It was Easter Sunday, which meant the annual Hilversum International Tournament.  BSN Minis played four 20 minute games stretched out over five hours.

The pacing of the games was just as well, with five burgers for each player and enough chocolate eggs to open a sweet shop; time was needed for (food) recovery.

BSN were in a group of five, along with Zaandijk from the north, local side t’Gooi, Dukes from ‘s Hertogenbosch, and Thanet Wanderers from the southeast of England.

Joining from Paris: Old boy Luc

Dukes were first up. After seven minutes of solid BSN pressure, Dukes drew two quick sucker punches, beating the tackle, and scoring two first half tries.

BSN gave themselves a chance. After two penalties in a row, a Jamie offload set up Luc running onto the ball, to end the half at 1-2.

Atlanta: Fast to the finish

In the second half, BSN quickly levelled the scores. Speed queen, Atlanta isolated the Dukes defender of the right wing, and burnt him off to score.

There were two chances to win. Josh kicked to clear the lines.  The tall Dukes player collected the ball, only to be felled by a a sharp tackle by Duncan. Turning over the ball, Luc burst through, only to lose the ball.  And then, at the end of the match, Jacob forced his way through only to have the ball knocked from his hands as he crossed the try line.

Joining us from Australia: Old boy Jamal

Two hours, hail, and several burgers passed before the second game against Zaandijk.

BSN started well. Jacob marauding on the left wing to score with a stretch.  But that was the end of it and Zaandijk took their chances in a scrappy match, scoring three tries without reply from BSN.

The forwards in action: Jacob, Jamie and David

Thanet Wanderers were next and BSN’s handling errors from the previous match were put to bed. Smart, short passing along the line put BSN in control. From a scrum, the ball moved from hand to hand and set Atlanta away on the right to score the first try.

Duncan made ground on the left wing, before Daniel switched the play to the right for Atlanta to attack and then play in Jamal on the inside.

You’re the ref: Try or not try?

It was two nil at half time, but BSN were unlucky not to score two more. The referee was unsighted and did not give a score by Duncan.  And also blew his whistle to say that Daniel was held up, a millisecond before he grounded the ball.

The second half was more balanced.  Thanet scored late from a penalty to create some tension in the last few minutes, but BSN held on for a deserved 2-1 win.

Another round of burgers followed. Andy doing his best to grill a whole cow.

Josh; on load from HRC

The coaches told the players that they needed to win 8-0 in the final match against t’Gooi to win the tournament.  No math or checking of the tables had been involved.  It was also unlikely, given that BSN had scored five in total in the previous three matches.

Nevertheless, 5-0 up at half time, the game was on.

From a Jacob drive, Alexander and David got the ball away to Josh for the first.  David scored the second after BSN stole the ball from the line out. Josh broke through from the restart for the third.  Jacob stole another line out and the ball passed down the line for Atlanta to score.  The fifth came after Alexander ended a meandering run with a pass for Jacob to drive over.

Daniel: Scrum half on the run

Needing three more for the fictional tournament win, BSN came out strongly in the second half.  Josh hunted down an isolated full back and Joseph combined with Jacob to score from the turnover.  Jack, on loan from Gouda, made the most of a large overlap to score the seventh, before Josh cut in for the eighth.  BSN were not finished and Atlanta turned on the turbo to run in the last score, winning 9-0.

There was still time for an Easter egg hunt in the woods and for the parents to use up the drinks tokens.

Not a bad way to spend the day.

Duncan: Out of reach

Coaches: Scott, Daran

Chef: Andy

Squad: Alexander, Atlanta, Daniel, David, Duncan, Jack, Jacob, Jamal, Jamie, Joseph, Josh, Leyla, Luc, Mik