Stavanger 20-15 Bergen
At a glance:
A physical encounter with plenty of positives, but Bergen missing that final spark to take home the victory.
At 7:30 the bus from Bergen departed with minis, juniors, the senior team and a few parents and supporters, heading south to face West Coast rivals and reigning champions Stavanger. Rumors had it that they had recruited Wallaby and Western Force winger Nick Cummins to help them in the build up, so the boys knew they would have to bring their A-game.
One of our issues last seasons was getting going from the wistle but that was forgotten and the boys showed determination and grit in the opening exchanges. Early on, we had an excellent chance of scoring after the forwards had applied pressure and sucking in the defense. This opened up a hole Diego to storm through. Sadly, his offload to Sam was deemed to have gone forward and Stavanger were able to clear the pressure.
From the resulting clearance they won a penalty. This was duly kicked into the corner and they managed to spread the ball the wide and go over for a try in the corner. The Stavanger 10 hooked the conversion, probably not in a small part due to excellent pressure from Diego and Tim.
Just before half time it was once again Stavangers turn to score. Having turned over the ball they kicked through and an unlucky bounce tricked our cover and led to an easy run in for the Stavanger 6. (good job on the kick chase!)
At half time the Bergen changing rooms were ruing missed chances but also felt like some of the air had gone out of the team. We therefore decided that it was now or never and from the kick off the pace was turned up to 11. Leading to fast flowing rugby, but also holes and an exchange of tries happened. The Bergen try coming from an extended period of pressure leading to Jack breaking through the line and scoring and Sam converting. The Stavanger one came from a clever lineout move exposing our blindside.
Feeling like we might have an upperhand, we tried stringing together some phase play. Once again we let ourselves down, a loose ball was pounced upon by the Stavanger players who found an exposed flank and with clever supportplay ran in a try on the right of the posts. We managed in the end to score another try through new Welsh import Dave Wright but it turned out to be too little too late and Stavanger ran out deserved victors at 20-15.
BRK man of the match: Tim Erceg!