NLA 2019/2020
Sun 08.09.19, 14:00 Hours | Allmend Brunau, Zürich

35 : 3

The Club Kicks Off the New Season Successfully

The long awaited kick off to the 2019-20 season was upon us on the week of our first match against Lausanne UC. Many in the club and around Switzerland were excited to start the new season, with memories of GC Zürich’s league triumph just 80 days prior not far from their memory. 

Unfortunately, the 2nd XV were dealt a blow. With the students of Lausanne still in their summer holidays, numbers to field two teams became an issue for them and they had to forfeit their match. Our 2nd XV won the match by forfeit without having passed a ball... an annoying way to start the season regardless of the 5 points gained in the table.

Our 1st XV would be the only ones to play on what was hoped would be a nice warm, sunny Autumn Sunday. Sudden shifts in high and low pressures around Central Europe meant this was not to be reality and the men were welcomed back to their holy field of Brunau under pouring rain.

With the near thousand (rounded up) spectators coming to cheer the defending champions on, the 1st XV started with a bang. A quick turnover in LUC’s half and quick distribution out wide meant that Yannick ‘El Capitano for the day, while other el capitano is back from biking in the mountains of Davos’ Liechti could storm through to nearly put Zürich up inside 5 minutes. JB Flüeler, in his first opening-season start at home in 3 years, slotted the ball between the posts for another 2.

What followed was a long rest of half, with LUC pinning the Zürich boys into their own half through well placed kicks and resilient forwards play. Zürich held tough, and through not conceding penalties whilst delivering crunching tackles, resisted the Lausanne onslaught to end the half without conceding points. 7-0.

The 2nd half didn’t start brightly. Some handling mistakes, ever growing in this wet weather, led to errors and thousands of scrums. Eventually off the back of one, LUC charged down a clearance kick and burst for the line. Once again valiant defending on our try-line meant they had to settle for 3 points after the Zürichois conceded a penalty. 7-3.

A tight game didn’t last long and upon realising the backline wasn’t going to do the job today, the forwards took the matter into their own hands. Strong forward carries and a quick pick-and-go broke Lausanne defensive resistance and Tim “lanky legs” Vögtli stormed over the line to score. Spectacular was the try, but not the celebration that followed, with what appeared to be an imitation of a pecking rooster chosen as a celebration. Bemusement from the crowd. 14-3.

Nonetheless, Zürich were now going for the kill. Sylvain “look good, play good” Hirsch dazzled his way through 4 defending players with quick footwork to slide over for a try and, after another conversion by JB, Zürich were 21-3 up.

Forwards, wanting to take top prize in today’s try-scoring challenge, teamed up again and Tim Vögtli once again crashed through the middle and simultaneously through some LUC bodies to place the ball down for another score. Once again the hand-gestured rooster celebration made an appearance. Someone tell him it looks ridiculous... conversion secured through another fine JB kick. 28-3

The match was coming to a close but not before a botched, or tactically mishit, line-out 10 metres from the LUC try line led to Yannick “Jack Zhoul” Staubli pushing innocent Yannick Liechti out of the way, catching the ball himself, and charging for the line. Stopped 2 metres short, Yannick Liechti took revenge and picked the ball up himself to crash over. The points were duly converted by JB to finish the game. 35-3. FT. A sloppy but deserved win to start the season.

The conditions weren’t perfect but thanks to everyone that came down to support, help with the BBQ and stay for a beer and sausage afterwards. It was a great rugby day and a great start to the season!

(Von: Tim Vögtli)