After two losses on the trot in previous, the Lions realised they had to step up their game, and step it up they did. On Saturday morning, Zurich Varsity rugby went to the Lycee Alpinium Zuoz for their annual tournament, with hopes to retain the trophy they have held for the third year running.
The first match was against Munich. After Zurich’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Munich just two weeks ago, pressure was high. Zurich was receiving at kick-off into glaring sunlight. It was well caught by Sam McGough (’15) and the game was on. Munich is a big team physically, but size is a double edged sword. Relying on their weight has excused their forwards from getting low in tackles, and the Lions were able to turn over rucks in their favour. It wasn’t long before McGough managed to snake through MIS defence to score the first try (with a conversion well-kicked) of the tournament. Winger Noah Ederer (’16) wasn’t far behind, bringing the score to 12-0 for Zurich at half time. Munich became more focused in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. Will Tengtio (’15) took advantage of a Munich-conceded penalty to score the third and final try of the game. The final score was ZIS 17 MIS 0.
The second match, played against La Chat, was unorthodox as due to difficulties with numbers faced by La Chat it featured 10 players per side instead of the standard 15. Zurich rose beautifully to the challenge and used the match as practice for next week’s sevens tournament. Despite a few dangerous moments near the dead ball zone, Lachy Hewson (’15), Sam McGough and Chris Nilsson (’16) were all able to score in the first half. The second half saw La Chat score after taking advantage of a well-timed lineout, but the Lions were unperturbed; every player understood it was simple fluke. Christ Nilsson was able to score once again so as to end the game on a high. The final score was ZIS 24 LAC 7.
After a small lunch came what was hotly expected to be ZIS’ biggest challenge of the day. Zuoz are notorious for their fast, aggressive, style of play and the held a home turf advantage. Zuoz has strong forwards and fast backs, but they’re fast and strong individually. They have yet to learn to work effectively as a team, whereas comradery is something the Lions’ are well known for. Being outpaced and out muscled, ZIS was up by 17 points to nothing at half time. Filip Luedtker (’17) in his first appearance for the Lions, scored the final try of the match, expertly jumping a slide tackle which, had the game not then ended, would have resulted in a red card. The conversion was kicked by Cameron Gray (’17) to bring the final score to ZIS 24 LAZ 0.
The final match of the day was against Leysin American School. The team was both inexperienced and young, having only trained together for one month, with players as young as 8th grade on their team. Although Leysin put up a valiant effort, they got wrecked by ZIS. The final score was ZIS 53 LEY 0.
As extra-motivation, Captain Will Tengtio promised his team that should the Lions finish the day undefeated, he would take the plunge into the freezing melt-water river which runs through the town of Zuoz. A man of his word, Tengtio did swim, providing an apt conclusion to the day, as the team looked on with the team song Wonderwall running through the heads.
The top points-scorer of the tournament was Cameron Gray who scored two tries and three conversions, placing him one ahead of Chris Nilsson, the weekend’s top try-scorer, who scored a commendable three tries for the Lions.
For a full list of points scorers at the weekend, please see the table below:
|Match One: Munich||Match Two: La Chat||Match Three: Zuoz||Match Four: Leysin|
|Sam McGough (’15) – 7||Lachy Hewson (’15) – 7||Chris Nilsson (’16) – 5||Erik Apelkvist (’16) – 10|
|Noah Ederer (’16) – 5||Sam McGough (’15) – 5||Will Tengtio (’15) – 5||Alex Burnham (’16) – 7|
|Will Tengtio (’15) – 5||Chris Nilsson (’16) – 10||Tom Strachan (’16) – 5||Cameron Gray (’17) – 12|
|Cameron Gray (’17) – 2||Filip Luedtker (’17) – 5||Thomas Kunc (’16) – 5|
|Sam McGough (’15) – 2||Matt Yocum (’16) – 5|
|Cameron Gray (’17) – 2||Adam Johnson (’15) – 5|
|Eythan Nobles (’15) – 5|
|Carlos Simon (’17) – 2|
|Final Score: ZIS 17 MIS 0||Final Score: ZIS 24 LAC 7||Final Score: ZIS 24 LAZ 0||Final Score: ZIS 53 LEY 0|