Father Abraham’s Cup 2021

The annual Father Abraham’s Cup is always used as a kickstarter to the season ahead. For the club’s Young Lambs (Under 30s) it’s a good way to build early season confidence for the long season to come. For the Spring Cows (Over 30s) it’s a way to assert and maintain dominance against the younglings of the club. It always promises to be a fiery encounter and, although considered a friendly, there never are any friendly acts shared between the teams until after the final whistle.

For once this Summer, Zürich was experiencing a hot Saturday. Copious amounts of sunscreen and water were consumed by both sides to battle the heat and the scolding sun. These were topped off by tape, straps and anything to hold the limbs together for the older Spring Cows players. The club were honoured to have our own club and international referee Ethan Glass officiating the match, with his father shouting encouraging words of abuse from the sideline at all sides.

With only 13 men showing up for the Young Lambs, many others unable to partake due to nursing hangovers not used to a Saturday kickoff, the captain of the Young Lambs, Claudio Zavalloni, negotiated to play 12-a-side. Maans, the young Swedish 10, starts the match with a high ball in the air and the early onslaught of Spring Cow “pick and goes”, their trademark move, began. Weathering the storm the Young Lambs managed to eventually grasp hold of the ball and Tom McCarthy found a massive hole in the Spring Cows midfield to charge through and touch down for the first try of the game. 7-0

The heat started to take its toll on all parties but somehow the Young Lambs held it together more and some swift backline passing led Jaydon Morgan to gallop through for a quickly converted second try 14-0.

The Spring Cows were stunned and unsure what was going on. A quick count, however, made them aware they were playing 12 vs 13 men of the Young Lambs. Complaints, verbal abuse and a near round of fisty-cuffs ensued before it was agreed to up the numbers to 13-a-side. This proved helpful for the Spring Cows as quick successive pick-and-goes allowed Kirill Kamudo to touch down and pull some points back. Expertly converted by Fraser Callahan. 14-7

The heat continued to be a struggle for both sides and many players were possibly suffering from sunstroke. That can be the only explanation for Tim Vögtli opting to take over kicking-for-touch duties then hammering the ball comfortably into dead-ball territory. Luckily, that wasn’t the worse action of the day. Regathering their thoughts and heads, Rohan Floegel-Shetty, coming down from Heidelberg to represent the Young Lambs, and Tom McCarthy both carved through the midfield to score again, as well as convert their own tries. 28-7 at the next water break.

The two teams swapped sides in the hope the change might help reinvigorate the overheated Spring Cows side. Quite the opposite. Slick handling from the forwards and backs led Tom McCarthy to close off his hat-trick under the posts. Soon after Jaydon Morgan used his speed on the wing to score in the corner. Both tries, once again, converted. 42-7

The Spring Cows were down for the count on the scoreboard but both sides were suffering in the heat at Fortress Brunau. Once again slick interplay led to young Aussie Kevin Barker bursting through the defensive line and encounter a 3v1 situation, something he has trained since he was a young lad on the outskirts of Wollongong. As the slower forwards started walking back to the middle, confident that another try was being scored without any need for assistance, Kevin miraculously butchered the opportunity to score with a forward pass. A forward pass so wayward it rewarded him with cleaning the post-match jerseys.

Once the players and crowd could regather themselves after that astounding display of rugby skill, Maans, making his debut for the Young Lambs and GC Rugby, picked up a loose ball and skipped his way under the posts and easily converted. 49-7.

For all the players the heat was enough and the game was called off early. All the players quickly made their way to the bar for beers and BBQ, which gave the Spring Cows the opportunity to show off their dominance in the 3rd half.

Many thanks to everyone who came down to support or play and make it a great rugby day after a long time away. I’m sure everyone is hoping for many more to come this season!

(Von: Tim Vögtli)