Sat 28.10.17, 15:00 h | Les terrains-de-sports de Chavannes, Chavannes-près-Renens
First team top of the league after away win against Stade Lausanne
Stade Lausanne (9 - 20) GC Zürich (HT 3 : 3)
GC Zürich’s strong start of the LNA season had the merit to send a clear message across the league: we are back and to be counted with this year. After a string of convincing performances against the teams occupying the top of the table, we had the pressure upon ourselves to confirm and not let any point slip away in the last 3 games of the year.
Stade Lausanne showed they could be dangerous this season, notably beating their town rivals LUC. We were told that Stade relied on a handful of strong individualities that could turn games around, so we needed to get ahead of them right from the start.
The sunny and warm autumn weather welcomed us at the sports center of Chavannes-près-Renens, and after watching an impressive performance from GC’s Excellence A team, the setting seemed ideal.
The game started. We had been warned, and Lausanne indeed were in their game from the get go. Their powerful runners cut through around the rucks, not quite breaking our too static defensive line but gaining meters on every phase nevertheless. They were rewarded with the first points, and we knew the 3-0 on the scoreboard had to be a wake up call. We snoozed in for another 15 minutes and continued suffering, although not caving in completely. Lausanne were counter-rucking us and setting up solid platforms to feed their fly-half, which repeatedly stepped us on the inside. The overall lack of aggression meant that such an apparently basic tactic was still allowing them to make meters.
Thanks to Hugh Kisielewski’s boot we tied to 3-3 a bit against the run of play and started gathering our spirits. We won some penalties off the scrum and we were able to break away on the odd times we managed to move the ball around the field. But overall we reached HT without having been able to build phases and work as a team.
The second half started on a more positive note. Although we were still committing too many penalties and the strict referee would not have none of that, we were able to keep the ball for longer phases of play and stretch their defense and were rewarded by a try from Felix von Reischach who broke a tackle and grounded to our great relief. 3-8.
We felt like we would better get another try soon and secure the game, however their flankers, number 8 and their athletic center still regularly exposed us in defense and kept them in the game. They scored a couple of penalties. It’s only after our forward exhausted theirs that we could truly start finding space on the outside. Ivan Kraljevic finalized a team effort and scored a try on his wing, converted by Hugh. 9-15. At that point we started thinking about our prime objective again, which was to return home with the offensive bonus.
Unfortunately we could not capitalize on the momentum. Luxembourgish recruit Yared scored his first try for GC after a play that went wing to wing and involved most players on the field, but the try came in the dying minutes and the whistle was blown on the game. (4 tries are needed to collect an additional bonus point)
Some wins feel like losses, and no exulting celebrations were heard on the pitch. Circumstantially however, with GePLO’s win against Nyon we learned that we were top of the league. This did heighten the mood and made for a jovial bus ride back, and rightly so! Still in the back of our heads we know the journey will be long and we get back to training this week with the intention to show much more this coming Sunday at our home ground against Avusy.
Lineup: 1 Nico Scharenac 2 Andri Koeferli 3 Philipp Schuepp 4 Chris Röhrig 5 Felix von Reischach 6 Sylvain Coutu 7 Yannick Liechti 8 Tim Vögtli 9 Flo Bézard, 10 Finlay Small 11 Louis Reyes 12 Yared 13 Romain Kooger 14 Ivan Kraljevic 15 Hugh Kisielewski
16 Norman Pedrini 17 Sämi König 18 Raphaël Waldis 19 Ueli Galli 20 Diego Favre 21 Oli Dias 22 Yannick Staubli
Tries: Felix von Reischach, Ivan Kaljevic, Yared Ketema
Penalties / Conversions: Hugh Kisielewski
Man of the Match: Sämi König
(Von: Romain Kooger)