Veronika Muehlhofer, Swiss head coach reports on the second edition of the Konektor Cup between the Czech Republic and Switzerland, which took place today on November 16th, 2013, in Nyon, Switzerland.
President of the Swiss Union Peter Schüpbach presents the Konektor Cup to the winners.
On a cold, dry autumn day, in front of an ever-growing crowd of up to 1000 spectators, Switzerland won the encounter with a convincing score of 42-0.
Right from the kickoff, and throughout most of the match, the Swiss had the ball and started to mount their attack. While the Czech line held steadfast, an early penalty at the 11th minute, just outside the opposing 22, allowed Swiss place-kicker Christa Herrmann to get the first 3 points on the board for the home team.
These points settled the initial nerves of the Swiss team, who felt the effect of playing in front of a fairly sizeable home crowd at the start of the match. As the game progressed, while Switzerland had the majority of ball possession, the Czech defensive line held strong, and anytime the visitors did get the ball they looked dangerous, especially with their free-running backline. At the 25th minute, however, Swiss perseverance paid off with a well-developed series of plays, capped by a try in the corner touched down by wing Selina Fux, and converted by Christa Herrmann.
The Swiss team kept putting in practice its system of play, working its offensive opportunities with its overpowering forward pack, and through piercing runs by their backs. This paid off through three more tries late in the first half, a pair coming from wing Carole Casparis at the 30th and 38th minute, and a third one added by flanker Carolin Reischauer right before the halftime break, making the score 25:0 after 40 minutes of play.
During the break, the Czech team made some adjustments which started to pay off in the second half, with much more ball possession and attacking play by the visiting team. The Swiss defense, despite being put under considerable pressure by the Czech attacks in this period, held steadfast and managed to keep the Czechs out of the try-zone.
In the final 12 minutes, Switzerland found its way back to that structured offense from the first half, which allowed it to run in three more thrilling tries: Carole Casparis completed her Hattrick in the 68th minute, replacement scrumhalf Léonie Roberts touched one down in the 72nd minute, and fullback Christa Herrmann capped off a great game with her second try in the last minute of the game, bringing the final score to 42-0.
All in all a fun game, Champagne Rugy played in front of a great crowd, as part of the Suisse Rugby Day event, a three-game-day featuring the Women’s Test Match as a curtain-raiser for the men’s European Nations Cup game Switzerland-Netherlands.
In 2014, Switzerland and the Czech Republic are scheduled to play a two-game qualification series, for a spot in the newly-developing FIRA-AER Women’s European Nations Cup.
Match report by Veronika Muehlhofer,
Head Coach , Swiss Women’s XV’s National Team
(with additional thanks to Martin Charvat)