Two late tries, from teenage debutant Arie-Tjerk Schultz and Amsterdam Cobras winger David Bos, ensured that the Netherlands retained the Griffin Cup, with a 38-22 win over Germany at the Sparta Stadium in Rotterdam. They won the Cup for the first time in five attempts last season and head coach Kane Krlic was delighted that his side kept the trophy on home soil.
“It was a great win,” he said. “I am incredibly proud of all the boys. Germany too should take great pride in their performance; they had a few early injuries so they were doing it tough but they never gave in and they kept posing us challenges.
“We have such a young team, all our backs were under 20 years old,” he added. “It was really pleasing to see how the players grew into the game and started to show patience and build pressure. In the second half we had only three incomplete sets and two of those were in the last five minutes.”
“I believe this is an exciting time for both the Netherlands and German Rugby League. Both governing bodies are working together to support each other’s growth. We have a similar philosophy and are keen to support each other. We play Sweden in three weeks’ time and I will challenge this group of players to push themselves further and continue their development.”
Germany co-head coach, Simon Cooper also commented: “To be ahead at half time, with eleven new players in the team from last week’s World Cup qualifying match, two of them teenagers and six new caps – I couldn’t really ask for much more. Unfortunately, we lost two players to injury within the first 20 minutes and that resulted in us running out of steam in the last quarter.”