Match report by Robert Barbour, foto Martin de Haan
It was a clear and crisp Saturday morning when, with some trepidation the Alkmaarse Minis took on the highly regarded Rotherham Titan Minis from South Yorkshire in England.
The day started with an excellent technical skills clinic for all age groups which saw a number of new players at the club. Welcome to all those new players.
The Alkmaarse Minis had prepared well over the preceding few weeks under the watchful eye of their coach Jacob and his assisting staff and the team entered the game excited but a little anxious to be be playing an international side with a healthy reputation for skilful rugby.
Alkmaar made an electric start with good, clean ball being gained by their forward pack and delivered quickly to the back-line by eventual Man of the Match – Julian at scrum half.
The Alkmaar back – line ran in three excellent tries purely by spreading the ball wide to their outside backs using fast, hard straight running and quick hands. This tactic suited them well as it meant the heavier slower forwards of the Rotherham pack were spread across the field.
The Alkmaar forwards also dominated in the line outs and scrums, rucks and malls due to better technique and low body height, often pushing the heavier visitors off the ball.
After a very good start which gave Alkmaar a strong lead The backs started to drift across field and run too far with the ball and didn’t fully utilise the pace of their outside backs. This let Rotherham into the game as they scored two good tries after multiple phases of play.
Alkmaar hung on to win an enthralling match played at a high skill level and in very good spirits.
The after-match feast of hamburgers, pasta, pudding and drinks was enjoyed by both players and supporters alike.
Thanks very much to all those who help prepare for the day, to the coaching staff, referees and club officials who all made this an excellent day of rugby for all involved.