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9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby EnGdoPau » Sat, 09 Mar 2019, 17:31

I do not agree at all with Silver Fox.
The difference is not only the scrum half. It's the entire back row, strarting with scrum half. From 9 to 15. Faster and creating much more spaces in dutch lines.
The forward pack is more even.
Besides, differences will not get smaller, but bigger.
Today, the portuguese squad had an average age of 23. Did not play with the french based players. There are ten or eleven that problably would be starting the game.
On other hand, in my opinion, dutch team is not sustainable as that are a lot of naturalized players from New Zealand, england, etc.
Let's wait and see what future brings...

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby 4N » Sat, 09 Mar 2019, 18:11

Looks like Portuguese rugby is recovering. Good to see. They have always had some of the best youth programs in Europe outside of the 6N. :thumbup:

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby Coloradoan » Sat, 09 Mar 2019, 21:06

EnGdoPau wrote:I do not agree at all with Silver Fox.
The difference is not only the scrum half. It's the entire back row, strarting with scrum half. From 9 to 15. Faster and creating much more spaces in dutch lines.
The forward pack is more even.
Besides, differences will not get smaller, but bigger.
Today, the portuguese squad had an average age of 23. Did not play with the french based players. There are ten or eleven that problably would be starting the game.
On other hand, in my opinion, dutch team is not sustainable as that are a lot of naturalized players from New Zealand, england, etc.
Let's wait and see what future brings...


The Dutch have been improving their youth programs. Not to the level of Portugal, but they finished 4th in the European U20 championship last year ahead of Romania, Belgium and Germany. I'd disagree about naturalized players not being sustainable too. Unless there is something structural that has changed (you could argue that a 5 year residency requirement will have an impact) substantially, they're pretty likely to continue getting players around the same level from that source.

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby wooden shoe » Sat, 09 Mar 2019, 22:55

Hello there,
I'm a Dutch rugby fan. I have played the beautiful game a long time ago. Since a few years I follow our national teams, mainly through the ways of internet.
To me it was a very disappointing result today.
Today was the day for the men's national team to show that they have improved. Our national team has been managed very consistenly for a few years and seems to have done some extra preparations for this game. The players have spoken openly about their ambition to beat Portugal.The Ereklasse is exciting this year, so the players from top clubs Hilversum and Gooi have been challenged. There is a stable growth in all parts, men, youth, women. The youth teams have been showing progress, so now it's up for the seniors. And great publicity with broadcast on payed TV and 7000 spectators (according to the gamesheet, but I think it was 4000).
Two totally different teams.
We have players who come from everywhere (with quite a new line up with four first caps today). I think our players have specific qualities for their positions. Heavy, strong and fast. Where the Portuguese are smaller but extremely skillfull and smart teamplayers.
Our game was OK in the first half, but it went into a mess pretty soon in the second half.
Poor decisionmaking with ball in hand. Problems in defense, mismatches where our heavy front V forwards had to defend their backs.
The Dutch commentator said that to much of our players have to much inefficient wheight. I'm afraid it is true and I think lack of fitness is a bit embarassing, even for front V amateurs.
Our coach was in tears as he will stop after this season. He was very much appreciated and will be missed.
I think a very good (even better) new coach and higher fitness standards will be necesarry if we want to make a new step forward.
Last edited by wooden shoe on Sun, 10 Mar 2019, 08:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 10 Mar 2019, 00:46

Welcome to the forum! Please contribute as often as you can about Dutch rugby, the more news we get the better. :)

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby wooden shoe » Sun, 10 Mar 2019, 09:17

Thanks, a day later I'm proud of what we have achieved though. It is the maximum we can do with the means we have now. We have amateur players with regular jobs willing to play for the country and the love of the game, some travelling from UK and even NZ to play a game (for the effort they put in I really don't care about nationality). The Portuguese level is ahead of us at the moment. They play in a beautifull way too. Belgium is ahead with players playing semi professionally abroad. Germany the same and they have the Wild money. I think we have at least the same potential when we maintain the growth and stability but we still have to be patient for a few years.

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby Silver Fox » Sun, 10 Mar 2019, 12:20

EnGdoPau wrote:I do not agree at all with Silver Fox.
The difference is not only the scrum half. It's the entire back row, strarting with scrum half. From 9 to 15. Faster and creating much more spaces in dutch lines.
The forward pack is more even.
Besides, differences will not get smaller, but bigger.
Today, the portuguese squad had an average age of 23. Did not play with the french based players. There are ten or eleven that problably would be starting the game.
On other hand, in my opinion, dutch team is not sustainable as that are a lot of naturalized players from New Zealand, england, etc.
Let's wait and see what future brings...

