Women’s XVs Team loses European Championship opening Match against Netherlands
Madrid, 06/10/2016 – The Swiss Women’s XVs national team opened its Rugby Europe Women’s Championship campaign with a 55-0 loss to a powerful Netherlands Women’s XVs. The Rugby Europe tournament is the first full women’s European Championship in 15-a-side rugby, and acts as a Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifier for 2017.
The Netherlands, coming off a semi-professional campaign preparing for Olympic Qualification for Rio 2016, which the Dutch 7s team narrowly missed, came to Spain with a strong squad, in a bid to gain world cup qualification.
The Dutch team started off strongly in the 28-degree heat, and only 2 minutes into the match, it was wing Marit Bakker who exploited the gaps in the defence to score the first try. Over the course of the first half, there were 4 more tries scored by the Netherlands, with Switzerland coming close a few times, but never able to capitalize on their chances.
The second half started off much in the same way, with second rower Asia Udding scoring that half’s first try for the Netherlands. Her teammates added 3 more tries, to make the final score 55-0.
Switzerland now has 5 days to prepare for the crucial encounter with Russia, where Switzerland could still clinch a place in the playoff round and the bronze medal match.
In the other match of the day, Spain beat Belgium with 74 points to 0, illustrating how the gap between the Top European women's XVs team and the next group is still considerable.
The Swiss Rugby Union is currently focusing hard on the development of domestic women's rugby in Switzerland, through the improvement of the Swiss Championship, the swiss women's 7s, as well as the creation of development and junior leagues and tournaments in 7s and 15s.