2019/CW16 BELGIAN MENS & WOMENS INTERNATIONAL (BMWI)06.04.2019
BRUSSELS - 06 APRIL 2019
Stade du Sippelberg
Women's Open Coaches Report
Marlies Jahn (c)
At the end of January 2019, the Swiss Women’s Open side was announced to represent at the BMWI Touch Tournament in Brussels. The subsequent training sessions in Bern on 24 February and Zurich on 31 March were well attended in brilliant sunshine. With a focus on Execution, Awareness and Efficiency, the key was to develop cohesion and a platform to ensure the side was competitive against some well drilled teams that were in their final preparations for the World Cup.
Arrival at the stadium with overcast and cool conditions meant that the four 40 minute games on full sized fields was at least not going to be affected by the hot or humidity forecast for the World Cup. There was also surprising lack of grass on the advertised turf field which the team’s first two games were scheduled. What is important in any tournament is the ability to perform consistently from your first to last game so the pre and post match routine was identical and focused towards team performance from the minute the whistle was blown.
9.35am vs Dutch Lionesses
The first game against a side in final preparation for the World Cup was dominated in the first half by errors in ball security from the Swiss side allowing a former Swiss coach to steer her side on the field to a 0-2 half time lead against the Swiss. The pace was frenetic and the side struggle to maintain the structures and composure trained prior to the tournament.
The second half saw a complete transformation with the side wrestling control and ensuring the opposition were positioned deep in their half when possession changed. This change in field positioning transferred the pressure to the Dutch side which were suddenly in unfamiliar territory with a level scoreline. The Swiss ladies finished the better of the two teams with a 4-1 second half finishing the game 4-3 victors.
This turning point from half time proved crucial for the remainder of the tournament with the self belief and confidence levels ensuring a far more composed commencement to all the games that followed.
11.15 vs Ireland Donnybrook
Buoyed by a first game success, the team started to ‘hunt in packs’ with the defensive wall building consolidated pressure through every 40 minute game. With that followed a flowing attacking structure that allowed for movement off the teams line, through substitution all the way into an effective line attack. The side were forming cohesion on the move and scoring on inside channels and on the wings through astute targeting of the defensive response.
The 10-0 win will not so much be memorable for the large ‘for’ scoring but the significance of the no touchdowns scored against. This was a side that was prepared to commit to each other and show collective pride in the defensive results.
12.55 vs Germany
Similar to the previous match, the Swiss side nullified the attack via a compressed defensive structure. This forced the opposition into unfamiliar plays and throwing high risk passes to attempt to get outside of the pattern. The lower error rate from the Swiss side meant a larger share of the possession. In an unfortunate incident, a collision by two ladies from the German team stopped the game 10 minutes into the second half when the ambulance was required to respond. The game score at the time stood as the result with a Swiss win of 5-0.
16.35 vs France O27
The fourth 40 minute game for the day was the top sides from each pool playing off for the championship. Well supported by the Men’s Open team, the Swiss side faced off against the World 5th ranked French Women’s Over 27 side also in their final preparations for the World Cup. With fatigue playing a big part in the performance, it was imperative that the Swiss side didn’t create unnecessary pressure through unforced errors.
The first half ended on a positive note with the Swiss team 2-1 in front but with either side capable of finishing on top. The difference between the two teams wasn’t capability, it was attitude at this point. The Swiss side, having proven that they were competitive for the first 20 minutes, knew what was required. The French side were clearly agitated and under pressure so composure was clearly advantage Swiss.
Even with the Swiss side being reduced five players through infringement for 3 defensive sets, the ladies defended resolutely which sapped a lot of the attacking energy from the side. Whilst not based on statistics, the opposition appeared to have the majority of possession in the second half even finishing the game attacking deep into the Swiss territory. Despite this, a 0-0 second half resulted and saw the Swiss Women’s Open side victorious 2-1 in the BMWI for 2019.
From the Swiss perspective, the tournament for the Women’s Open side was dominated not by their attack but their defensive effort. Whilst it’s difficult from the numbers to demonstrate how influential it was in the outcome, a 21-4 for-and-against over four 40 minute games proved to the side that it wasn’t how many you scored but how many you can defend. The effect of having turned around the first 20 minutes of their tournament, and built on that confidence in each other through the remaining rounds, was crucial in their performance in the last 20 minutes of the final game.
It is very evident through the many social media posts that the side was jubilant in their hard fought achievement. It was well deserved and should be the launching platform to greater results in tournaments to come.
more pictures here: http://www.montain.org/190406C/