Rugby Club Leoben vs Rugby Klub Bratislava : the teams has competed on the RC Donau pitch in Vienna, for a friendly match XV.
Leoben and Bratislava has met in Vienna for a friendly match XV. Once again, we could arrange 4 times 20 mn with uncontested scrum for the safety of everyone.
Leoben coming with reduced squad, due to the National Austrian team trainings, they gathered couple of good players from other teams in Vienna to compose a proper squad. The challenge was very interesting from the beginning.
Bratislava came with the full XV squad (missing our wonderful coach Zulf -half Slovak/half British away in London that week-end). We were, first of all, happy to set finally a full team, after struggling to get enough players each match from the last 12 months. Showing the good efforts during the trainings, our squad had significant progress, and cross-fit sessions help everyone to increase their strength and endurance for 80 mn. We had no sub, and when Giacomo had to get off (ankle injury still not recovered from the match in Zilina, where there were couple of big holes on a Bagdad pitch), Leoben was fair enough to drop one player as well to compete equally 14vs14 // (cf match Piestany vs Bratislava where we have played minus 1 for 60 mn and the ref blew the end of the match after only 60 mn – and Zilina vs Bratislava as well we have played minus 1 for 80mn).
The reinforcement of Vienna teams in favor of Leoben made the match very interesting. Bratislava players had defended very well, where Leoben had to keep the ball 20 phases to score a try. Unfortunately, we have made silly mistakes costing couple of easy tries to Leoben, but our beginners learnt a lot on that day, and experience comes from matches no matter what, despite having wonderful and detailed trainings.
Giacomo and Giuseppe showed once again their strength and leadership as front row, supporting David to clean rucks and made awesome tackles. Miro has surprised us was good pace and finding unreal gaps, gaining meters, after first few minutes pretty shy he showed his potential. Julius, Gena, and Big Max covered the mid-field and their runs were valuable all around the pitch, for 80 mn when the temperature was actually pretty warm, on a scratchy synthetic dry grass. Paul was valuable in the line out, and made clean runs.
Charlies (myself) as a scrum half, trying to find balance between experienced players and beginners, to make newbies confident and helping them to simply enjoy the day. Coupe of bad kicks on my side, not getting comfortable balls as I would wish to get long range, instead blowing away potatoes shoots right in the middle of the pitch. Tom back to business, after getting tanned on pink plastic buoy, demonstrated his great pace and vision to attack the line. With a brand new center composition, Richy brought his power and tackling efficiency – rugby league style -, with Emile starting outside center for the first time in his career with magnificent tackles. As an original flanker, Emile covered the mid-field pretty well, which was missing and penalized our squad last match against Celtic-A. Jano, Slavo, and Gwennael covering the back line, proved we could have finally this season a stable and reliable back line. Great mention to Slavo who started hooker 3 years agoo due to the lack of players in the front row at the time, and thanks to a specific diet of champion (provided by Zulf), was able to gain pace and mobility for handling the full back position.
We lost against a well composed Leoben team, we have missed of course our truly amazing players – Oriol, and Jonathan – but our trend is good in term of recruitment, gameplay, and simply at atmosphere which make the RKB. Our usual coach Zulf was away that day, and we have missed his advises and team management (not mentioning how valuable and sexy he’s when he brings bottles of water).
ARC Leoben 49 – 24 RK Bratislava (27:12)
Forwards : Giacomo, Giuseppe, Julius, Miro, David, Paul, Gena, Big Max
Backs : Charlie, Tom, Richy, Emile, Slavo, Jano, Gwennael
Coach : away
We are pleased and thankful to Laurent and Stiig Gabriel who made this fixture possible, arranging as well at the end a grill for the third half. We are very satisfied about the quality of referring from a lady-ref. The photographer – Barbara Alexandra Lichtblau-Zakrzanska – shoots amazing pictures, which our players could keep awesome memories for long.