Summer is an elusive thing in the Netherlands, but when it arrives, for that one weekend, it does deliver.  BSN travelled to Oisterwijk to play the Moederdag Toernooi in 29 degrees heat and sunshine.  Good job they were playing in their black home and away kit!  With sixteen teams from across the Netherlands, BSN were put into a group with Tilburg, t’Gooi and local rivals Rotterdam.  After getting out of their group in second place, BSN made it to the semi-finals, where they fell to eventual winners, Castricumse RC, but the day’s sweat and efforts were rewarded with the third place trophy.

The team

The team with their spoils

The first game was against familiar opponents in Rotterdam.  A tight game that decided the group.  Rotterdam were into the corner in the first half, after BSN lost the ball coming back into contact.  A couple of side steps by William brought the scores level.  The rucking practice before the match was being put to good use.  One all at half time, the second half started with a Rotterdam try; converting pressure on the BSN line and pushing over from close range.  After that the game spluttered, broken up by injuries, penalties and scrums, and Rotterdam saw the game out 2-1.

Erben sizing up the t'Gooi defence

Erben with one eye on the t’Gooi defence

Next up was RC t’Gooi from north of the IJ.  With BSN needing a win to make it into the top half of the tournament, this was a tense and hard fought affair.  The first half was played within a few metres of the halfway line and remained scoreless.  In the second half, BSN had an opportunity from a penalty and Joaquin went down the blindside, only to be bundled into touch near the line.  But the last action of the game saw William make a run and suck in the t’Gooi players before offloading to Duncan, who scored in the corner for a vital BSN win.

Daniel with a Spring in his Step

Daniel with a spring in his step

The last group game was against Tilburg and turned out to be easier than the previous two games.  In the first half, BSN scored four and conceded one.  William danced through the defence.  Joaquin made it 2-0 before missed tackles in the middle gave Tillburg the chance to score.  William side-stepped to add his second try and then Moritz ran in down the left wing.  In the second half BSN added five tries.  Erben ran through the middle and sucked in the Tillburg players before a pass to Moritz for a try.  Hugo drove an opponent back and turned over the ball close to the line for Moritz to run in.  A counterattack after Tillburg pressure saw William run through.  A close range try bundled over the line, with maybe Hugo at the bottom of a pile of players.  And in the last action, Daniel intercepted the ball to run in for a comfortable 9-1 victory.

William Battling Against Breda

William battling against Breda

The group games done, BSN headed into the lunch break – ice creams, frites and tostis – having come second in the group.  They were matched up against Bredase RC in the knock-out stages, who had topped their group ahead of DIOK.  The first half was tight, ending 0-0, but BSN edged the play with great tackling and a couple of overlaps that needed one final quality pass.  Breda scored from the restart; a painful lapse of concentration, but BSN fought back playing their way against increasingly desperate defending from Breda.  After levelling up the scores, BSN won the game 2-1 on the last action.  Fair play to BSN.

Duncan looking dead ahead

Duncan looking dead ahead

Having got past Breda, it only got harder.  The semi-final was against Castricumse RC.  Unfamiliar opponents; they brought enough substitutes for an entire team, but they played well.  After some missed BSN tackles, Castricum scored on the right, before Erben levelled the scores on the blindside.  Despite a couple more threatening plays from Castricum, the score was level until an unfortunate BSN mix up on the try line gave their opponents a 2-1 half time lead.  Castricum  played well in the second half, moving the ball quickly to the wings and showing good defensive organisation.  They added two more scores into the left corner, but the margin could have been wider if not for the commitment of the BSN players and excellent covering tackles by William and Erben.  Although BSN lost 1-4, they never stopping fighting.

Hugo: Captain Fantastic

Hugo: captain fantastic

Castricum went on to win the tournament against Rotterdam, but there was still time for the third place playoff with BSN up against rivals HRC.  Everyone was cooked after five hours in the sun, but BSN still had some life in them.  Joaquin scored on a diagonal run.  Duncan picked up the loose ball and ran in the second, before offloading under pressure to Henry for the third.  A great passage of passing saw Moritz play Hugo in and BSN were four up at half time.  Either the half time team talk of HRC hit the mark or BSN went to sleep on their four try lead, because HRC scored twice to bring the game back.  But, BSN were stirred into action and William ran in from a restart.  Hugo then ripped the ball and set Moritz and Daniel away, but they were held up in the corner.  The ball came back and Henry got Duncan away for a diagonal run into the opposite corner.  BSN won 6-2 to claim the third place trophy, which was proudly claimed by Hugo, captain and player of the match.

5-4-3-2-1-Erben is go-we have take off

5-4-3-2-1-Erben is go-we have take off