After a great but exhausting weekend of rugby at Chichester, the Kika Rugby Tournament now seemed like a bad idea, given the impending Moederdag Tournament on Sunday. Short on players, I contacted the Gouda’s head coach; Nick, recruiting Nick’s son Jack and teammate Mik to make a squad.
Amstelveense RC was hosting its 4th Kika Tournament in what initially looked like an impressive setup, a brand new multi-level club house and grounds, BBQ area, and officials in club colours.
Unfortunately, the event turned into a complete fiasco, which ended with the Benjis head coach (that’s me by the way) forfeiting the last match while the game was actually commencing! In some shambolic club management, where they had Stevie Wonder lined up as a substitute referee and Dr Crippen looking after A&E, Amstelveense RC thought it would be a good idea to employ a 18 year old referee, who didn’t know the basic rules, to referee every single game, on 1 Benjis pitch, for 5 solid hours without a break. Whilst we don’t like to criticise referees, rugby is a contact sport which needs to be taken seriously by the club and their appointed officials to prevent injuries and promote the game. But there comes a time when coaches must intervene when situations are out of control or deem dangerous. The referee constantly ignored numerous high tackles, neck rolls, offsides etc. He even ignored any advice any of the coaches gave him, even arguing the letter of the law. Leyla’s injury and subsequent medical attention really took the biscuit… it preceded a high neck tackle on Jama, rendered him motionless on the floor, holding his neck and gasping for air, within seconds, Leyla went down heavily also. Completely oblivious to the incidents and screams of pain (which he must have heard) the referee continued play around the contact area, until stop play by the coaches. Leyla had taken a big hit on the ribs and we suspected a break given the pain she was in. After ten minutes, the ‘medical’ staff arrived and from what I could tell, without any proper medical equipment… sorry do you want to borrow ours? When we asked medical staff to get a stretcher… another 5 minutes passed before a ‘wheelchair’ turned up… obviously out of stretcher are we? What would have happened if she had a punctured lung or spinal injury? What a shambles, sort of sums the clubs attitude to health, safety and welfare of the players all round, doesn’t it?
BSN – 0 – Haarlem RC -2
A slow start from the Benjis in already hot weather, saw them one down at half time, with Haarlem winning the majority of the rucks. Jamal was clean through in the second half but was pulled up for some misdemeanor or another. BSN had the most of it in the second half but just couldn’t get over the line. A last play try by Haarlem, who had been under pressure, sealed a 2-0 victory.
BSN – 4 – AAC Amsterdam – 0
In the next game, the Benijs started putting their game together, with Jack linking up well with teammate Mik to score. The big and heavy AAC players were strong but we moved the ball well to the wings, to go with a half time lead thanks to tries by Jamal and Daniel. After a couple of more tries, the Benjis put on a great display in defense, with some big tackles from Jack, Rory and Jamie to hold them out for a 4-0 victory.
BSN – 0 – Breda RC – 0
We had drawn 1-1 against Breda in our last game before Christmas and we knew they had a good defense and hard to break down. This was another bruising encounter played mostly in the middle of the pitch and good defending by both sides. BSN best chance came when Jamal played the ball which had come out of the back of Breda’s ruck by about 5 meters and pulled up for being offside? Jamal was clean thru to score but it was clear the referee had no understanding of the offside rules. BSN played the better rugby but 0-0 was a fair result given the effort by both teams.
BSN – 7 – Amstelveense RC – 1
Amstelveense scored first but their s success was short lived however, with tries from Jamal, Rory, Jack and a couple from Mik who was linking up well with the other players. The game was marred by the injuries to Leyla and Jamal. Amstelveense players also picked up numerous injuries, as any sense of control or safety seem to go out of the window from a referee who didn’t see anything, and we were finally losing patience with the shenanigans.
BSN – Amstelveense RC – DNF (grand national result)
All the players had been fried in the baking sun and most of us would have been happy to call it a day at this point, especially as Leyla had gone to hospital and we were down to 8 players. We played Amstelveense (again) for 3rd place and were caught napping after a long break, conceding two quick tries. The Benjis finally clicked into gear and started moving the ball, Mortiz quickly pulling a try back. Then came an outrageous move, which would have made Mr Magoo proud, had he been the referee… after conceding a try, an Amstelveense player ran the ball to the center of the pitch for the restart… now unless you’ve been eating magic mushrooms, you’re supposed to tap and pass at the restarts… well, that’s according to the rules anyway! Still, when have the rules come into play today? The Amstelveense player didn’t even stop at the half way mark; running all the way to the try line to ‘score’! This mesmerizing play even had the home town referee clapping his approval! Sorry, is there a hole in the ground I can put my head into? Amstelveense were on the ropes at the beginning of the second half conceding another try. After multiple infringements, oblivious to the referee and a dangerous in at the side from an Amstelveense player at the ruck, I finally engaged the referee to do something. The referee said if we don’t ‘Shut up’, he’d blow up and we’d forfeit the game. So I asked him to blow up to end the fiasco.
By all accounts, the BSN Club’s Secretary; David Aitken looking after the Turven’s had a similar experience to us today! Anyone looking forward to next year’s invite?
Man of the Match: Jack
Squad: Daniel, Jamal, Jamie, Joesph, Leyla, Mortiz, Rory, Jack (Gouda), Mik (Gouda).
Coaches: Daran, Scott