I think it was a welldeserved win by Portugal.
I don't want to take anything away from that but on points I have to disagree with you.

- All Portuguese backs being better.
That's a very blunt statement.
I think you have to look at the way Portugal play. They did so yesterday and have always done so.
They rely on solid and vigorous defence and are very quick to react to the opportunities that present themselves from it. Either using turn over balls or taking penalties quickly and catch a defence not properly organized yet or being off guard.
That's how they got that big score against Poland and also what gave the Dutch the impression that they shouldn't have lost last year in Lisbon despite losing 5 tries to 2 (36-12).
When they played in the REC, even when Portugal lost, they always made a nuissance of themselves and the scorelines involving them were always narrow.
They were hardly ever the playmakers but always hanging in and seizing opportunities.
Against the Poles they also showed to have a good goalkicker so it would be dangerous to give away too many penalties.

I guess this made us a bit ambiguous in our approach. On the one hand our strength lies in an open expansive game but on the other hand we did want to play it safe.
Playing it safe meant going for fielding more experienced players hence more players from foreign descent.
On the other hand we felt confident enough to hand a first cap to 19 year old Jasey van Kampen at flyhalf.
The strong wind didn't help and limited attacking options making it a tough job for him on debut at this level.
Besides, my point stands that a scrumhalf who is delaying every action with a second makes the entire backline look bleak.

- Backs creating more space.
As I said above, the Portuguese hardly create space. Instead they are masters in utilising the space their opposition is forced to leave.

- Difference will not get smaller.
Well looking at the scores it does. Marginally, but it does.
2017: 26-10 (4T-1T)
2018: 36-12 (5T-2T)
2019: 18-5 (2T-1T)

- Average age.
For reasons I stated above our yesterdays selection had a somewhat older look.
Regrettedly I don't have access to players stats but there is a strong tendency of rejuvinating the team. Average age for our previous game against the Swiss saw an average age of also 23.
Correct me if I am wrong.

- France based players.
Your France based players don't count.
Portugal has opted not to make use of their services. Maybe because they don't need them in matches like this. Or maybe they are not available.
Anyway, they haven't used them for the last 4 years. Not even in the promotion-relegation matches.
To me, Portugal gives the impression of being happy were they are now.

- Sustainability.
Like Colorodoan pointed out earlier the source of our foreign born players is our domestic league (only exception seems to be debutant no.8 Ben Hamelink).
By relying on our youth programs and domestic leagues we don't differ very much from Portugal.
I also think that because of that both nations have more or less reached their ceiling.
Unless they seek more international competition for their domestic scene.
If it weren't for gaining experience then it should be for benchmarking their degree of progression.

On one thing I agree with you however:
- Let's wait and see what future brings...

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby suofficer » Mon, 11 Mar 2019, 07:40

Firstly I just want to say how well the dutch run their home games. A lot to learn from this for Portugal i think.

Don't forget Portugal is currently rudderless . Has been for about a year. There is a strong chance a new President and a good showing in the HK 7s puts a bit of impetus behind Portugal ahead of any play off game. The French players thing is odd , I have no ideas how you resolve it. How Pedro Bettencourt who has been playing Premiership this year hasn't been included is beyond me. Ze Rodrigues who is the best 10 in the league also hasn't been making himself available from what I can see. So although things are pointing in the right direction its not all rosy in Portuguese rugby.

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby Bogdan_DC » Mon, 11 Mar 2019, 08:01

So i'm the only one who saw:
- the increasing number of Dutch youth players in top academies from France&England?
- their size (statistically they are the tallest nation right?)
- nice style of play, positive attitude?

I can see a bright future for Holland.

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Re: 9th March Holland v Portugal : RET

Postby nick511 » Mon, 11 Mar 2019, 10:10

I saw the game, and like others I think the Dutch have a great future. A few things I noticed, were the basic catch and pass skills were lacking many times and I was just frustrated watching good chances get wasted (and not all could be blamed on the wind). I thought the tactical skills and game awareness was lacking in the second half, especially in that first 10mins of the 2nd half my view is they should've taken the points instead of scrums several times in that second half. Instead of assuming you would get tries, as with the wind you were always going to get back down their end.

The other was fitness I think, you have to be concerned when you have made 3-4 subs before 50mins, and in the last ten you could see the linespeed dropped off alot. But overall I think they are improving well and they'll be in the REC challenging the likes of Germany and Belgium in the coming years.

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