Switzerland loses narrowly against Netherlands (27 - 30)
Yverdon-les-bains 18.11.2017 – on a nice autumn afternoon, the Swiss team welcomed the Netherlands at the Municipal stadium of Yverdon, in front of more than 1400 spectators, for its beginning of the new season in Rugby Europe Trophy.
After the national anthems, all the stadium observed one minute of applause to the memory of Eric Melville, the Swiss team’s coach who passed away on last June. Then the Swiss players unfurled a banner saying " THANK YOU ERIC " and Eric Melville's family gave the ceremonial kick-off of this game in a stadium full of emotion.
Probably still very touched by this last tribute to their coach at time of starting the match, the Swiss didn’t succeed in getting in the game and the Dutch logically opened the scoring with a 1st try in the 6th minute of the match (0 - 7). In spite of the reduction of the score with a penalty by Simon Perrod in the 12th minute (3 - 7), that’s the Dutch who strongly dominated the 1st half-time : faster, more aggressive, more determined, the Batavian recited their rugby and scored 2 new tries in the 23rd and 33rd minute of the match to make the score 3 - 24. A pride reaction in the overtime of the 1st half-time allowed the Swiss to reduce their difference to 8 – 24 before going back to changing rooms.
During the break, the staff and the Swiss players had to find the solution to get back in this match because That was a whole different Swiss team that came back on the pitch for the 2nd half-time. Really more applied and more aggressive, the Men of the Edelweiss were neck and neck with the Dutch in this beginning of the 2nd half-time. Probably feeling a change in the wind, the "oranjes" chose to get 3 points with a penalty in the 58th minute (8 - 27). In the last 20 minutes, Switzerland monopolized the ball and strongly dominated its opponent.
Netherlands finally gave into the pressure by conceding a 2nd try in the 65th minute by Nicolas Guyou (15 - 27), then a 3rd in the 69th minute by Tim Voegtli (20 - 30) and another 4th try in the 76th minute of the game by Johnatan Wullschleger (27 - 30). All the stadium began believing in a victory of Switzerland: Olivier Nier’s and Matthieu Guyou’s players went into the battle with heart and soul and they didn’t take advantage of odd man rushes in their last attack in the ultimate second of the match.
Then the referee blew the final whistle with the score of 27 - 30 for Netherlands. (Match sheet in attachment)
In spite of a big frustration after loosing to only 3 points, the Swiss players managed to come back in the game to gain 1 defensive bonus point. This team demonstrated one more time its strength of character and offered a beautiful show to the fans in the stadium. The next match is scheduled in one week in Moldova (on Saturday 25.11): the Swiss will have to collect points away if they want to to be successful in this European championship.
For the opening of this day, the Swiss National U18 team faced and the Swiss U18 National Team in an exhibition match: victory of the elder 36 - 10.
The Swiss Rugby Union thanks the Rugby Club d’Yverdon and the city od Yverdon-les-bains or their warm welcome and the organisation of this SUISSE RUGBY DAY!