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German and Dutch seasons reach their climax

The German and Dutch championship finals took place on Saturday

After seven years SC Neuenheim are German Champions again 

Vivian Bahlmann reports from Germany:

“All the work in the last years finally paid off!“, said head coach Marcus Trick,  delighted to call his team German Champion again. In the last years it became a habit for SC Neuenheim  to loose always narrowl against Heidelberger Ruder Klub (German Champion of the last sevens years) in the final. Not this year. 

On May13 the 30th German Championship final took place at the Fritz Grunebaum-Sportpark in Heidelberg. In front of about 500 spectators, SC Neuenheim won clearly 58-0 against ASV Köln - a team which has never been in the Bundesliga final before. For SCN, the German championship record-holders, it’s the 13th title in their history.

Unbeaten the whole season, the only bonus point SCN didn't get was in their away game against ASV Köln (15-12). In the semi-final the women from Heidelberg beat FC St. Pauli with 101-5. But the pressure of playing in a final is a different thing, as coach Trick noted after the game: “I am absolutely impressed how we dealt this situation today. The tension before the game was enormous. In the first 15 minutes it didn't looked like that the game would end with this result.“ 

But the hard work of coaches and players in the last three years paid off, “After we scored the second try the girls realized what they can do! In the first minutes we were way too nervous, but after Leonie Hollstein successfully kicked the conversions, things become clear. Leonie had a great game, but the whole squad really gave everything. Especially the forwards contributed a lot to the result of this game.”

In the first minutes of the game, vice-captain Lisa Bohrmann was able to break through the back line of ASV and added the first five points to the board. Soon after that, captain Elisa Trick reached the tryline for the second try. The touchline conversions from Leonie Hollstein were also very impressive. SCN dominated possession , the forwards were fast to the rucks, creating time and space for the backs.

In the final for the first time ever, ASV Köln had already reached their target for the season. They had been the strongest opponent for SCN in the regular season. But they had no chances to score against them in the final. The conclusion of head coach Marcus Sermersheim after the game is clear: "Our opponents deserved to win, they were simply better than us. We haven’t been able to implement what we have trained for, and we did not managed to take their pace out.“ 

ASV Köln are reigning German sevens champion, and next week they will have the opportunity to defend their title. On May 20/21, the German championship in rugby sevens will take place in Hamburg at the club from FC St. Pauli this year. Qualified for the final tournament are the first two or three teams of the five divisions of the women's 7s league. The draw from last year: (1) ASV Köln, (2) Heidelberger RK, (3) SC Neuenheim, (4) Rugby Klub 03 Berlin, (5), TSV 1846 Nürnberg, (6) Eintracht Frankfurt, (7) Stuttgarter RC, (8) RFC Dortmund.

Over the border The National Rugby Centre in Amsterdam was the scene of the battle for the the Lotto Ladies Ereklasse Championship – the Dutch Premiership final - between AAC Ladies and RC Delft. Report from Rugby Nederland.

The two finalists had not been known until the last round of regular season games. Although AAC (Amsterdam) were sure of a place their opponents could have been 2016 champions RUS (from Utrecht) or RC Delft, and it took RC Delft's victory over AAC in the final round of play to shut out the champions.

The final is familiar territory for AAC, but for many of RC Delft’s players it was a new experience, achieved thanks to RC Thor and RC Delft combining their strengths and talents.

That this would be a high level match was clear from the players on the field. Both teams are major suppliers of players for the national XVs and VIIs teams. VII players in the final included as Segou Jonker, Anne Hielckert and Yurena Polanen at AAC and Supartie van Heerde, Amy Stolk and Marit Bakker at RC Delft. In addition, many XV players including Elisabeth Geertsema (captain of AAC), teammates Maaike Loth and Marleen Zethof, and Irith Lely and Asia Udding at RC Delft.

RC Delft was in charge early in the contest, with beautiful breaks from, among others, Delft’s Lorraine Laros who put the first points on the scoreboard with penalty. The first 10 minutes, saw RC Delft have the upper hand, but then AAC came back. After a well-played backline move, it's AAC's fullback, Marieke Engelsman, scored the first try. The conversion is missed by Maaike Veldhuisen making the score 5-3 in favour of AAC. After a yellow card for Supartie, one of RC Delft’s key players, AAC took the initiative. Again, Marieke Engelsman crossed the line for the second try of AAC. Just before rest, scrumhalf Linda Franssen scored the third try in the corner, making it 15-3 to AAC.

After the break, AAC remained in control. RC Delft kept the score down strong defence, but eventually Merel Willems found a way through for a fourth try. With the conversion AAC were now 22-3 ahead, and which was soon extended to 27-3 after a fine individual try from Veldhuisen. The final AAC try came from the forwards, with Saskia Hermann getting the touch, taking the score to 34-3.

In the last 10 minutes, RC Delft came gained some consolation with Asia Udding, scporing their only try of the game. Final score 34-10 to AAC Dames.