lolli came with her and powered through 3 despairing Bern tackles to score a stunning try.
There was still time in the first half to take the score up to 32-0 when the backs passed the ball wide to Carien, who sprinted for the line. Agonisingly, she was just held up, but still managed to pop the ball up to Sarah Mac for a try.
The great thing about this Dangels team is they are always looking to improve, no matter how well they are playing. It was clear the match was won, but nobody spoke about anything other than to carry on playing our game. In the second half, everyone refocused and put in even more effort. After a few minutes of time spent in the Bern 22, a penalty was taken quickly by Hannah before the opposition could get back 10 metres. Despite being in possession and ready to play the ball wide, the referee blew for another penalty and decided that as the offence occurred within 10 metres of the tryline, he would award a penalty try! Although he admitted afterwards that this was a clear error, it had no effect on the game and actually the referee generally let the game flow.
It was 42-0 soon after, with another slick backs move being supported by Sarah Mac along the right side. Schlumpf raced up and took a grateful pass from the captain to speed over the line.
Bern were devastated and deserve total respect for the way they kept fighting hard all the way through. It is never easy when you are faced with 15 super rugby players and another 6 on the substitutes bench. One of those substitutes made her mark not long after coming on. A quick penalty taken 20 metres out gave Esti the ball. Judith supported and seeing the try line so close she decided it would be rather nice to add her name to the scorers, barging through 2 opponents in ferocious style.
Having scored two tries, Carole would have been disappointed if she hadn’t added a third. Luckily she has a wonderful set of backs alongside her, and after the ball was played wide from the centres, Viola made good ground before playing in Lolli to take the score into the 50s.
The title was sealed in glorious fashion when yet another strong scrum allowed Sarah S to pass to Esti, and she did the rest by sprinting through the gap and under the posts. 59-0 and the final whistle was greeted with huge cheers, plenty of singing and a lot of beers.
Two very proud coaches and a fantastic squad of awesome ladies were able to celebrate the reward for a year of hard training and great sacrifice. Every single player contributed to the team retaining its title this year, and you can be sure that the other teams in Switzerland will come back even tougher and determined to stop the blue juggernaut from rolling on. We will be ready for their challenge.
Angel of the match: Esti – although every single player was fantastic, she played a flawless game
Devil of the match: Tammie – played brilliantly and gets the horns because she will be hugely missed after she leaves for London.
Beers for: Hannah – First Dangels try! Yasemin – For filming all our home games, thank you Miss Spielberg! Cynthia – she drank for the back row who were voted players of the match by Bern!
Should have been beers for: Salome – well done on playing your first game for the Dangels!