The BSN Benjis secure 3rd place at the International Youth Tournament! Well, I say the BSN Benjis…
With the BSN Easter holidays in full swing, along with famine, illness, mechanical failure and a host of other excuses which would have made Lachlan’s mum Louise proud :-), the depleted Benjis squad came to Hilversum with one aim; to have fun!
Knowing we had a staff shortage, we nicked a few BSN jerseys off Moritz and Rory and hoped to borrow a few players from Tetbury Rugby Club to make up our squad… or even the BSN Barbarians? Anyway, Tetbury could afford the players as they were in a different qualifying group to us. Rotterdam’s coach even offered to have brought more players, had he known we were short of players, a nice gesture in the spirit of the game, don’t you think?… err read on!
In our first match against Gouda, we actually recruited a few players from HRC, who were also in another qualifying group. Played on artificial pitches, BSN edged it 4-3, although they always looked in command of the game.
We then played last week’s nemesis Rotterdam. Whilst the pitches were slightly narrow, (nowhere near as narrow as last week, mind you!) they were fast and with Tetbury’s players getting in on the action, the Benjis comfortably won 6-2, thanks to Luc, Aiden and Tetbury player Will. We then won the group with another comfortable win over the Pink Panthers 6-1, with Turven Sean popping up to score a try.
After winning the group, we thought about calling it a day. We had a long break until our semi final and some Benjis players had to go, as the Turven’s had finished their games and understandably wanted to go home. Tetbury (along with HRC and Rotterdam) were all eliminated at the group stages, so we thought it would be only fitting to stick around to give Tetbury more game time by playing with the BSN Barbarians in the semis. At this point, Rotterdam lodged a complaint with the organizers and wanted us kicked out of the tournament for playing with a mixed squad. Hang on a minute, didn’t they offer us players before we beat them? Brilliant… oh and it gets better than that. We had told the organizers beforehand that we were short players and they had given us the OK to play a mixed team. After Rotterdam’s failed uprising, they then asked us “nicely” to forfeit our first place to them … you couldn’t make it up ha? Had they asked straight after the group games, we would have been happy to do so but as both the Benjis and Tetbury players had been hanging around for over an hour for the semis final, we declined Rotterdam’s generous offer.
We played Belgium side Boisfort RC in the semi-finals, which was played in good spirits. Tetbury coaches were amazed just how well our newly formed team was playing. Boisfort edged the first half 4-0, I say edged (but deserved with one cracking passing move) as two of their tries came from offside positions but it could have been more if not for some good defending from Cillian, Luc and Jamie. In the second half, BSN were the better team. Some great defending stopped Boisfort from scoring again and Luc side stepping his way through their entire defense to score a great try being the highlight. So it finished 4-1 to Boisfort in a game, which actually could have gone either way. You could have imagined the commotion if we’d had won the game and got into the final, can’t you?
After the games, we presented our ‘man of the match’ award and match ball to Tetbury player Will for his good attacking play. All the Tetbury players loved playing with BSN and it was great enjoyable experience for everyone. See you next year guys!
And we’ll finish with a little bit of trivia:… Prince William and Prince Harry used to play rugby for Tetbury Rugby Club!
Squad; Aiden, Jamie, Josh, Luc, Mac, Cillian, Sean… + Tetbury RC
Man of the Match; Will (Tetbury RC)
Coaches; Cedric, Daran