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Dutch experience too much for Swedes

A dominant first half performance swept the Netherlands to victory in the opening game of the European Championship


The Dutch had the best of a nervy, rather scrappy, opening 10 minutes, Despite being repeatedly turned over they were able to maintain the pressure on the Swedes and after 13 minutes prop Anouk Veerkamp drove over the line to open the scoring. 7-0.

The Dutch were dominant up front, but a couple of minutes later, and despite their scrum back peddling, the Swedes were able to get the ball away to Minonna Nunstedt who junking run took her to the try line where Sofya Smolina was on hand to score. 7-5.

The Dutch pack showed their dominance just minutes later when a driving maul drew in the Swedish defence allowing Veerkamp to break away and score. 14-5, after 19 minutes.

Five minutes later Dutch wing Noa Donkersloot added a third, intercepting a Swedish pass deep in her own half to sprint away and score. 19-5.

Veerkamp added her hat-trick try after 32m, the move starting from the Dutch stealing the ball from a Swedish lineout, crashing through the Swedish line again. 26-5.

Three minutes later, and try five. A handling error saw the Dutch turn over Sweden, quickly move to ball out to Helen Van Hattem who brushed aside the Swedish defence to score. 33-5 and halftime

The second half was a very different affair. The Dutch scored a sixth try after 52m, Van Hattem again showing her speed to make it 38-5, but thereafter Sweden began to control the game more. Early nerves had now disappeared, the handling and set-pieces improved and in the 62nd minute their second try came from Sara Jacobsson making the score 38-12.

Strong Dutch defence ensured no more scores, but it was perhaps the second 40m that showed better what Sweden will be able to offer in this championship, both this year and in the future.

NETHERLANDS; 1 Anouk Veerkamp; 2 Julia Morauw; 3 Nicky Dix; 4 Mhina De Vos; 5 Inger Jongerius; 6 Julia Verhoeven (Cap); 7 Liza De Wild; 8 Linde Van Der Velden; 9 Esmee Ligtvoet; 10 Jet Metz; 11 Helen Van Hattem; 12 Quen Makkinga; 13 Isis Touw; 14 Noa Donkersloot; 15 Jordan Heil
16 Sydney De Weijer; 17 Isa Prins; 18 Supartie Van Heerde; 19 Kyra Elzinga; 20 Mariet Luijken; 21 Flore Voogd; 22 Lieve Stallmann; 23 Morgane Ter Cock

SWEDEN; 1 Elin Olofsson; 2 Sara Lennvall; 3 Pauline Sarg; 4 Matilda Mahlberg; 5 Cornelia Noren; 6 Emma Ytterbom; 7 Elin Sterner; 8 Maja Meuller; 9 Frida Nilsson; 10 Tess Proos; 11 Sofya Smolina; 12 Minonna Nunstedt; 13 Amanda Swartz (Cap); 14 Linda Hakansson; 15 Sandra Irvefjord;
16 Hannah Persson; 17 Linn Olforser; 18 Jennifer Sundqvist; 19 Linnea Flyman; 20 Emma Tibell; 21 Olivia Palmgren; 22 Sara Jacobsson; 23 Isabell Wijkström