Regionalliga Bayern – RFC Augsburg vs TSB Ravens Rugby
First away game for the league debutants and a heavy defeat to bring back home. Despite the endeavour shown by a battling Ravens side, Augsburg proved to be a quality outfit that knew their strengths and played them well, following on from two big away wins in both their previous encounters.
From the Kick Off, the home crowd would cheer the well drilled attacking demonstration displayed by their local team, whilst the Ravens tried to bring the game to a competitive pace. A converted try with only 3 minutes shown on the watch would suffice as a sample of what we were going to witness throughout various passages of the game. An unfavourable start, but the challenge was accepted.
Three-quarters of the first half were gone and the locals had already claimed their first 4 tries, so their attacking bonus was secured. Their understanding with one another made them very hard to stop, especially in open play. The Ravens would take a crashing ball to the opposite field, but the effort had little or no rewards with too many line outs and scrums handed over to the opposition. With that in their favour, several opportunities arose for them to relaunch another attack or a strategic kick to place the Men in Blue back in their side of the pitch.
At this point one could also add that if one or two breaks had gone the other way, the scoreboard might have shown a more respectable result; but the outcome of events would have almost surely been the same as the Augsburgers were the game´s clear dominants. 38 – 0 at Halftime.
For the second 40, the objective was as simple as it was clear; learn, play, have fun and score. The message seemed to have gone through as the Ravens played the first 15´ with a different approach, showing now their attacking prowess; and after a few phases with the ball in hand they finally managed to cross the whitewash in the far-right corner. With the missed conversion the result stayed at 38-5, at least for a few minutes. Unfortunately, from that moment on, the disparity of the scoreboard grew, and although having a decent amount of possession, the Blues would now struggle to get their rugby close to the local tryline. Seeking for some points that could boost a glimpse of confidence (and to catch some air), the visitors also attempted a penalty kick in front of the posts, but the misfortune would continue, as the ball went wide refusing to cross over the bar.
The game would end with a resounding victory for RFC Augsburg and a difficult outing for the Ravensburg XV; Final Score: 69 – 5. Taking the positives, all traveling players had a decent amount of playing time and the final result does little to reflect the effort shown by every player that sprung onto the pitch. Admittedly, the Blues were matched against a more experience side from which teams like ours can learn from. As we shook hands and said our goodbyes the feedback came that we should not “give up”, but if there´s one thing this team has learned is that in this sport there´s always an opportunity to rise above the result, stand up again and switch the mindset towards the next challenge. And so we will, in a week we are off to Würzburger RK were we will again show that we came up to stay.
Try: A. Häussler