Bergen 12 Stavanger 50
In the rematch of the final, the Stavanger team once again showed their class and can claim to be the best team in West-Norway. Despite a one-sided scoreline, the Bergen team will take home that in some areas they matched their rivals, but that in order to beat them they have to stay switched on for the whole 80 minutes.
After managing to haul a victory back from Blindern two weeks ago, a quiet confidence surrounded the Bergen team as we arrived to a sunny Fana Stadion and started our warm up. As the match started we showed that belief was certainly there, putting pressure at ruck, scrum and lineout and the forwards not being afraid to take route 1 towards the tryline. However, slight lack of cohesion and taking the ball in one too many times led to turnovers that Stavanger thrive on. This meant that as the clock approached half time, Stavanger were up by 3 tries to 0, despite not really having the ball in our half.
With yet another period of pressure the Bergen team had a lineout only 5 meters out, but as the ball was spread out it once again went loose. This time, it was a Bergen player that picked up and drove towards the line, managing to draw in defenders. A hole then opened up and Lloyd drove home from 3 meters out. The crowd was hoping for a turnaround, but it was still lots of work to do.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with Bergen carrying hard and Stavanger pouncing on any mistakes made by the home team. It quite quickly became clear that it was the visitors who had most gas in the tank though and a number of tries were run by the Bergen defence with Stavanger playing a very sevens inspired attack, not allowing our bigger forwards to assert themselves. Some consolation came towards the end when no 10 Martin Cartwright exploited a gap in the defence to get over the try line.
All in all, a disappointing result and loads to work on for us, but we showed that there is no lack of heart and determination in the team. Now the players look forward to 7s in Stavanger and Copenhagen before Oslo await away on the 20th of August.
Man of the Match: Gavin McQueen (voted by BRK) and Lloyd Hopkin (voted by SRK)