SG Ricklingen / Wunstorf (SGRW - Hannover) Vs Hamburg Exiles
The pack were great...
The Exiles had an incredibly dominant pack, dominant possession and dominant field position and, unfortunately, the end score line makes it look as though they got battered. In truth SGRW used the few ball possessions they were gifted to scythe through a porous Exiles back line and pile on the points. Despite having most of the ball Exiles didn’t control the game, couldn’t handle the fast running and, in the critical phases, just weren’t breaking enough game line with ball in hand.
As the game kicked off at an unexpectedly warm and sunny Hannover pitch most of the Exiles seemed to have left their brains in the car park, with SGRW able to run in an easy try with barely a single tackle being made. SGRW then further capitalised on the brain dead Exiles with an easy penalty in front of the posts (10 - 0). After this cold start the Exiles got themselves thinking and playing too, with a nice run down the right of the pitch followed on with some quick pod play and pick and drives leading SGRW into a scrambled goal line defence. As was seen throughout the game SGRW couldn’t handle the speed of recycling, power, or teamwork shown in the Exiles pack play and the defence eventually left a hole for Olivier to dive over for an Exiles try (10 - 5).
The large group of SGRW fans then had to spend most of the rest of the first half watching the Exiles pressuring their teams try line. SGRW were pinned into their own half and seeing very little of the ball. However, only the Exiles forwards had any luck gaining ground with the Exiles backs unable to handle what was admittedly an excellent pressing defence from SGRW. This meant that almost every time the ball was given wide to the Exiles backs they ended up losing ground and often the ball. SGRW managed comfortable to weather the storm and then, closing in on half time, used turnover ball to push up the field, eventually spinning the ball wide right for their wing to dive into the corner, making it 15 – 5 to the home team at half time.
It shouldn’t be possible but the Exiles started the second half even worse than they started the first, brainless, half with SGRW able to run in an easy try, directly from the kick-off without a single tackle being made (20 – 5). This quickly removed most thoughts of an Exiles second half turnaround. However, the Exiles pack had another idea and were even more dominant in the second half set plays with Fred, Tjark Allan & Co ensuring they won all their own and most of SGRW’s scrums and line-outs. Unfortunately the Exiles still couldn’t use this platform to put points on the board. The game followed the pattern of Exiles dominating set-pieces and holding possession for large periods but, throwing away points by opening the door in defence whenever they weren’t in a set play or didn’t have ball in hand. SGRW took these gifts to score three, unanswered, converted tries (41 – 5).
With ten minutes left in the game the Exiles could have capitulated to a very heavy defeat. Instead they decided to start playing simple, clever rugby, kicking the ball long and using their set-piece dominance to get dangerous rolling rucks underway, with Allan’s powerful yard gaining drives and clean, simple hand off passes being especially noteworthy. This play led to great pitch position and two kicking chances, that unfortunately couldn’t be converted. The Exiles looked to be once again leaving a dominant period pointless when a knock-on from the backs led to a SGRW scrum 10 m from their own line. But, this time the pack just weren’t having it, getting a massive shove on the SGRW pack to (once again) win the scrum against the head led to a quick pick-up from Tobi. SGRW could only watch, rooted to the spot as he dived over for the packs second try of the afternoon.
SGRW 41 (6 t 4 c 1 p) Exiles 10 (2 t Olivier, Tobi, 0 c 0 p)
Ht 15 – 5
1.Juan Diaz 2.Allan Murphy 3.Kai F. 4.Tjark Bikker (C.) 5.Tobias Wolters 6.Frederic Coumailleau 7.Olivier Chierotti 8.Thomas Fuhrmann 9.Nik Krauss 10.Dalmas Augustin 11.Benjamin Matlock 12.Bastian Belusic 13.Alban de Lanlay 14.Tim Freudenthal 15.Henry Maximilian Blunck 17.Manfred Suhr (for 1. @ 60 minutes) 18.Owen Curran (for 11. @ 45 minutes) Coach: Vlad Gramaticu
Exile of the match: The Pack
Exile mentions: Allan Murphy (Hooker!): for line-out throws, actually hooking & winning against the head, yards gained & offloads, Frederic Coumailleau: for catching all of our and most of their lineouts and feeding well to SH, Olivier Chierotti: for being everywhere and doing good wherever he was. & of course Manfred Suhr for being so old!