The sun came out again on Saturday when our combined juniors team consisting of players from Wassenaar Warriors, WRC Te Werve Rugby and Voorburgse Rugby Club faced the CL Octo Bulls out of Uden. School vacation and a few last minute injuries meant that the Barbarians were only able to field 14 players but The Bulls graciously offered to play with the same number leaving us with a far contest.
The first 15 minutes saw both sides very evenly matched with some good attacking moves by the Barbarians. Some early match nerves saw the team spill the ball and they missed some overlap situations. The Bulls broke through the lines after 15 mins and scored their first try which they weren’t able to convert. The Barbarians restarted, but the Bulls were too strong again and they scored another unconverted try just before half time.
The half time score was The Hague Barbarians 0 – Octo Bulls 10, but the feeling from the Barbarians was that they could still win the game.
The Barbarians were dealt another blow when one of the players left the field after a clash of heads, leaving the team with 13 players versus 14. That didn’t matter though after the team put a lot of pressure on the Bulls and the wing Gabriel Bernier scored the Barbarians first try after 37 mins. That was converted by Jesper Verbeek. After the restart the Barbarians kicked forward and recovered the ball after a fumble by the Bulls. Some excellent support play saw the ball go quickly out to the right wing and Tigo Jansen scored in the far corner to take the lead. The Barbarians missed the conversion leaving the scores at 12-10. The Barbarians continued their fine form and Jesper Verbeek scored again after 49 minutes with Tijmen Pronk converting to take the scores to 19-10 with just over 10 mins to play.
The game was getting very physical and the Bulls had a yellow card for a high tackle with 8 minutes to go. The last 10 mins had both teams playing with 13 players each but it was The Bulls that broke through for the final points of the game scoring a converted try on the 57th minute. The Barbarians were able to ride out the last couple of minutes of the game to record their third win of the first round of the Junior Bowl competition. This was a great result for the Barbarians players and coaches seeing them finish in third place in the table. It wasn’t a perfect match and the side has some work cut out for them before the next round of games start in November, but the young team can be very proud of the way that the depleted side stepped up and played today. Each player gave everything they could and we couldn’t ask more than that.
Final Score: The Hague Barbarians 19 – Octo Bulls 17