RCL v Fribourg – a coach’s report

I will be mentioning players in this report as there is much to make mention of despite losing yesterday. There is much to make mention of in regard to yesterday’s team as this team for, as has characterised RCL’s team structure for much of this season, there were many novices in the side yesterday – or people playing in positions for their very first time. Not only that, but players having to adapt to new positions within the team in a very short space of time and doing so very well. There is a very great sense of mobility within the squad in terms of who can play where and at what times. Versatility comes easy to RCL it seems. This has been borne of necessity. And I do not take this lightly. Injuries and their ‘knock-on’ effects, have taken a toll on the team’s performance. Many players have found themselves performing one role after the other from one Saturday to the next. Just when I thought I had some stable pairings as coach, players are injured, or cannot/will not play owing to other commitments. No sooner do I see those small flashes of daring, cunning, skill, know-how emerge in training or a game, than they are erased from sight through some kind of adversity. Ah well!
The news however is good. Tarjan, three weeks in, is scrummaging like he has been at this game for years; Dave Doppel finally finds a suitable place in the second row to give expression to his strength and hardiness; Fabianne Amstalden plays a match as if he were made for number six displaying the intensity in the tackle that saw him carry his opponent and helper back seven or eight meters on his own; one and half seasons or so in, Paddy is now one of the most significant strategists the pack has at its disposal; Toby, still barely a year or so into the game, can play number eight or outside half; Alistair, also new, roamed the back of the field yesterday like a fully-fledged full-back with years of experience barking encouragement at this crew; Dominic Lustenberger finally got to punish some players with his fierce and very well-times tackling; Pascal comes on and you can hear the impact of his tackling from the other side of the field; Sven looks dangerous whenever he gets the ball such is his speed; Benno back on duty in the side was able to speed the game up considerably and looks to be on the way to re-finding his form again, perhaps even re-inventing himself – lighter, faster, more durable than ever! Just a small amount of arithmetic will tell you how inexperienced this side is compared to many if not most others against whom we compete.
Stable partnerships are another desirable, and yet, unfortunately insecure aspect of the team’s consistency. Hoping to be able to observe the possibility of alternatives for the team at 9 , Inko had to leave the field after what had been a very very promising start at fly-half having sent Dave R flying up the field to catch a superbly weighted chip kick. These are the expressions of skill and timing that delight us all when we see them.

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