The Delft Barbarians, the Colts cluster team comprising of players from Voorburgse Rugby Club, Wassenaar Warriors and Delft RC played the cluster team of Tilburg and Eindhoven (RCT/RCE) in the first game of the 2023/24 season on September 16 at Delft.

This new look Barbarians side has only been together since the beginning of September. The team was playing in the Delft strip as we’re waiting for the new Barbarians tops to arrive.

The first half started well. The Barbarians defending well on their try line as RCT/RCE attacked through strength. The Barbarians turned over the ball, spread it quickly to the left wing where they ran in the first converted try of the game. RCT/RCE came back soon though and scored their first try by putting pressure on the Barbarians from close range under the posts. From the restart RCT/RCE attacked again but lost the ball forward, this was swiftly picked up by the Barbarians who had another run from our 22 for our wing to score an unconverted try. The Barbarians were making some nice plays – breaking through the gain line multiple times and almost scoring a third try but were called back for a forward pass. The momentum went against the Barbarians though when we had a player yellow carded for lifting in the tackle. RCT/RCE taking a quick tap penalty from 5 metre out rolling over in the corner. A couple of minutes later they went over again, this time from a line out and executing a driving maul to get the ball down.

Half Time Score: 12-19

RCT/RCE started the second half brightly but had a try held up by the Barbarians. The took the penalty opportunity though and kick 3 points from in front of the posts. An injury to one of the Barbarians front row meant that the scrums had to go to uncontested. As RCT/RCE where the more physical side and didn’t take the news happily. The Barbarians however, came back with a try in the corner. The angle was too tight and that was left unconverted. A couple of minutes later RCT/RCE had another penalty within range and took the score to 17-25.
The Barbarians were still in the game though and were trying some nice moved. They broke through the defence with a nice chip over the top but were brought back because of a forward pass earlier in the move. A few minutes later The Barbarians did score a converted try as they went over after having a penalty in the RCT/RCE 22.

With 5 minutes to go, both sides wanted to pull away. The ball was going from one side to the other but RCT/RCE reverted to their well-executed power game and drove over from 5 metres out again. Play continued but RCT/RCE were too strong again and managed to score in the corner at the death of the game.

Final Score: The Delft Barbarians 24-37 RCT/RCE

So, first game of the season done and dusted. The Barbarians played some good rugby and threatened RCT/RCE many times. Our strength was in the wings and the swift passing of the ball from the centre out to them. RCT/RCE were stronger and bigger than us in the scrums and quickly realized that that was their strength. The majority of their tries being scored from close range drives, but well done for them to get into those positions to make their drives so effective in the first place. The Barbarians were getting sucked into the power game in the second half though. Too much ball went up the centre of the field towards the RCT/RCE players when it could have been passed out to the wings. Our lineout also function the way that we would have liked it but these are all things that can be worked on.

For our first game coupled with Delft and with many players playing in new positions, The Barbarians played really well. The score went against us in this match but the team showed lots of promise and potential for the rest of the season!

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