Out of the Arms of the Octopus
Under blue skies, the Minis had a successful Bondsdag in Noord Brabant. BSN lined up on a frosty field in Uden against RC Octopus representing Nord Brabant, RC Eemland representing Utrecht, and Voorburgse RC Zuid Holland.
First up was Eemland, who BSN hadn’t played in a year. The last meeting was as Benjis in a narrow 3-2 win in the final of the Tillburg Bondsdag. It wasn’t any easier this time around. Eemland were well organised and tough in the ruck and scrum. In the first half, BSN were losing ball in the scrum and being penalised for pushing before the ball was in. They only won one scrum and they made good use of it. Daniel at scrum half getting the ball away to William, moving the ball along the line until Louis made use of the overlap to score. It was the only try of the first half.
The team talk focussed on how BSN needed to be aggressive and the forwards needed to drive back Eemland in the rucks. Nevertheless, Eemland continued to have the upper hand, winning four scrums in succession. Every knock-on seemed to set up another period of Eemland possession and the pressure eventually told, with BSN conceding the equaliser on the overlap.
It was a hard fought draw and served notice on the what was to come later in the tournament.
The second match was against the hosts, RC Octopus. BSN were under pressure from the start. An Octopus put in at the scrum was turned over and Daniel kicked the ball upfield to relieve the pressure. BSN were quick on the chase and although Octopus were first to the ball, BSN turned over possession. The players kept taking the ball back into contact, until it was passed along the line and William wriggled through to score.
BSN were again forced into kicking to relieve the pressure. Duncan tried to run through and offload to Atlanta, but the ball was narrowly forward. BSN won the resulting scrum and the ball went along the line before William carried it forward. The ball went back to Louis, who ran again and offloaded to Daniel for the try to take a 2-0 lead at the halfway point.
In the second half, BSN put Octopus under pressure forcing a scrum deep in the BSN half, but Octopus won the ball and kicked downfield. Picking up the ball it looked like their winger was away, but for a covering tackle by Duncan. Another Octopus kick was taken by William, who ran straight at them and in for a score in the corner.
Despite the try, the momentum was with RC Octopus and despite losing the ball in a knock on, they won the resulting scrum and made good use of the overlap to pull back a try. That was the last of the game and BSN prevailed 3-1.
The final group match was against local rivals, Voorburgse RC. A kick and chase by William was nearly collected by Atlanta, but the bounce wasn’t kind. But no matter, as William was following up and picked up the ball to streak clear and score. Atlanta was not to be denied for long and from the restart, she turned on the afterburners and ran in a try on the wing. Voorburg applied pressure and BSN had to work hard to hold up the ball on their try line before bundling the Voorburg player into touch. There was still time for BSN to work an overlap, with William passing to Duncan, who was accidentally clipped after bursting through. It did not matter as Cammy was there to collect the ball and finish the move for a 3-0 half time lead.
In the second half, Duncan and Atlanta added tries from breakaways and Leyla was oh-so-close, just being caught at the end of a great run. That 5-0 win put BSN top of the group from Eemland on score difference.
After a raid on the crisps and cookies, the team were ready for the final. They were under pressure from the start. BSN were losing possession in the rucks and having to defend against a well organised Eemland. BSN scrambled to cover two overlaps, but conceded from the third.
The match seemed to change after that and BSN came back. Eemland were penalised for not rolling away in the ruck and from the penalty, BSN got the ball to Atlanta, who raced into the corner and even up the scores.
1-1 at half time, the second half was tight with both sides making the tackles, covering the passes and stopping the runners, but one chance came to BSN created by a William run and offload for Alexander to score at full length. There was no time for Eemland to come back and BSN closed out the Bondsdag with a 2-1 win in the final.
Coaches: Daran, Scott, Andy
Player of the match: William
Team: Alexander, Atlanta, Cammy, Daniel H, Daniel J, David, Duncan, Elizabeth, Jamal, Jamie, Joseph, Leyla, Louis