It was never going to be easy. 12 players available after a week full of injuries. It was agreed before the match that Bern2 would give us 3 players, and it would be used as a development game.
There were many phases of top quality RCL play. Tackling was, by and large, great, with so many players playing out of position. Beginners like Joshua and Pee tackled well, with great technique, like experienced heads. Harry made some great breaks, and Wurst caused a lot of trouble with several carries. But, while 1-on-1 tackling at training is easy enough, the operation of a whole defensive line is so much more complicated. And an early injury to Erik, and a bizarre yellow card to Simoncito, didn’t help.
Our defensive line-outs were good, and our scrums were often strong – against a far larger pack. The backs played well, and ran a lot of ball. Very often our backs caused Bern a lot of trouble, and the supportive rucking was reliable.
Sadly, when it comes to an inexperienced team playing an experienced one, when the latter scores a few tries, it tends to turn into an avalanche. And it did.
So, where do we all want to go with this? Where will the Seconds be in 12 months? Indeed, one more experienced player pointed out he was very annoyed and disappointed with the attendance at the build-up to the game. With 8 players arriving on time, and for the warm-up, this is completely understandable.
Seeing the whole Bern squad (they brought almost 50 players with them), and speaking with them in Pallino afterwards, you can see the effect of a solid, reliable core of players. We would love to see the same numbers stay until the post-match entertainment. Here, everyone’s enjoyment will benefit. And when the Bern2 coach asked who our man of the match was, so that he would drink his liter of beer with the Bern2 man of the match in Pallino, there was simply no Seconds there…
At the same time, what is needed is for regular Seconds players to play their part in creating a team spirit. This means both as an integral part of RCL as a whole, and as the Seconds as an independent team. What we ask is that all players stick together; indeed, the whole Bern squad were impressive in their togetherness for hours after the matches.
Finally, another way we all play our part is to work on player recruitment. RCL as a whole needs at least 10 more committed players to sustain 2 teams all season. It’s time for RCL to look at recruitment in a more organised, planned manner.
To build up a better structure, we are starting with appointing Erik the Seconds’ Team Manager. We wish him all the best with recovery from his foot injury.