The second year Benjis travelled to Brussels for the Boitsfort International Tournament.  Playing in the under 12’s category, the Benjis were up against it; effectively competing against Minis.  The 12-a-side rules, a second row in the scrum, contested line-outs, hand-offs and a kicking game were all new to the BSN players.  Thankfully, Cillian from the Minis joined the squad and brought tactics, organisation and leadership to help the cause.

Outsized, but not outgunned

Outsized, but not outgunned

The matches were played in the humid air.  Thunder clouds building overhead later caused problems across Northern Europe, but did not break during the tournament.

BSN were in pool B with Rosny from France and La Hulpe & ASUB Waterloo from Belgium.  They were tough 10-minute games, but the Benjis did well, tackling hard and showing a defensive resilience against bigger opposition.  The contested line outs were a particular challenge.  In the game against Rosny, it was almost impossible for Mac to get the ball over their giant first man.  They lost all three games, but the margin was never great – three-nil against Rosny and five-nil against ASUB.  Against La Hulpe, the loss was by a single try and BSN had showed some promising passing play with Luc, Cillian and Alexander starting some good moves.

Cillian: player of the match

Cillian: player of the match

After the pool games, BSN were pitched into the plate competition.  First up was Orsay from France, which they lost narrowly 1-0 to the only real chance of the match.

Next was a familiar opponent in HRC, except this was HRC’s Minis team.  It was hard going to start with.  HRC steadily making ground until BSN relieved the pressure with a long kick.  BSN pressurised HRC and collected the ball.  Alexander nearly played Jamal in, before confusion in HRC’s try zone saw Rory presented with the ball for a simple score.  Another kick looked to have played Moritz through for the second try, but he was offside.  The match was then slowed down, tied up in scrums and HRC’s last action was turned over for Alexander to run the ball out and give BSN a well-fought victory.

Rory: Try scorer, profiting from HRC's confusion!

Rory: try scorer, profiting from HRC’s confusion!

That was enough for the day and by the time BSN lined up for the final match against Kibubu of Belgium, they were hot and tired, and lost three nil.

All in all a tough day of tackling and defence against teams of Minis players, but made sweet by a win against HRC.

You shall not pass

On ne passe pas!

Coach: Cedric

Captain: Cammy

Player of the match: Cillian

Front row: Lachlan (prop); Mac (hooker); Rory (prop)

Second row: Moritz (back); plus guest players

Backs: Alexander (scrum half); Luc (fly half); Cillian (centre); Cammy (centre); Louis (left wing); Jamal (right wing); Duncan (full back)