So here is the match report of the away game against DIOK, Leiden. Not by your favorite reporter. So forgive the new style. All I can say: A great sunny afternoon with a great result. You should have been there!

We went to Leiden to play against DIOK for the last regular game of this first season of The Hague Barbarians (the combined Junior team from Wassenaar Warriors, WRC Te Werve and Voorburgse Rugby Club). An early Saturday game, kicking off at noon. A game that turned out to be another great performance for our Juniors.

Eager to outperform our direct competitor for the first position on the ranking we needed to repeat the home game performance against DIOK. As it would turn out, the opponents had strengthened their ranks with extra players. Due to the May school holiday already starting this Saturday we were a bit short in replacements. The Barbarians arrived 17 strong. We were very happy to see Stijn Elings visiting the Barbarians with a broken collarbone from the last match. His support and that of the attending parents kept the Barbarians going when it was necessary.

The task at hand was taken head on and The Barbarians made their plans known from the start of the game. The first minutes where strong from the DIOK side but the first try was made by the Barbarians in the 6th minute. Matt McCoy swirled through the defense with the by now signature move (one handed) and Jesper Lefty Verbeek made it 0-7 with his perfect conversion. It took a lot back and forth until the last 10 minutes of the first half to have more scores on the board. DIOK answered with a try. We found out that the try area in Leiden is a bit smaller, so our answer was disallowed. But just before halftime Matt McCoy was again successful. What stuck out in the first half were some mistakes made and difficult passing which more than once resulted in a scrum with advantage for the opponents. Good coaching next to the field directed the Barbarians. And also keeping the focus by our scrumhalf Syme Ter Bekke proofed again successful, yelling his directions to move his teammates in the right positions. The Barbarians finished the first half in the lead (5-12).

After the intermission, the hard work of the whole year started to pay off. The fitness of the Barbarians is obvious and the second half was dominated. In rapid succession with intervals of 6 minutes tries were scored by Matt McCoy, André Langlois, Iason Plaisier and Dafydd Rusinow with a fantastic dive. One last try made by the DIOK side with a conversion, made the clock almost finish. But the Barbarians wanted more. In style of their relentless efforts and training hard for a full season Dinc Capar made his try and the score 12-44. Tijmen Pronk made his 2nd conversion of the second half straight through the middle. To finish of the barrage of the Barbarians, Iason Plaisier upped the score to end his injury troubled season with the last try of the match.

The Barbarians played well as a team and put in some great pieces of play. It wasn’t perfect though, too many penalties or balls turned over and funny passes. DIOK had a much stronger side with great determination to the last minute. But we took the game home with 12-46. The Barbarians became 2nd overall just by a margin. A great season which makes the players want for more. A great look out to the tournaments before the summer and a nice prospect for next season.

We like to thank all involved and all in support of these fantastic guys. A team built out of necessity with success that was made with hard work and making new friends. It is a treat for all coaches and managers to be part of and support this unique group. The Hague Barbarians can really be proud of themselves. Well done lads! Let’s go Barbarians!

Niels Plaisier
Match reporter

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