Mission Accomplished: RCL Men Gain Promotion

It wasn’t pretty. An extremely tight game against Zurich2, this was more about power and solid defense than the expansive rugby of last week.

RCL Men lose in a close match away to Zurich2, 10 – 5.

It was clear that Luzern faced a far bigger pack, and a stronger, more experienced back line. Again, an overwhelmingly Swiss and relatively young RCL team were taking on a league-of-nations in their latest opponents.

This was not rugby for the purist, and far too many handling errors were made by RCL. Nerves were frayed, but the spirit and strength was immense. The score remained at 0-0 for 60 long mins, which showed the fine balance between the two teams. The RCL scrum, that had been destroyed only 4 weeks ago by this mighty Zurich2 pack, took control this time around. Winning several balls against the head, the RCL pack showed power and stamina that rocked their rather assuming opponents. We won more than our own share of line-outs, and, in the open play, we showed where our strengths lay.

This solid RCL performance must be put into its context, to do us justice for how well we played.  There were many unfamiliar faces in the Zurich2 line-up, when compared with our previous game a mere 4 weeks ago. Curiously, they had a subs bench of surprisingly high talent – something rather ironic. Far be it from RCL to dictate tactics to Zurich2, but leaving such clear quality on the bench, given the patently obvious importance of the day, is interesting. Why? It was of no connection or meaning whatsoever that Zurich1 had recently been knocked out of their league. Condolences to them from RCL…better luck next season…

Into the second half, and with the RCL pack down a men from a rather bizarre yellow card decision, Zurich2 turned the screw. They scored a try after 60 mins, bringing play from one wing to the other. Would RCL collapse under the weight? Hell, no.

RCL kept plugging away, fighting to the bitter end. On 70 mins, RCL came back with a try in the corner. But, 5 mins later, Zurich2 converted a penalty off the post* to make the score 10-5. And so it ended.

Absolutely gutted, the RCL men had their final huddle – expecting the usual commiserations and pick-me-up speech before the depressing journey home and thoughts of what might and should have been. However, El Capitainisto had a little bit of surprising news: we had gained promotion nonetheless. After improving massively over the whole season, going on a 7 game winning streak before Sunday, we had ended the regular season on 49 points – one single point behind Zurich2. So, a deserved promotion – no question.

After the disappointment of defeat, RCL can look forward to next season in Ligue B. In the words of the former soccer coach, Jack Charlton, who brought belief and success to the Irish team: we have no reason to fear anyone.

Final score: Zurich2 10 – 5 Luzern

Try: Abdullah umma Alekleklek IV

*I’ve seen 5 yr old girls kick better…

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