Stimulating weekend for Zug RC

 

After a hard-fought victory against Monthey (27-21) the first team climbs to second place in B-League. Zug RC II dominated the game against Neuchatel II and secures with a clear final result of 69-14a fine third place in the 1st League East. A special thanks to our president Sebastien Le Page for the electrical stimulators after the game … :)

The first team produced probably its finest performance to date in League B, beating an experienced Monthey team by being faster, fitter, stronger and more organised on the day. Zug started like a whirlwind and Monthey found it difficult to contain the hard drive-ups from the forwards and strong, direct running of the backline. With a little more composure and precise finishing, Zug could have put the game out of reach in the early stages. Even with a couple of clear chances going awry, Zug scored two early tries and following one successful conversion pulled clear 12-0. However, Monthey has a streetwise team, and one with an efficient lineout. Despite valiant defending, Zug gave away too many penalties infringing at the breakdown, and after a series of repelled drives, Monthey secured a lineout 5 metres out. Good lineout ball built the platform for an effective rolling maul, and the visitors kept in touch with a try of their own duly converted.

As the second half began, Zug drew first blood. Another missed conversion saw the gap at 10 points, and this was soon cut by Monthey to 3 as Zug failed to claim the kick-off and put themselves under immediate pressure. Yet again a converted try came from a lineout and maul. Lapses in concentration after scoring are the bane of even international coaches as we see in the World Cup, and Zug fell into this trap on more than one occasion – certainly something to work on, and something that can be remedied.
Zug reacted well to the slip, and came back firing on all cylinders, pulling away again with another fine try. The missed conversion meant that Monthey were only 8 points behind, and amazingly this was soon down to one. Another error on the kick-off resulted in a Monthey lineout close to the Zug line, and we know this story by now:  a converted try to close the gap to 1 pt.
The rest of the game was played out predominantly in the Monthey 22, with Zug piling on the pressure, controlling the game, and eventually securing the home team’s 5th try of the game. The missed conversion meant Zug had to play out a nervy last few minutes with only a six point lead, but time ran out for Monthey and Zug emerged winners.
For sure, we can be pleased by many aspects of this performance. Work needs to be done on defending line-outs and driving mauls, and some sharper finishing would not go amiss. The Zug squad has the ability to match any team in league B, but has to learn to be greedy, take the chances carved out, and keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Tries: Currie, Rico, Arnaud, Mapondera, Barker
Conversion: Koeltgen

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