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NLA 2018/2019
Sun 07.10.18, 14:00 Hours | Allmend Bruna

19 : 13

GC go top of the league with 4 wins from 4.

With a tight win last week at very difficult place to play, GC returned home Allmend Brunau for a top of the table clash against the league leaders Nyon.

Nyon arrived unbeaten running high on confidence scoring 14 out of a maximum 15 league points in their first three games of the season and lying top of the table 1 point ahead of the also unbeaten GC. Adding to the build-up was the announcement from FSR that the game will be broadcast live on the official Swiss Rugby association home page.

A few notable injuries to a full-strength side was added to with last week’s try scorer and Swiss national rugby player - Sylvain Hirsch added to the injury list. Strength in squad depth and returns from injury allowed welcome returns for Felix Von Reischachand Jemba Bull.

A beautiful autumn day welcomed the sides at kick-off, with near perfect conditions, and the luxury of the referee being assisted by two miked-up assistants running the lines.

The Nyon 10 kicked-off deep into GC territory, which was received by Alex and sent directly into touch outside the 22 allowing GC to test one their ‘must-do’s’ for the match – a solid defence.

Nyon settled into their attacking patterns and were met with a solid GC line that even after giving away a quickly tapped penalty held strong for a turnover. Pinned back again in the GC 22 from a Nyon kick, a box kicked gathered by hot-stepper Leo on the left wing brought an opportunity for GC to start their attacking patterns. 8 penetrating phases sweeping right then left opened the door for the mobile Ekim to score an unconverted try for GC to lead 5-0 after 5 mins.

The game then stuttered between the 22-meter lines with neither side being able to build continuity into their attack. A showcase of motivated and organised GC defence was the best of the next 30 mins, with Nyon having the lion’s share of territory, but unable to create a scoring opportunity. They came close with a move that was read and picked off by GC fly-half Tom ‘Alex Goode’ McMann, intercepting a ball on the try line and cleverly kicking deep for an 80 meter turn around. Benni was also proving to be handful in attack and stood out as an attacking presence for GC in the first half, at times dancing past and swatting Nyon defenders for fun. Persistence paid off as on the stroke of half-time a penalty conceded inside the GC half was slotted by the well-fed Nyon fly-half. 5-3 to the home side at the break.

With the breeze on their back, GC kicked-off the second half, with the intention of how they started the first. Phases were built, and the home crowd were aroused with some flowing rugby again as GC began to put phases together, aided by a power surge from Tatti and activating their electrifying wingers into the game. Handling errors and a stuttering 9-10 axis in attack still plagued their continuity, and another of GC’s only 8 penalties allowed Nyon a moment of being ahead as their fly-half nailed a well taken penalty. 5-6. Back in their stride and after some phase play on the left of the field, GC broke down the Nyon defence and after Jemba came agonisingly close, Ekim was again on hand to dive elegantly into the left-hand corner for his brace. The try converted from the touch line by Tom McMann to make it 12-6.

This proved to be the final touch from the GC 10 as changes were made bringing on Adam and Galdrick, reshuffling the back-line as the starting 9 and 10 left the field.

These subs playing their 3rd half of rugby that afternoon rejuvenated the GC attack, with Adam showing some class touches to get the ball away under pressure, and Galdrick making inroads with every touch. Apart from the odd pressure relieving kick from the Nyon fly-half, the changes boosted the energy into the game which benefitted the home side – now upping the tempo and continuity.

Territory domination paid off, as phase play in the middle of the pitch again released Galdrick on a cut back inside. Seemingly downed by the last line of defence, he was able to offload from the deck to Jemba Bull in support, trotting in from the 22 for a 7-pointer for GC.

The home’s side defence held resolute until the final play saw the Nyon side find a player in space on the left for a converted try and final play of the game.

GC go top of the league against a class side, with defence and discipline being the main positives for the home side going into a week’s break as the league’s only unbeaten side and leaders.

 

 

 

(Von: Jemba Bull)