Sun 30.10.16, 14:00 h | Allmend Brunau
home vs Avusy
GC Zurich 1st (36 - 5) Avusy 1st (HT 19-5)
Tries: Wood, Kraljevic (2), Vögtli, Staubli
Report by Thomas Kuemin
Zürich’s parade team had much to prove versus their opponents from Avusy. With only one win in the first half of the season 2016/2017, they were keen to put 5 more points to their name. Preparing for the match under difficult conditions, with no winter pitch available, the squad had to train on the dark public fields and streets of Zürich like orphans in a Charles Dickens novel. With an enthusiastic crowd giving the men a warm welcome at their home ground in Brunau, the stage was set for a great rugby game.
Zürich started with a flourish, wisely putting early points on the board with penalties slotted in by Flüeler in the 5th and 10th minute. Avusy had control of the scrums and breakdowns however, and after a lengthy phase of testing Zürich’s defence an Avusian bumbled over the tryline to shorten the hometeams lead 6 to 5.
That was a wake up call for the men, who decided to have none of that. Stepping up in scrummaging and pestering Avusy in the breakdowns, Zürich was rewarded with a penalty, which Flüeler duly lopped through the posts. Scrumhalf Bezard had to come off the field after injuring one of his beefy arms and had to be temporarily replaced with the solid Estermann, and with Belencsak taking over later at 9. It was a rolling maul that let to Zürich’s first try in the 30th minute. After a furiously executed drive, Wood flopped down in the try zone to the cheers of the crowd.
After that exploit, the engines started to roar in the hometeam. Served with clean ball from the forwards, the backs made a break for it and it was Kraljevic who weaved through the struggling Avusy backline like a weasel on rollerskates. 19-5 to Zürich at halftime, and more good things to come!
Zürich knew it could not let up in the second half against a dangerous opponent like Avusy. And sure enough, Kraljevic soon decided to have another meat pie. Nicely supported by his mates, the young venture capitalist traversed the field in a thundering counter attack to put his stocks even higher with the joyous onlookers.
By that time the hometeam had taken complete control of the linouts. The towering presence of Vögtli made it hard for the Avusy forwards to lop their ball either to the first or second jumper. The Apollo from central Switzerland had a stellar game, not only snatching ball out of the blue sky but also off the highly priced local grass. Breaking Avusy’s defence, he crossed the tryline pumping his lanky tendons heavenwards in early celebration in the 65th minute.
Avusy followed up with a lengthy phase of ball possession, mainly taking advantage of repeated infringements of the tiring hometeam. Zürich was hard pressed not to concede points, at it was through solid defence they made life hard for the guests. The young Koeferli, a tender 17 years of age but built like a brick shithouse, rammed his packed deltas into Avusy’s stomach so that the guests efforts faltered.
It was Staubli who put the final blow to Avusy’s dream of having a cozy ride home to Geneva. To the gasps and glinting eyes of the many adoring female fans, he powered right trough the center of the opposing backline to finalize Zürich’s result. A superb day for Zürich, who took away not only a win but also a much needed bonus point for the ongoing season.