The Hague Barbarians (the combined junior team from Wassenaar Warriors, WRC Te Werve and Voorburgse Rugby Club) faced off again the Hawks/Houtsche cluster on Saturday 9th April at the Wassenaar Warriors home ground. This was another return match – the last time was in February at a windy Hawks home ground with the Hawks winning 32-15.

The Barbarians had won their last 2 matches and went into this game confident that they could upset the league leaders. The Barbarians started well and spent the first 10 minutes in the Hawks 22, but they seemed to be suffering from some early game nerves and were losing the ball a lot with some crazy passes or unnecessary kicks. Matt McCoy scored the first try though after 12 minutes with Tijmen Pronk converting. The Hawks came back immediately and scored two tries within 10 minutes, their fullback cutting up the Barbarians defence and the Barbarians missing at least 3 tackles on his runs. It took some time for the Barbarians to find their groove again and Matt McCoy crossed over for his second try close to halftime with Tijmen again converting.

Half Time score: The Hague Barbarians 14 – Hawks/Houtsche – 12

We had a few injuries and bumps at half time – Our winger Stijn Elings was off with an arm/shoulder injury and Matt McCoy with a thumb problem, but The Barbarians were just in front and now playing well.

The Hawks struck first in the second half though, scoring in the corner but slowly The Barbarians were getting back into the game. They were putting the pressure on rushing up in defence and competing well in the rucks. The backs were starting to click and the passes going well to hand. Deven Donk broke the defensive line and touched down for the first Barbarians score of the second half. A few minutes later and it was Plamen Brown putting in a great run and scoring in the corner. The wind was so strong that we had to enlist Temelko Brown to steady the ball for the conversion by Jesper Verbeek. The kick was good and Temelko claimed at least 20% responsibility for the kick.

Frustration was growing with both sides being penalised for disciple in the rucks and there were a few high tackles from both sides. This came to a head and the Hawks were yellow carded for dangerous play while clearing a ruck. With the opposition down a man and The Barbarians confidence increasing, they put in a few great runs around the field before Tollo Wachira managed to ground the ball in the corner.

Final Score: The Hague Barbarians 31 – Hawks/Houtsche – 19

This was a very tough match for the team. All of them will be tired and stiff afterwards – but what a game for them! The team competed on every level and this was a well deserved win. The opening quarter was a bit jittery but as the game went on the team grew in confidence and established themselves on the field. Again we saw a great team effort from all of the players with them all putting everything they had into the game.

The Team is now second in the league table just 1 point behind the Hawks. There’s one game left in the season in 2 weeks and The Barbarians have everything to play for!

Stephen Brown
Match reporter

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