Rugby Club Luxembourg's U19s firxt XV held on to beat ROC in Ottigny. The second XV and the U16s also both won on their travels.
Photo: Paolo Tarakdjian/RCL
Sport: Rugby Club Luxembourg U16s and U19s teams were all on the road last weekend.
The Rugby Club Luxembourg U16s and U19s 1st XV travelled together to ROC, in Ottigny, while the U19s 2nd XV played against Hesby-Famenne. The RCL U16s kicked off first, but were down by 10 points after just 10 minutes as ROC started strongly and capitalised on early RCL errors. RCL started playing better rugby and after some good phases Luca Zanette crossed the line and Sweetnam added 2 points for the conversion. However, a miss pass was intercepted by the ROC centre who ran in a 60-metre try to leave the half-time score at 15-7 in ROC’s favour.
The second half started in the same way, with RCL having more possession but failing to score, and then again the host managed to put the ball over the line for a 13 points lead. The final 10 minutes saw the Luxembourg boys putting ROC under a lot of pressure, which resulted in a good try converted by Franzina. Then, with four minutes left to play, RCL managed to keep possession, and, after winning a ruck, scrum half Tarakdjian offloaded to Verlaque who bravely scored right under the post for his second try of the day. The subsequent conversion was enough to seal a 21-20 victory for RCL.
The U19s preparation during the week had been less than perfect, with a number of absences and players in different positions. ROC field a number of Belgium internationals, so the RCL coaches expected a tough match. An early injury to open side flanker Liam Carrol meant a reshuffling of the pack, but the RCL 8 had the upper hand in the scrums over a much larger and heavier ROC pack. RCL backs made the line breaks, but the final passes often did not go to hand. ROC were awarded a penalty close to the RCL try line and the hosts chose to kick for the 3 points. The final five minutes of the first half saw some heroic RCL try line defence.
RCL started the 2nd half better, playing a bit smarter and giving away fewer penalties. A penalty on the posts was missed, as were a number of touch finders from penalties, but the momentum had changed. RCL kept coming, and playing some good rugby. A quick break from the back of the ruck in the ROC 22 metre area saw an off-load to Matthew Denis-Soto who crashed over for the try. The conversion was unfortunately missed, which meant a tense final five minutes. ROC were awarded a number of penalties just inside the RCL half, but their kicker could not find the target to leave the final score 5-3 to RCL.
Having made the short journey to Famenne, the RCL U19s second team coaches were faced with a late withdrawal, which meant reshuffling the team. Luca Samair in only his second game, having started rugby only two months ago, was thrust into the forwards, to play second row, but soon found his feet. The Hesby-Famenne team were a big team, but the RCL players have proven themselves in the past against bigger opposition, and are not easily overwhelmed by size.
In another tense game, Michael Wright continued his good form and scored an earlier try to bring RCL within two points of the hosts. Captain Paul Truchot led his troops well, and set up a try for his new inside centre Tony Drennan, which gave RCL a 10-7 victory.
The next games are on the 24 October, when the U16s play at home against Dendermonde, and the U19s 1st XV play Coq Mosan, which promises to be another cracker of a match. The U19s 2nd team play away against RC Binche.