With just a few wins in the league for the Rotterdam boys, heading down to Etten-Leur to face a REL team yet to secure a victory seemed like a good chance for a rare win in what has been a challenging season up until now.
A dry warm day with fantastic conditions underfoot meant that there would be no excuses for anything other than a resounding win against the 13-man REL squad. Despite this clear advantage, the Rotterdammers were keen to make sure that the day was not ‘Etten-Leur stelling’ (ah thank you) as a win was mandatory for keeping their place in the 2nd Klasse.
The opening 10 minutes started at a reasonable tempo, with Rotterdam enjoying most of the possession. However, with perhaps with just a little too much enthusiasm to blame, the visitors struggled to convert this control into points. It was down to Berend ‘Beavis’ Guertsen to score the first of his 3 tries that day however, with his family present to witness this machine charging over the line in his typical style.
REL responded with a try soon after, and worked hard in the drift defence to cover attacks out wide by the gruesome twosome of Max ‘Tiger’ Theunissen and Max ‘quite fast, I guess’ Hoogerheide: Both have been prolific so far this season, and were hunting more tries from the outset. After some near tries for Theunuissen, it was Hoogerheide who scored first between the two. It began with ‘Uncle’ Archie Pollock roasting some 2nd rower down the right to chip kick inside for his chasing Padowan Hoogerheide, who kicked the ball over the line and fell onto it to touch down for 5 more points. Soon after, a well-timed pass from ‘the Victorious’ Vic Lemmens allowed the Uncle to get through and in behind the defence, passing out to Theunissen who sprinted home between the posts. Between them, Hoogerheide and Theunissen amassed 7 tries on the day, owing to the use of space by the team as whole.
REL played a remarkably solid game throughout, and managed a respectable 19 points. Crashing forwards and well-worked pick-and-go play reminded the RSRC that if it were not for the 2 man disadvantage, things may well have been very different.
The floodgates opened in the 2nd half, with further tries from Hoogerheide, Guertsen, Pollock and a notable first try for substitute Oscar ‘Almost as good looking as Dirk’ Langeslag. Special plaudits for strong performances go to Rutger ‘much sparkle’ Vonk for not getting injured, Pieter ‘P-Rex’ Rexwinkel for almost making it to the game, Coen ‘solid buns’ Bakker for his taking of the high ball, and Vasco ‘Tokyo? Why not’ Van Den Berg for some excellent dark destroyer runs from deep.
With 12 tries and 8 conversions, the game ended perhaps as expected, but kudos to the REL boys for making a game of it for the vast majority of the match. There is now a one week gap before the next fixture and the Erasmus RSRC look forward to a couple of weeks of training and preparation for what is guaranteed to be a tough match at home against Gouda.
Final score: REL – Erasmus RSRC 1XV: 19-74