Sun 21.05.17, 14:00 h | Allmend Brunau
home vs CERN
GC Zürich (25-21) Cern (HT 6-9)
Match Report by Nico Scharenac
Throughout the week, the team knew that the entire season and all the effort we had put in came down to this Sunday. Everyone seemed to show some nerves and struggled to hold on to a ball. But the belief was strong after a couple of months with some good wins, so we knew that if we would stick to our game plan and play to our full potential, we would make it to the playoffs. Trust me, this is something that is easily said but really hard to do when you’re nervous.
Alex, our coach who has built this team to what it is today, tried to calm us down. Unfortunately there was this imaginary pressure that GC-Rugby haven’t reached a playoff since the last title. And this is exactly how we all started the game. We were not concentrating and gave away silly penalties. We made it easy for Cern to put the first points on the board. Luckily Cern also made some mistakes, which soon allowed JiiBii to convert two penalty kicks and keep the team in the contest at a tight 6:9 at the break.
The message at halftime was crystal clear: “If you f*** want to win this f***, you need to f***…”. Alex was certain that the first try scored in the second half would decide the game.
The referee blew his whistle and the second half started. But instead of waking up and playing better, the team was immediately pushed backwards and Cern scored a try after a couple of pick and go’s with their fatties (6:14). This was the moment we woke up. Senior inside center Jack “The Hulk” Staubli made a break down the left hand side of the field, fingered his opponent during a nasty handoff and setup a good attacking opportunity deep in Cern’s 22. With a beast like Tim Manu Vögtlipola (straight outta Tonga) you don’t need a lot of opportunities. He scored a try off a paper ball directly under the posts, which JiiBii easily converted. 13:14! The GC train was accelerating and with a strong locomotive (Tim Manu Vögtlipola again, yes it’s getting boring) which received the ball from our number 10, Finlay Small (as fat as Andy Goode, trust me), the train was never going to be stopped. After a scintillating break and a 20m sprint, Tim scored under the posts. Another conversion and it was 20:14! We all saw that the opponents were getting tired. Unluckily, Schüppi (the elbow monster) was sent off with a yellow card for an elbow strike that would have made any Muay Thai fighter proud, which allowed the heavy Cern squad back into the game. They somehow managed to score a try after a solid maul, which was converted. 20:21 and only 5 minutes to go. Was that the end for GC-Rugby so close before reaching the playoffs? No! The boys in blue were not to be denied. After the ensuing kickoff, the Züri pack applied huge pressure on the guests. Their up until now solid maul caved under the pressure, which resulted in a penalty for GC. Cern tried to slow down the game and tried to provoke us. Luckily we’re an experienced team and everyone kept their temper (:-P)… Other teams would have freaked out… but not us. Calvin reacted quickly, tapped and went, spread the ball wide to Andy Goode, who was given plenty of time to assess the situation thanks to a brilliant decoy run by our never-tiring prop. Finny passed the ball out to JiiBii (who never ever got intercepted in his life), who then in turn threw a ball – who was miraculously enough NOT intercepted – to our Speedy Gonzales Ivan out on the wing who ran in untouched to score in the corner and win the game and the last playoff spot! Boooom, Victory 25:21!
Story learned today… Coaches aren’t always right ;) Playoffs here we come!