Strong offensive performance in Prague
The fourth and last round of the 2016 Czech Austrian Hungarian Underwater Rugby League took place on Saturday 12.11 in Prague. It definitely was one of the season’s highlights, with nine teams present and almost all of them full. STC Graz put all chances on its side with fourteen players travelling to the Czech capital – two of which were valuable guests from Greek team Fysalis.
Having ended last round on the fifth place of the first League, STC Graz started the day by playing the relegation game against Prague. Our opponents took full advantage of playing at home, and came with a very strong line-up. Despite keeping Prague’s counter-attacks under control and having several opportunities, we only managed to score on a penalty (Thomas Schenkeli). The final score of 1:3 meant that STC Graz would play in the 2nd League.
The second game of the day was again Budweis B and ended with 14:0 lead. If physically lighter and smaller, the junior team put up a strong fight and impressed us in a good way. If we cannot wait to see them evolve in really tough adult players, last Saturday we took the opportunity to have some players switch positions in the field and play more tactically. It was really gratifying to have seven players score in the Czech League for the first time: Anne-Katrin Gobiet, Alex Rizos, Spyros Armpis and Lisa Sebros scored twice, Anna Weberhofer, Ingo Rosenkranz and Irfan Šehić scored once.
We won our 3rd game against Budapest 5:4. The Hungarian team (together with our lended player Karl Richter-Trummer) managed to bring unrest to our team and in consequence we did not play well. Our rotation was bad, which allowed our opponents to score on three counter-attacks. To add to the frustration, Schenkeli also got his first ever time penalty for attacking too early on a free throw, and a goal by David Fuchs was revoked. Luckily we managed to get ahead by one point.
The day ended with the fight for the victory in the second league against Usti nad Labem. We were prepared for this strong team and played much better than against Budapest. We did not concede any dangerous counter-attacks and were able to score twice with nice group work. The game ended with a 2:2 tie, and Usti proved to be unfortunately more experienced in the penalty shots. Final score 3:4
To sum up the day, our team captain Thomas Schenkeli said that "It was great to see the whole team putting as much pressure as possible on the opponent’s basket, and the offensive performance against Usti was much better that in the last few games. Our two greek friends integrated the team very well, and we are looking forward to the next joint tournament with them.” Overall, the STC secured the sixth place in Czech League 2016.Von: Lisa Sebros