Matches against better opponents are invaluable, because they uncover the skill gaps we need to work on. We are lucky we started a strong partnership with RC Donau, skilled opponents with high level of fair play. And because of great facilities available to them, it’s always a pleasure to play rugby in Vienna.
Slavo – RKB player
The match was set at the “last minute” with the support of Stiig, and his good management. Indeed, both teams had free schedule end of October, and were looking for some fun. However, in Bratislava, we had the pitch only available on Saturday, and Vienna players had their squad ready for Sunday. A frisbee tournament was planned on the pitch, that day, but was cancelled giving us the holly opportunity to set a match.
The RKB squad came with few members this time, despite having a very good recruitment and numbers at the training recently. Simply because in halusky land, the communist gvt gave two public holidays in the same week after the match and couple of players went to visit their family. Sometimes, it’s hard to compete and convince our boys when warm and lovely slovak soup is waiting for them, afternoon planting potatoes with grandma, and then evening entertaining event with the whole Rodina in front of Hercules Poirot (in cz version).
This time, the RC Donau-B set a better squad than last time, getting reinforcement from the A-team as a match of the national team was set the day before Austria vs Latvia. However, the RC Donau coach was fair enough to share with us those very talented and physical players.
The match was pretty balanced, and unlikely we have carried the ball the first minutes for pretty long phases, showing our capacity to increase our level once again, and the global cohesion also. The RC Donau was pretty massive and efficient to the ruck, gaining ball and scoring on a turn over without any strategy or construction, lucky them. This time, we were a way more efficient in side their 22m, scoring couple of tries, on the first half and second half. Still lacking of support, our backs this time didn’t make the show, going straight to the opponents, into a one versus two, and loosing the ball once mauls were formed. I personally missed couple of transformation (having different balls during the match, with and without grip, different shape and brand and pressure/bar didn’t help to be accurate). With Jan and Slavo willing to kick, we may have more internal competition in front of the post in the future.
As well, I would highlight the fair performance of the referee, giving (if I may right) two yellow card against his own team. We have suffered couple of individual fool play from Donau, with high tackles, cleaning rucks on the side, RKB players tackled sometimes without ball. They were hungry for sure, but on the edge of the fair friendly match. As well, after being patient enough, I’ve pointed out those fool plays and the ref simply responded back “and I think you speak a way too much” – thank you Sir, you were right.
Going to the third half in their club house after the match, we had a meal and drinks were available at the bar. The match return would be set end of November, in Bratislava, for the first home match of the season for the Rugby Klub Bratislava.
It was a very interesting fixture, the level was pretty high and challenging for our new players, but the global quality of the game was excellent and our boys learned from the best. Looking forward to seeing you on our hell in the shell (hopefully).
Charlie – player & captain of RKB
Forwards: Giuseppe, Giacomo, Paul, Miro, Robin, Big Max
Backs: Charlie, Emile, Jan, Slavo, Gilles