This Saturday RCL played host to SG TV/CFR Pforzheim — there were a number of possible outcomes with wins for both teams, but a win for RCL would see them secure their place in the division. Pforzheim were German champions in 2016.
The RCL side had an air of familiarity about it in the second part of the season, the only real change saw Ben Jarvis come into the second row for the injured Stefan Schaap.
RCL started slowly and found themselves very narrow in defence early on, this was exploited through a classy cross field kick from Tafadzwa Chitokwindo to score in the corner, he converted his own try. RCL bounced back with a penalty from Scott Browne. RCL then failed to deal with the restart and were back under their own sticks with the score at 14-3.
A break in play saw the Pforzheim team fail to spot Mariano Cosimi free on the touch line, Browne rolled the dice from the penalty and found him through a kick, the ball was recycled and saw Centre Giles Quigley crash over through the forwards, Browne Converted, 14-10, game on.
RCL failed to deal with the restart and after number of scrums, penalties, and pick and goes, Pforzheim grabbed their third try. 19-10.
The rain played its part early on in the game and with Jean-Baptiste Vert and Guillaume Thevenot putting pressure on at line out time RCL were able to stay out of their own half towards the end of the first half.
Another period of pressure saw RCL's most recent international Alexandre Brausch dive over in the corner. A further penalty just before the end of the half saw RCL trail by one point, 18-19.
Five minutes after the break came the game's flashpoint, which saw the JB Vert lift the Pfororzheim nine dangerously, the Pforzheim nine retaliated and proceeded to the lift Vert dangerously which saw Hime land on his head. Vert saw yellow and the Pforzheim nine red. RCL cleared their lines and started to retain the ball, and a deft pass from Max Dozin saw Liam Carroll burst through and dive over wide out on the left. 23 - 19. Another penalty from Browne saw RCL increase their lead to seven points at 26-19.
Another break from Liam Carroll brought play into the the Pforzheim 22. RCL resorted to a fast pick and go game which saw Oisin Kilgallen and Denis Logelin go close, but it was Alexandre Romao who burrowed over, no conversion gave RCL some breathing space at 31-19.
The inevitable backlash came and Pforzheim grabbed their fourth try, 31-26.
The last eleven minutes saw RCL defend for their lives, a knock on in injury time saw Mariano Cosimi collect the ball and put it into touch.
RCL has secured their standing in Bundesliga 1 for next season with a game to play. We are always looking for new players for both of our teams, get in touch if you fancy a run around!