Cubs Pressure and Passing Unlock the Game
The BSN Cubs travelled to Utrecht for the penultimate match of the season. It was a tales of two halves. In the first, BSN lacked structure and relied on punchy breaks to score. Having been outplayed, they led 19-14 at half time. In the second, they looked like a rugby team and were comfortable against URC, extending the score to 36-21 with tries made by pressurising the opposition and moving the ball.
BSN started strongly, but right from the beginning, it was clear that they were relying on breaking the line, rather than working an opening. They scored the opening try, with Lachlan driving through the centre, showing too much strength for the URC defence. Duncan smacked the post with the conversion.
The opening try was followed up by a nicely worked break from Moritz, playing in Alexander on the wing, who was bundled into touch. The breaks kept coming and Lachlan scored the second try, picking his way through the middle, driving rather than taking a passing option. There was no mistake for the second conversion from a more difficult angle to take the score to 12-0 to BSN.
Despite BSN leading; it was Utrecht who were making more passes. The structure in the backs was not right for BSN and passes were going astray. URC started to exert pressure. Cammy played in Alexander on the wing, who was again bundled into touch. From the line out, BSN were defending deep in their twenty-two. Duncan made a good steal at the break down, but BSN were not clearing their lines. They got a second chance following a URC knock on, but the clearing kick went straight to the Utrecht number 13, who bounced off four tackles to score under the posts. A Utrecht conversion narrowed the score to a five point margin.
From the restart, URC collected the ball from the kick. BSN did not pressurise and a Utrecht player broke through tackles to score their second try under the posts. With a simple conversion, the home side took the lead 14-12.
URC continued to have the better of the play, but after spending ten minutes in the BSN half, they succumbed to a break away on the right wing, and Lachlan took BSN back into the lead against the run of play. Duncan converted to give BSN a 19-14 lead at half time.
BSN were lucky to be ahead, with three breaks leading to three tries. They had a terrible structure; the forwards interfering with the backs, and the backs in the rucks. When BSN did get the ball, the back line was not organised. When they didn’t have the ball, the forwards were not in the right place. Still, they were winning.
After a tough half time team talk, BSN started the second half with purpose and commitment. There was better play by the backs, passing and setting each other up, and coordinated drives by the forwards. Utrecht were immediately under pressure. After losing possession in a promising position in the URC five metre, BSN hunted for the ball to recover possession, move the ball wide and attack down the right wing. A drive by Lachlan led to the first try of the second half. It was a difficult conversion on the angle; Duncan’s kick had the distance but missed to the left. BSN were now more than one score ahead at 24-14.
A kick from Cammy was chased down by Cesar who made a great tackle on the covering URC winger. Alexander recovered the ball, who chipped and chased, but the Utrecht full back collected and grounded the ball in their try zone to prevent a BSN try.
URC recovered from the early pressure and started to come into the game, but they were pinned back in their own half by BSN’s kicking. One of the kicks put URC under pressure in their own five metre, with Duncan and Daniel turning over possession. BSN were patient. The forwards were making drives to the line. Hidde was slowing down the ball at the rucks to allow the forwards to reposition and after a few phases of play, Jacob took the ball over the line for the try. Duncan made the conversion to extend the score to 31-14.
BSN were finishing on top. From a break on the right, URC couldn’t clear their lines and the ball was stolen by Louis. A cross field chip nearly played Duncan in on the left wing, but the defender got there first. He was still isolated and Duncan recovered possession. The ball was fed right to Cammy who scored with a flying leap. A difficult conversion on the angle was on target but fell just short. With the score at 36-14, it did not matter.
However, Utrecht kept playing and they scored on the last action, grounding the ball under the posts after BSN had given ground to penalties. Even then, BSN nearly held up the ball, but the try was given. URC made the conversion and the game finished 36-21 to BSN.
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