Dutch prevent Spain wrapping up Euro title

Spain won what was effectively the championship decider in Amsterdam 22-5, but by denying Spain a try bonus the Dutch will remain top of the table until next weekend.

Published by John Birch, April 6th, 2024

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Dutch prevent Spain wrapping up Euro title

Spain began as the favourites - despite recent Dutch success in qualifying for WXV3 - and it took them just two minutes to open the scoring, with a try from Lia Pinero and Spain led 7-0.

Recent matches between the two teams have resulted in large Spanish wins, but despite this early score the Dutch responded well and put some early pressure on the Spanish. However after 17 minutes Spain were give room to run, and quick hand set up Clara Piquero to sprint down the touchline and Spain led 12-0.

A third try from Claudia Pena followed in the 32nd minute, catching the ball near halfway and going on a brilliant run, stepping and dummying through the Dutch defence, Spain led 19-0 at halftime.

The second half opened with the Dutch continuing to play well, offering Spain stronger opposition than in recent years, but without managing to threaten the Spanish line until the 57th minute when - following a Beatriz Rivera being carded for a high tackle - Brechtje Karst was able to drive through the Spanish line to score their first try in the fixture for six years.  Spain still led 19-5.

Just before the hour Spain put over with a penalty to keep the Dutch needing three scores (22-5) but the Dutch continued to have most of the possession, and with the bench now in use also found themselves with a much firmer base at the scrum, and also began to regularly turnover the Spanish.

Only right at the end of the game, with the clock deep in the red, did Spain threaten the Spanish line, but the Dutch turned them over again.

As a result the Dutch denied Spain a try bonus, and remain top of the European Championship table, Spain will need to come away from their visit to Trelleborg with one point next weekend to retain their title.

Netherlands; 1 Nicky Dix; 2 Anoushka Beukers; 3 Sydney De Weijer; 4 Inger Jongerius; 5 Isa Prins; 6 Elisabeth Boot; 7 Mariet Luijken; 8 Linde Van Der Velden (Cap); 9 Marit Lemmens; 10 Esmee Ligtvoet; 11 Gaya Van Nifterik; 12 Pien Selbeck; 13 Isa Suzanne Spoler; 14 Senne Hoog; 15 Isis Touw

16 Brechtje Karst; 17 Anouk Veerkamp; 18 Julia Morauw; 19 Liza De Wild; 20 Mhina De Vos; 21 Merel De Groot; 22 Quen Makkinga; 23 Jordan Heil

Spain; 1 Maria Del Castillo; 2 Cristina Blanco (Cap); 3 Laura Delgado; 4 Beatriz Rivera; 5 Elena Martinez; 6 Lia Pineiro; 7 Alba Capell; 8 Vico Gorrochategui; 9 Lucia Diaz; 10 Amalia Argudo; 11 Claudia Cano; 12 Zahia Perez; 13 Alba Vinuesa; 14 Clara Piquero; 15 Claudia Pena

16 Nuria Jou; 17 Ines Antolinez; 18 Sidorella Bracic; 19 Nadina Cisa; 20 Valentina Perez; 21 Julia Castro; 22 Ines Bueso-Inchausti; 23 Martina Marquez