RCL come close but fail at the last hurdle
This weekend RCL took on the current group leaders Heidelberger TV at home in another close encounter between the two teams. Heidelberger took the lead for most of the game scoring three tries in all but RCL kept the score board ticking over through Fly-half Max Dozin's boot. The home side looked to have won the game, taking a narrow one point lead in the dying minutes, but a composed Heidelberger were able to come back and snatch away the victory.
Despite RCL starting well, it was Heidelberger who came away with the first score of the game. The German fly-half cleared his lines and did well to chase after his own kick to make the tackle, winning the ball in the process. After a quick phase he then sniped through a gap, chipped the ball over the cover defence for Heidelberger's full back to score, the kick was successfully converted.
RCL were able to come back and apply some good pressure using the rolling maul extremely well, winning a kickable penalty which was converted by Fly-half Max Dozin.
Heidelberger quickly recovered and scored only a few minutes later. After stringing together a couple of phases, the German second-row cut clean through the defence and broke through RCL's full-backs tackle to score near the touchline, unsuccessfully converted.
RCL started to take control of the match after that try. Keeping Heidelberger pinned in their own half for most of the half and coming close to scoring but unable to cross the finish line. In the end only coming out with two penalties, both converted by Max Dozin.
Momentum swings back to Heidelberger TV
Despite ending the first half-well, the home side couldn't keep their momentum. Heidelberger dominated possession and territory for a good twenty minute spell. They very nearly scored only for the ball to be knocked on in the corner. RCL were still able to win a penalty in the oppositions half, converted by Max Dozin. That score was quickly answered with a German try bringing the score up to 17-12. After a long spell of possession, the German team quickly distributed the ball out the wing had a straight forward sprint to the line from thirty metres out, unsuccessfully converted.
RCL still looked shaky but after a turning over the ball in the German half, scrum-half Stuart Logier ran around a defender on the blind side and managed to find Centre James Clarke with a pass back inside crossed the try line. The pass was judged to have gone forward and the try was disallowed.
The home side managed to get more of a grip on the game after that try, again keeping the opposition pinned in their own half and winning two penalties, both converted by Max Dozin, to take the lead five minutes before the end.
The last hurdle
Heidelberger, on the verge of suffering their first loss this season, desperately tried to score. RCL held-out and won the throw in to a line-out in the dying seconds of the game. The Luxembourgish team were their own worst enemies once again. Losing the line-out, RCL had to defend ferociously for two minutes but eventually won the ball back. The team panicked however, passing the ball back behind full-back Alex Brausch who was then tackled and penalised for holding on. Again it looked like RCL had managed to win the ball-back when a crunching hit from scrum-half Stuart Logier forced a knock-on but RCL were penalised for being offside. From forty metre's out, directly in front of the posts, around three minutes after the clock stopped, Heidelberger kicked the penalty and won the game.
Even though RCL played well, pushing the best team in the league extremely close, it was a fair result. Heidelberger controlled almost all of the possession and although RCL did well to claw back the points, ultimately the German team played the better rugby and were rewarded for it.
Man of the Match was Max Dozin who kicked all eighteen of RCL's points and kicked extremely well to keep the pressure on Heidelberger. Honourable mentions go to Yannick Boone and Bill Pauly who were both stoic in defence and in the scrum.
RC Luxembourg played at home against Heidelberger TV.