Sat 27.10.18, 15:00 Hours | Chens-le-Pont (F)
Great win for 1st XV in harsh conditions away against Hermance
The odds for the away game in Hermance were, despite all the wins this season, as negative as can be. As one of the older GC players remembered “we’ve only won in Hermance twice in the last 10 years”. Also, coach Sylvain was heard telling one of the players in secret that he would be happy with a loss and a defensive bonus point in this hard match. Surely the weather didn’t make the mood any better, heavy rains had been announced for throughout the day. The strategy of the coaches consequently was to send a heavy pack to the field and face Hermance through strong standards and an intelligent kicking game, with star kicker Tom McMann at 10.
Nonetheless, it was Hermance dominating the game in the early minutes, pushing hard for Zurich’s tryline. But pretty much out of the blue Zurichs evergreen-halfback-supposed-to<wbr />-be-coach-but-still-keen Alex Ramon stole the ball in a ruck with all his wittiness. The ball came to Benni Xhemaili and was passed on in a spectacular offload to Zurich international Tim Vögtli, who handed off a few opponents like a giraffe on steroids and touched down right under the posts – 0:7. But Hermance fought back and bit by bit reached a 9:7 through several penalties, before Zurich kicked to the post once – 9:10 for Zurich at half time. A very lucky first half for Zurich that was.
A few minutes into the second half, the Zurich coaches decided to bring some fresh legs and brought in forwards Udara and Felix. Especially on this heavy ground, this made a difference. Zurich more and more dominated the game: in the scrums, lineouts, but also in open play and defense, Zurich was clearly the fresher and better team in this second half. Hermance couldn’t help themselves but to play dirty. A high tackle against Chris Röhrig resulted in a penalty – 9:13. Two more penalties were converted in the following minutes – 12:16 for Zurich. When Alex Ramon finally kicked the ball into touch, ending a hard fight and securing the win for Zurich, the happiness was limitless.
These are the fights everyone loves about rugby. Going on a long away trip in the rain with bad chances to win. The unexpected wins are the most satisfying, and thus the team was more than prepared for an entertaining bus ride back to Zurich in Halloween costumes and a big night out at sponsor Paddy Reilly’s Halloween party.
3 points – Sami König
2 points – Felix von Reischach
1 point – Hugh Kisielewski
1 Norman Pedrini (60. Henry E.), 2 Sami König, 3 Benni Xhemaili, 4 Chris Röhrig (65. Ueli G.), 5 Tim Vögtli, 6 Tauira Patterson, 7 Diego Favre (50. Felix v.R.), 8 James Pickering (50. Udara W.),, 9 Alex Ramon, 10 Tom McMann, 11 Hugh Kisielewski, 12 Romain Kooger, 13 Sylvain Hirsch, 14 Leo Luginbühl, 15 Finley Small – 16. Udara Widanaralalage, 17. Felix von Reischach, 18. Ueli Galli, 19. Henry Estermann, 20. Florian Bezard