In División de Honor Rugby Week 9, a vital game took place between Alcobendas Rugby and El Salvador. Not only is it a battle between two top teams in the competition but due to the 2021 structure, it’s a result that will count for more than just the points this week.
That’s because this year after each team has played each other, the league will split in two. In this new section, the only points that carry over are against teams within your group of six. With the top six in Spain largely wrapped up, this game was vital as both teams look to secure a better position for the end of season play-offs.
División de Honor Rugby Week 9
A close game was expected and at the end of the first half, that was exactly what we had on the cards. An early try by El Salvador’s Michael Walker Fitton from a well-executed lineout put the score at 5-3 to El Salvador. Ill discipline and the clinical kicking of Alcobendas’ Javier Lopez would give Alcobendas a 12-5 lead at half time. However, this close game would be smashed open in the space of ten minutes, as a beautiful offload created the space for Mauro Luciano Perotti to plant it under the sticks on the 46th minute.
Less than ten minutes later, a looping pass from Javier Lopez would put Sergio Molinero in at the corner. A pinpoint conversion from the touchline by Lopez would end the game as a contest, putting Alcobendas 26-5 up. Despite Alcobendas losing a player to the sin bin in the second half, it would stay 26-5.
𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗮𝗷𝗮𝗱𝗮 𝘃𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗮 ante el SilverStorm @Chami_Rugby
— Alcobendas Rugby (@AlcobendasRugby) January 24, 2021
With this result, Alcobendas become the first team to beat both VRAC and El Salvador in back to back games since 2006. A marker has well and truly been put down.
Dog-fight in Sevilla
At the other end of the table, Independiente Rugby Club took on Ciencias Universidad Rugby of Sevilla. Occupying the bottom two positions, this game had huge implications for who will ultimately drop into the second tier of Spanish Rugby Union. Rugby Union in Spain will be loath to lose either team from the top flight, offering as they do a geographical spread to the game but both were without a win before this week and you have to guess that at least one will be heading down.
In the end, it would prove to be the closest contest of the week and the warning signs were there for Independiente, as Clement Gasca practically walked through the Cantabrians defence before losing the ball reaching for the try line. From the subsequent scrum, Ciencias drove Independiente over the try line and scored to make it 7-0 inside seven minutes.
However, two tries before half time had the Bisontes hoping for a first win of the season, heading into the break 18-12 up. However, Independiente’s infamously leaky defence would ship 16 points in the second half with only a 71st-minute penalty in reply.
The turning point came when having failed to get over the line from close range, Independiente were caught offside and a quick tap from Gabriel Alejandro Roldan left a chasm for Juan Ignacio Lando to run it home in the left-hand corner. On such moments do seasons turn, as the game would end 28-21 to Ciencias. It’s a sad state of affairs for Cantabrian rugby, which boasted two top-flight teams last season and were developing good momentum for the sport. Sadly, it looks like Independiente will be heading out of the top flight.
— División de Honor Rugby (@DHFerugby) January 24, 2021
League and Cup Double Header
Attention then turns to this Sunday and the pick of the bunch once again involves El Salvador, this week up against Ampo Ordizia. As well as another top-six clash, the game is also acting as a de facto Quarter Final in the Copa del Rey de Rugby. With the cup truncated into league games counting towards each mini-league of three, this is the last game to decide who will take the last semi-final spot.
We are all set for another exciting round of Spanish Rugby Union this Sunday.
See fixtures list for Week 10 here.
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