The BSN Cubs last game of the season. Away on a Wednesday evening to an Amstelveense RC side fighting for a place in the national finals. Cold rain just before kick off and mud and water on the pitch. There was little separating the sides after a fierce first half and the match was close until the last ten minutes, when the home side stretched away to win. A fine game with great commitment by both teams.
It was a fiercely contested match from the kick off. A BSN defensive kick was picked up by the Amstelveense number 36, who dodged a couple of tackles to sprint away and score under the posts and an easy conversion.
BSN came straight back, pressurising the home side. Amstelveense conceded a penalty in their own half and then threw the ball away to concede another penalty. Defending on their try line, they then kicked the ball in the ruck and conceded another penalty. BSN worked the ball through a series of drives. Thomas attacked, then Cammy, and finally Lachlan scored into the corner. William made the conversion from the side line to level the scores at seven all.
Then it was Amstelveenses turn. From the restart, BSN were put under pressure and knocked on. The home side played ball to the left and ran through to score. A good conversion restored their lead.
Play kept alternating and Amstelveense were immediately under pressure. The ball was stolen by BSN in a ruck to create a great attacking position. Lachlan went right. There was a big space on the left, but William didn’t use it and the ball went right again to Lachlan who punched over in the corner. There was no conversion this time and so the home side kept a two point lead.
BSN were marginally on top. Amstelveense conceded a penalty for offside in their own 22. The referee played advantage for a long time before going back to the penalty. Daniel drove, Cammy drove, and Lachlan went blindside, before the ball came back to Jacob who went over for the try. William made the conversion to give BSN a 14-19 lead.
The home side responded. A chip and kick from Amstelveense put BSN under pressure deep in their half, but Atlanta and William calmly tidied up. The relieving kick went diagonal and the home sides dangerous number 36 picked it up. Lachlan quickly closed down the danger, but Amstelveense kept coming forward. BSN were defending fiercely on their own try line and managed to turn over possession, but they couldn’t clear and had to ground the ball in their try zone. Amstelveense had a five metre scrum. The ball went left. BSN couldn’t hold up the runner and the home side scored the try. With the conversion, they edged back into a 21-19 lead.
Both teams were going for it; trading penalties. BSN made ground up to the 22, but the ball was stolen in the ruck by Amstelveense, who ran all the way up to the BSN 22. BSN defended well and managed to win possession in a ruck in their own 5 metre, before getting the ball out of play for half time.
Both teams had competed well. Amstelveense needed to win the match to secure a place in the national final and they started the second half strongly. BSN were under pressure from the start, knocking on the ball, but they recovered and turned over possession after the scrum. However, they were now struggling to get out of their half; defending deep and conceding knock ons. After five minutes of pressure, the Amstelveense number 36 found a gap, bursting through the centre, after coming on to the ball at pace. The conversion stretched the home sides lead to the widest margin at 28-19.
BSN were on the back foot, but were still fiercely defending. Jacob putting in the tackles, taking down four Amstel players in succession. A BSN relieving kick again found the hands of the number 36, who got moving before Alexander could close him down. The second defender managed to stop him, but he got the ball left. Fortunately for BSN, an overthrown pass put the ball into touch when they were exposed on the overlap. Both teams took respite from the stop. Players were lying on the pitch. It had been a fierce game.
From the line out, Daniel made a long clearing kick, which was again received by the number 36. This time, Alexander got to him before he started moving, but it was only a matter of time. The BSN defence eventually gave way as Amstelveense managed to get ball out to the left and score into the corner. The conversion stretched Amstelveenses lead beyond two scores and the effort had caught up with BSN. Amstelveense scored two more tries in the closing minutes to end with a 49-19 win, but the match was close for most of the game. Both sides deserved credit.