Darmstadt 81 – 0 Gießen
The Darmstadt boys hosted Gießen for the second game of the season and finally had a full squad to choose from – which was helpful as Felix had to swap his playing jersey for his referee whistle and the bomb squad subs of Lukas, Markus and Ben P stepped in to help out Gießen who were low on numbers. Under the last of the summer sunshine, Darmstadt kicked off the game.
In typical Darmstadt fashion, the first 10 minutes was a catalogue of errors. Darmstadt were camped in Gießen‘s 22 but unable to string together any real phase play, with Felix enjoying blowing his whistle every time Nico tried to throw a line out in straight. Lorenzo came close but was held up on the line but Eric was finally able to crash over from close range in the subsequent forwards phase for the first try. This was quickly followed by another try according to the ticker, although no one can seem to remember who, or how, it was scored. Henry quickly added two more tries after finding a gap in the defence and running over some defenders. Debutant Shane then introduced himself to the game with a barrelling run from halfway, bouncing off every defender in sight, only to be brought down on the 5m line with Nico crossing over from the next phase. In the next attack, Philipp picked up the ball 10m out and with everyone expecting him to charge into contact, he shocked defenders and teammates alike with a wonderful side step past two Gießen players to score. After a stolen lineout just before half-time, Ernesto added a further try out wide on the right, which Henry duly failed to convert, just like every other kick from the right-hand side. Half-time 43-0.
The second-half got underway with some changes to both teams. The bomb squad was now deployed for Darmstadt but unfortunately Ernesto, who just changed over to Gießen, had to leave the field after some winger-on-winger friendly fire. Darmstadt started to put together some nice phases and interplay between the forwards and backs, with debutant Tommaso crossing over for his first Darmstadt try. Davide, Alejandro and AJ also impressed on their debuts with some big carries and clever running causing Gießen trouble in defence. PvH showed his pace to run in from over halfway after a lose Gießen ball. With coach Martin playing devils advocate with the subs, Darmstadt started to lose a bit of structure leading to a few more mistakes from the boys in blue. Gießen made a couple of good plays with the winger making m a dangerous break down the touchline, only to be brought down by a thundering tackle from Nico to the great enjoyment of the capacity crowd. Eventually the backs were able to get the ball again off the forwards, with Artem the final recipient for two tries. Sheol-Ho then had a great run on the wing, being brought down just before the line before offloading to Henry to score. Sheol-Ho got his chance again moments later when he found himself one-on-one on the wing and was able to beat the final defender for pace to score. With Gerrit back playing in his old position of centre he was still channelling his inner (and outer) forward, pick-and-going to score the final try of the game. End score 81-0 to Darmstadt.
Big thanks to Gießen for an enjoyable match and to Felix for this last minute ref cameo. Many thanks to all those who came down to watch – see you there next time!