The Minis travelled to the Hook of Holland to spend the day competing in the Jan van Burg trophy.  Eight teams turned up from across Zuid Holland and were split into two pools of four, with BSN lining up against the Bassets, Delft and HRC.  Gouda and Rotterdam waited in the knock-out stages, but no one could stop BSN from lifting the trophy.

BSN hands on the trophy

BSN get their hands on the trophy

First up were the Bassets, where Louis and Alexander did the damage.  Louis scoring on the overlap with support outside, before Alexander scored the second on the right wing, and then the two of them combined with an Alexander run and offload to Louis for the score.  Three up at half time, BSN looked comfortable and the second half continued in the same vein.  Lachlan made a strong forward’s run through on the diagonal but overran the shallow try zone, before the Alexander and Louis show clicked again for Louis to claim his hatrick.  A snaking run by William was stopped by a solid Bassets covering tackle, and Joseph was unlucky at the end, when the referee ruled that the ball was held up after a BSN maul drove over but the line. 4-0 final score.

Louis - just out of reach

Louis – just out of reach

The next game was against Delft, the eventual runners up in BSN’s pool.  Alexander was running through with an overlap on outside, but took a diagonal line and ran the ball into touch. BSN would have scored with a straighter run and a pass out of the tackle, but Alexander made up for it with the next move, setting up Louis on the outside for the first score.  BSN were keeping the pressure on Delft in the middle, stopping them from starting their game and William profited from the pressure, turning over the ball to run and add the second try.  From 2-0 at half time, BSN’s intensity dropped.  The players started to look a bit static, staying too narrow and missing passes.  But, the tackling was still good, with Jamie, Joaquin and Nicholas doing good work to keep Delft stuck in the middle, as BSN closed out the game.

The final pool match was against HRC.  Alexander nearly scored from the wing before Duncan was in for a try at full length.  A Louis run on the wing was held up, but he managed to offload to the good support from Lachlan, who made the simple score.  More BSN pressure on HRC saw the ball turned over for Lachlan with a strong run in to score his second, giving BSN a 3-0 half time lead.  There were fewer opportunities in the second half.  A Louis run made ground on the wing, but the support was not close enough.  William scored a try in from the opposite wing, but it was mostly about the tackling. At one point Louis made four tackles in a row to stop HRC getting any game going.  A 4-0 final score put BSN into the semi finals, topping their group.

Lachlan on the rampage

Lachlan on the rampage

With an hour for lunch, the Hookers turned up the sound system and we had some techno in a field, but the team were happy kicking balls about the park until the start of the business end of the tournament.

The semi-final against Gouda was the hardest match of the day for BSN.  Gouda had finished as runners up in their pool to Rotterdam, after losing their opening game.  But, they were in good form and BSN found themselves losing rucks all game long and being forced into loose and frantic passes under pressure from Gouda.  There were still chances in the first half.  Alexander passed when he had an opportunity to score.  Another chance saw Daniel held up on line and then Gouda turned over the following ruck. This led to some danger with a Gouda run from deep stopped first by Josh and then on the other wing by Duncan.  At 0-0 at half time, BSN knew they were in a game.  In the second half, BSN upped their intensity.  An early opportunity saw a BSN maul going backwards with the try line beckoning, but the players turned it around and drove over the line to claim a precious try.  It wasn’t easy to see who was at the bottom of the maul, when it went over the line, but Cammy was the last out of the pile clutching the ball.  Louis then made a great run along the right wing and was nearly through before being bundled into touch. From the line out, Lachlan stole the ball and drove through to score the second try and give BSN a margin.  With the last play of the match, Alexander passed out to Duncan, who forced himself over the line.  BSN had been in a tough game and it was three forwards tries that gave them the win.

Alexander keeping hold of the ball

Alexander keeping hold of the ball

In the other semi-final, Rotterdam, the winners of the other pool had accounted for Delft.  This led to the final showdown with RRC.  It was a tight game; scrums and rucks in the middle of the pitch.  A run by Moritz on the left was held up, but BSN worked the ball to the opposite wing, where Daniel invited the tackle before playing the perfect pass for Louis to turn on his pace and score in the corner.  BSN were then awarded a penalty when Rotterdam crossed runners. Cammy took it quickly and it looked like he’d run it back into contact, but he got the pass away for Louis to score at full stretch into the corner.  2-0 at half time was a good score.  The second half stayed tight, with few if any opportunities. BSN were a tackling machine, shutting out Rotterdam, and keeping the game in the middle of the pitch.

A good day in the sun was rewarded with the Jan van Burg tournament win and a trophy.  On small pitches, BSN had managed to shut out the opposition, not conceding a single try and had found enough to win all five games.

Daniel: Player of the Match. Our scrum half gave the team structure and was worth POM for one glorious pass on its own; taking the tackle before a floated offload for Alexander to score.

Daniel: Player of the Match. Our scrum half gave the team structure and was worth POM for one glorious pass on its own; taking the tackle before a floated offload for Alexander to score.

Coaches: Daran, Scott

Captain: Jamie

Player of the Match: Daniel

Team: Alexander, Cammy, Duncan, Jamie, Joaquin, Josh, Joseph, Lachlan, Louis, Moritz, Nicolas, William