Despite going down to 13 men the Exiles come back with maximum points in Szeged. Budapest Exiles win in Szeged against Fit World Gorillak 32:8, despite playing the final minutes of the game with 13 men after two players were sent to the sin-bin.
The Budapest team remain in touching distance from champions Esztergom, trailing by only 4 points in the table. This win comes before the rugby international break, and the Exiles will return to play in November, where they take on rivals for second place in the league – Batta Bulldogs.
Szeged couldn’t imagine a better start to the game, with the Exiles forward pack opting not to chase the ball kicked by full-back Connor Riverol at the start of the game. The ball went out of the park, and the host team was awarded a scrum. The Exiles pack continued to fail, allowing the Gorrilak pack to push them back, and getting a very early try. It seemed that the missed training sessions caused by the club committee keeping everyone at home
due to a covid-19 case in the clubs surrounding environment.
“We didn’t expect this to be an easy game, but no one would say before the game that Szeged would score in the first seconds of the game” said Exiles captain Joris Auger, in a post-match interview. “That try was a big wake-up call and an accident that should never have happened. Yes we did have less time to prepare on the pitch, but we did have online training to analyse mistakes and know what not to do.
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We did everything we were told not to. We didn’t have our heads in the game, and we will have to work on this element even more at training” said the French skipper.
After that try the Exiles managed to push the hosts, and one a
penalty that was successfully kicked by Riverol.
The Budapest team still had problems with the Szeged pack, who did a great job playing the pick and drive game, where the pack in a few phases managed to make a long visit into the Exiles half. The hosts showed their power in the forwards, but also made some small mistakes which resulted in the visitors breaking their defensive lines. One of these breaks resulted in a try by Frenchman Lucas Deyts, who managed to sidestep a few Szeged players before scoring in the corner of the pitch.
Despite going down
Szeged didn’t give up,
and continued their pick and drive tactic which kept getting them closer to the Exiles try line. This ended up with the Exiles making a mistake that cost them a penalty around the 30th minute of the game. The hosts opted to kick for the posts and with a successful kick the score was level, and it looked like the result would be decided in the final minutes of the game. This is when the genius of Deyts kicked in again, using a great steal by number 8 Matty Szalai he found himself weaving in and out of the Szeged players to put the Exiles back in the lead just before halftime.
After the restart the Exiles picked up from where they finished, with another try, this time from Captain Joris Auger. Soon after that another came in from player-coach Thomas Aponte, which meant that the only Expat rugby club in Budapest would go home with a bonus point for four tries scored.
But that didn’t satisfy the Exiles, as they wanted to come back with a victory.
“This has a lot to do with our Bomber Squad cleaning up in the second half” said Aponte. “Our forward replacements allow us to put more pressure on the opposition and give us additional strength in the second half. This was the key to why we managed to have a great opening in the second half” said the Venezuelan coach.
The game seemed under control, with a fifth try scored by scrum-half Balint Kosa, but it wasn’t. With 15 minutes to go the referee called for a high tackle by the Will Feunteun, but in a case of mistaken identity of the culprit sent his fellow countryman Deyts to the sin-bin. The Exiles were still in control, but were to be shortly forced to play with 13 men, as replacement second-row Geza Juhasz who earlier on showed signs of bad discipline was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
Surprisingly playing with 13 men did not affect the Exiles game. The coaches introduced for these final minutes Clement Roturier and Alejandro Lavanchy, who both made tackles that prevented the Szeged team from breaking the defensive lines. The Gorrilas had no way of getting past, and the Exiles managed to prevent them from scoring more points and potentially getting a consolation point for more than tries scored. The final score 32:8 to the Exiles.
With an international break the Exiles play their next match in a month’s time, at home, to Batta Bulldogs.
This game will decide which team will be second behind Esztergom
ahead of the winter break that will last until March. In the mean time the Exiles second team will have two matches to play, including the Budapest Derby against Kosok, that was postponed due to a Covid-19 infection.
Fit World World Gorillak Szeged – Budapest Exiles RFC 8-32 (8:13)
Budapest Exiles from:
Stevens, Roberts, Rojik, Czifra, Dupre, Kopasz, Szalai, Lafuente, Kosa, Aponte, Feunteun, Deyts, Auger, Tuskan, Riverol.
Subs: Szendrey-Kiss, Juhasz, Erdelyi, Haboczki, Fekete, Lavanchy, Roturier
Source: Press release