Belgium may have lost their test this weekend to the Netherlands, in Boitsfort, (17-39) but for coach Xavier Bossert team it “opened a new chapter. It was a very interesting match, an opportunity to see new players.”
Last spring, the Belgian management team announced a fresh start. New coaches - Xavier Bossert and Renaud Labardant – were appointed with a new training program, which started in September.
This weekend was the first test (in every meaning of the word) for the programme against local rivals, the Netherlands, at Boitsfort Rugby Club. Belgium scored three tries, but it was the Dutch who won, 17-39.
"I'm satisfied, it was a very interesting match, the opportunity to see new players, it's a new adventure that's starting, we're starting from scratch, with a new game plan. This match allows us to see what we need to work on,” said Xavier Bossert after the match.
The Belgian team is now turning to the beginning of 2018. "December will be a quiet month at the women's XV, but Renaud Labardant and I are looking for matches in January or early February" before tackling the main objective of the season, namely the European Championship which will take place in Belgium at the end of February.
The game itself was played as a training fixture, with players able to roll on and off allowing coaches to try different combinations. For the Dutch the goal of the game was to play all ow the players to show what they were capable of.
Netherlands included eleven U21 players their team and 15 players players were playing in a national 15s shirt for the first time (though not orange as they now play in blue unless it is an official test match). 11 different clubs were represented in the Dutch team.
Belgium: 1 Ilham Bahri (Boitsfort); 2 Anouschka De Vos (Dendermonde); 3 Jolien Scheers (Leuven); 4 Britte Seghers (Mechelen); 5 Alicia Torre (Rooster Mosan); 6 Marie Rutsaert (Leuven); 7 Cathy De Geyter (Boitsfort); 8 Nele Michem (Dendermonde); 9 Aude Risselin (Kituro Ovalie); 10 Laure Martinet (Rooster Mosan); 11 Laura Bosman (Dendermonde); 12 Jeanne Marquegnies (Frameries); 13 Sarah Verzin (Boitsfort); 14 Nelly Nzeza (Boitsfort); 15 Cristina Pecoraro (Kituro Ovalie);
Replacements: 16 Laura Fortemps (Rooster Mosan); 17 Charline Pierson (Kituro Ovalie); 18 Sara Broos (Leuven); 19 Hélène Simon (Kituro Ovalie); 20 Alexia Faes (Kituro Ovalie); 21 Charlotte Kuhn (Dendermonde); 22 Nele Van Den Haesevelde (Oudenaarde); 23 Naomie Gideon Suarez (Kituro Ovalie); 24 Karen Seyen (Leuven); 25 Delphine Rossignol (Boitsfort); 26 Stéphanie Lepage (Boitsfort)
Dutch Lions: 1 - Irith Lely - RC Delft; 2 - Irene Jansen - RUS; 3 - Robin Wubben - RC The Bassets; 4 - Sophie Touber - Castricumse Rugby Club; 5 - Samantha Martinez Gion - Saracens (UK); 6 - Martine Mooij - Castricumse Rugby Club; 7 - Lisa Boot - RC DIOK; 8 - Linneke Grevers - RC Octopus; 9 - Saskia Hermann - AAC Amsterdam; 10 - Robin Arends - Haarlemse RC; 11 - Quen Makkinga - AAC Amsterdam; 12 - Wopke van Leeuwen - RC The Dukes; 13 - Nikki Weijers - RC Dendermonde (BE); 14 - Jordan Heil - AAC Amsterdam; 15 - Lorraine Laros - RC Delft; 16 - Linde van der Velden - Castricumse Rugby Club; 17 - Hiske Blom - Castricumse Rugby Club; 18 - Sarah Niggebrugge - RC The Bassets; 19 - Ines Castagnet - LSRG; 20 - Bastiënne Oonk - AAC Amsterdam; 21 - Tamara Stock - RC Delft; 22 - Marit de Gier - AAC Amsterdam; 23 - Miriam van de Veen - Castricumse Rugby Club; 24 - Juliette de Visser - RC Wasps