Young Bonn team with few chances against Paderborn
On October 21, 2023, the Bonn Lions made the trip to Paderborn for the first away game of the still relatively young season. The last time the two teams met was several years ago, so the match-up with one of the dominant teams of recent regional league seasons was eagerly awaited. The team from Bonn, which had a new line-up in some key positions compared to the game against the Düsseldorf Dragons, got off to a lively start after their own kick-off and were able to close in on the Paderborn backline for several minutes. However, a penalty kick from Albert Zerbst in the third minute went just wide of the uprights and the momentum shifted to the home side. They proved their efficiency in the sixth minute and, after quick play on the edge of Bonn’s goal area, were able to lay the ball off and also manage the difficult elevation. Paderborn then kept up the pressure and were able to exploit their physical superiority both in open play and in the scrum, which was difficult in places on the soaked pitch. The result was another increased try before Bonn was able to gain some breathing space, at least temporarily. However, simple mistakes and problems with the standards repeatedly threw the Lions back into defense and so it was only a matter of time before Paderborn was able to capitalize again and run in for the third increased try in Bonn’s half. Apart from individual bright spots such as stolen alleys or strong tackles, the first half was unfortunately more of a disappointment from Bonn’s point of view, which was intensified by another Paderborn try scored in a remarkable solo run and raised just before the break.
Given the unsatisfactory half-time score of 0:28, the Bonn Lions started the second half with more determination. This continued to be characterized by physical toughness but also by some uncleanliness. At the rucks in particular, both teams regularly forced the referee to award penalties and call for more discipline. Bonn’s forwards, on the other hand, got a better grip on the scrum and a more balanced half developed overall, in which both teams put their opponents under pressure on several occasions but also missed a number of promising opportunities. The home side took advantage of a temporary overtime due to a yellow card against Bonn to score a successful penalty and an increased try. However, the Bonn Lions did not give up and worked their way forward several times. The East Westphalian defense was repeatedly only able to save itself from a try through sloppy play, so it was only logical that captain and Man of the match Florian Korbmacher took a penalty kick 5 meters in front of the goal area and scrambled the ball over the line with a long arm in the 70th minute. The resulting increase was safely converted by 10-man Albert Zerbst. With the lead behind them, the visitors again developed offensive pressure in the final phase, which was further encouraged by a yellow card against Paderborn for a high tackle. Despite some fine actions such as a strong run by Daniel Wey, who was otherwise in good form, it was unfortunately not enough to score any more points, as the team once again got in its own way with hasty and unfortunate decisions.
The team and coach will take some important insights from this clear 38:7 away defeat back home to the Rheinaue for training. In addition to clear work assignments with regard to standards and rucks, there are also some positive impressions from a tough yet fair game: the team accepted the physical challenge and stood up to it with courageous tackles and spirited commitment, exemplified by debutant Jordan Browne, the deserved series winner.Hammer-of-the-match Francesco Forin stands. The team also kept up their fighting spirit and showed their enthusiasm right up to the final whistle, so that the Bonn rugby fans can be confident that the next meeting in the second half of the season will be even better.
Text: Florian Korbmacher
Photos: Golden Ibe