Switzerland closes 2017-18 European Campaign with exciting comeback victory over Poland
Geneve Plan-Les-Ouates, 17.03.2018 – Overcoming a 21-point deficit, Switzerland thrilled the home crowd on a cold, wet afternoon to beat Poland 30-24, and secure a place in next year’s Rugby Europe Trophy.
On a wet and blustery late-winter day in front of the scenic Genevoise Alps backdrop, it was Poland who found their feet first, and raced to a three-try lead in the first 24 minutes of the game, with Zeszutek, Kornath, and Banaszek touching down for one try each. With Switzerland unable to implement its game plan nor to effectively counter the pressure the powerful Polish forwards put on the pack, it looked to be a long afternoon for the men of the Edelweiss. However, Switzerland refused to go into the sheds with zero points and converted some stray Polish kicks into an effective counterattack culminating in rampaging second rower Tim Voegtli getting over the line for a try at the 27th minute. Despite a penalty yielding another 3 points for Poland in the 31st, it was Switzerland who had the last word of the 1st period, with flanker Ludovic Perruisset touching down for a try off a driving maul in the 38th minute, making the halftime score 12-24 to Poland.
In the halftime break, there were certainly some clear words exchanged in the Swiss dressing room, as the Men of the Edelweiss came out of the dressing room looking like a different team. They implemented their clear attacking gameplan nearly perfectly and kept the opposition scoreless throughout the second 40 minutes. Switzerland started the scoring with a Penalty slotted by Simon Perrod in the 50th minute, making the score 15-24. Taking advantage of a one-man advantage following a yellow card to Poland’s Kacper Lawski, Switzerland’s Liam Kavanagh ran down the right wing for a try in the 60th minute, closing the gap to 20-24, the conversion sailing just wide of the posts. Simon Perrod was not to be denied on his next attempt, however, kicking a penalty at the 65th minute making the score 23-24. In front of an excited and spirited home crowd, Switzerland could now smell victory, and it was center Ludovic Porret who converted a well-developed play with a try, converted by Simon Perrod, to make the score 30-24 with 10 minutes left to play. Poland never ceased to look dangerous and to threaten the Swiss try-line in the final stanza of the game, but Switzerland managed to hold on to the victory to secure its standing in the middle of the Rugby Europe Trophy group, guaranteeing its place for next year.
The Swiss Rugby Union would like to thank Rugby Club Plan-Les-Ouates for the great organization of the event, the municipality of Plan-Les-Ouates for its continued support, and the fans of Suisserugby for the enthusiastic encouragement and support.
Find the gamesheet below in PDF