New decade, New subcoats, same old geil rugbyers von de RSRC.
The Rotterdam Students began the second half of the 19/20 season with a fixture against RC the Hookers. The students’ first challenge came in waking up the game’s referee for kick off, which lead to some necessary improvisation in game preparations but did allow spectators who were perhaps running behind schedule more observable game time.
Rotterdam began the game with the kick-off and applied pressure in the opponent’s 22, causing a clearance to fall just short of the halfway mark. Keen to show their ball skills and ability to get over the gainline, the backs were gifted a ball from the line out with Rotterdam making encouraging metres early on. The visitors were lacking in defence and began to concede penalties. This ill-discipline gave the home team a brilliant platform to score the first points, which they wasted no time in doing. A series of mauls at lineouts from penalties lead to a war of attrition that the home team won convincingly with Ties Hille Rambo crossing the whitewash, the forwards receiving praise from their teammates and spectators alike. First points to Rotterdam, 5-0.
Immediately the away side responded. A kick-off placed deep into the Rotterdam half put the students under pressure and failure to clear the ball quickly with the boot lead to a turnover and subsequent quick ball from The Hookers lead to an overlap which they were quick to exploit. Levelling the score after a missed conversion, 5-5.
This lit a fire under the boys in red and green that they felt in all senses of the word. The smell of blood was in the air and the boys were hungry. The forwards began to show their worth with further aggressive and direct action. The lineout proved to be a source of front foot ball for Rotterdam even on opposition put in. Another push over try from a maul returned the lead to RSRC with Mr. Rambo being the benefactor yet again.
Without letting their foot off the gas, Rotterdam continued to exert pressure on their opponents at set piece. The scrum became not only a source of neck-ache but also heart ache for the Hookers’ big men. The leaders extended the difference through Hippolyte Hartman, whose triceps managed to cross the line before the defence saw him pick and go from a ruck underneath the posts. This gave Daniel Rodenburg the chance to open his score tally for the day with a 2 pointer, the windy conditions having made previous attempts near impossible.
A similarly forward orientated try followed with Gianni Croes adding some South American spice to this tasty Sunday salsa mix to give the home team a 22-5 lead at the break. A forward’s game it had been so far and a successful one at that.
In the second half the message for Rotterdam was clear; to play nice rugby and to enjoy the game while doing so. The backs began to find their feet amongst the muddy terrain in the second half, no doubt due to the forwards tiring out the opposing pack in the midfield. Spaces began to open up, and Rotterdam running lines ran through like a red and green hot knife through butter. Kaay Sol picked up 2 tries, getting around the Hookers defence all too easily, running through men and space with the same finesse as each other. He would later go on to win man of the match.
The forwards continued to do great work in the conditions and dictated how the game would be played, further tries coming from Felix Nieuwenhuizen and Mr. Ties converting his brace to a hattrick in exchange for a bloodied nose mid-way through the second half. Mr. Rodenburg added to his points tally with a try of his own having sent an opposing winger 6 feet under with a flick of the shoulder, a skip and a run in the style of a traditional front row side-step. This added to his 7 conversions in the second half gave a final point tally of 21 for the front row phenomenon.
Floris Smits gobbled down a warm meat pie for himself from the wing when the chance was presented and he was able to dart through and find a big green bullseye, likewise picking up a score in the wide channels was Marc Kranendonk who found himself climbing a position ladder playing at number 11, having been number 10 all season and 9 all game.
Speaking of position changes, a special shout out must be given to Joost de Rooij for being used in every role possible this week apart from coach as well as for his ability to use his time on the basketball court to impact his rugby skills, allowing him to pull off chest to chest passes leading to tries.
The final play saw RSRC desperate for more points and hence the need for a drop goal. Mr Rodenburg happily abliged and dropped himself deep in the pocket. Despite the relentless chase from the opposing team, he sent the ball soaring over the bar like a great eagle flying straight to victory.
Coach Ray Blackburn could have enjoyed many a cup of coffee on the sideline, his hard work having been done in preparation of this fixture rather than during the performance.
Overall it was a day to remember for the Student team and a day that featured not only style but also showed high levels of maturity and game intelligence. The final score being 72-5 after an 80 minutes that no one in red and green wanted to end. Encouraging signs shown for the rest of the season.