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Errors Cost Munich in Top-Two Clash 

Munich RFC 18-27 RC Rottweil
Match report comes from the Munich Rugby website (edited)

After three wins, MRFC faced a newcomer in the Bundesliga II, RC Rottweil, a side that also boasted three wins. Despite the unpredictable weather, both teams knew that the winner on the day would sit top of the standings.

There was a great deal of kicking in the early stages, but then Rottweil came forward. A strong tackle from Gareth Watson, supported by Roger Hutchinson, forced Rottweil to reorganise in a ruck, but while they did so, winger Javier Gonzalez pressured the visitors scrum half, forcing the ball out and in the direction of the opportunistic Quentin Degroote. The former-winger (now prop) sprinted the 40 meters to dive under the posts after just after three minutes, and with Oliver Brothwood adding the extras, it was a perfect start for MRFC.

It took about 15 minutes for Rottweil to come back into the game and they managed to score a try after good work from their forwards. After 21 minutes the score was 7-7 as scrums, to the advantage of MRFC, and line outs, Rottweil’s preference with their extra height, dominated the play. A penalty by Oliver Brothwood put the home team back in front but that was ruined by the last 10 minutes of the first half as both sides showed their indiscipline. Rottweil’s flanker was sent to the sin bin after wrestling Maxime Gelly, and he was followed a few minutes later by Munich’s scrum half for a late tackle. Playing 14 against 14, both teams were desperate not to concede, Munich’s fullback Bart Vanheuverzwijn saving on the line with a decisive tackle. Still, RC Rottweil did manage to score another converted try a few minutes before half time, with Brothwood answering with another penalty.

Handling errors cost Munich in a close battle for top sot. Photo: MRFC

Coming back on the pitch after half time, the game was very intense. The scoreboard was at 14-13 to the visitors and both teams were fighting as much as they could to take control of the game. Captain Kevin Briggs and his side could not stop the Rottweil pack from scoring another try (converted). Despite being behind by more than seven points, Munich tried to open up the game, alternating charges from the forwards as they were reinforced by a fresh Alexander Loders. The backs were brought into play more and some inspired kicks from Timothy McBride looked to change the game. However, they were not able to cross the try-line after a number of little mistakes prevented them from making the most of their position.

Less than 20 minutes before the end, Rottweil were awarded a scrum in their half. The push from Munich was good and allowed their scrum half to put pressure on his opposite number and kick the ball out of his hands. The ball was picked up by Robert Schuster who took the contact before passing to his brother Richard. His long arms allowed him to get in for the score, making it 18-21. The last 15 minutes were charged with intensity, but some handling errors prevented Munich from scoring again. Rottweil added two late penalties to make it 27-18 at the end.

The game was intense, but as coach Buff analyzed “That game was like the weather today, neither brilliant or sunny, nor horrible or depressing.” A home game against Freiburg next week is Munich’s last game before the break.

München RFC: 1. Quentin Degroote (43’ Alex Loders), 2. Maxime Gelly, 3. Roger Hutchinson, 4. Richard Schuster, 5. Kevin Briggs (c) (57′ Kevin Long – 72’ Philipp Mack), 6. Tom Grealish, 7. Robert Schuster, 8. Scott Warner, 9. Xavier Mora, 10. Oliver Brothwood, 11. Caiel Harnischfeger (70’ Sandro Tschaidse), 12. Timothy McBride, 13. Gareth Watson, 14. Javier Gonzalez (73’ Frederic Begards), 15. Bart Vanheuverzwijn

Tries: Quentin Degroote, Richard Schuster
Conversions: Oliver Brothwood
Penalties: Oliver Brothwood (2)

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