Den Haag Knights will be hoping to reverse history when they face defending champions Amsterdam Cobras in tomorrow’s Netherlands Grand Final, at the National Rugby Centre Stadium in Amsterdam (kick off 3pm).
The Knights will be competing in their fifth consecutive grand final since the clubs inception in 2015 and last season lost out in the decider to the Cobras, 29-28, in golden point extra time. This season they have finished as league leaders for the third consecutive year, heading the standings ahead of the Cobras on points’ difference, the sides having drawn 22-all in Den Haag; Amsterdam winning the reverse fixture 44-20.
Matt Rigby, Den Haag’s general manager commented: “This year we have been working hard on bringing in new young players to our ever growing club and they have been rewarded with a grand final appearance. We are excited to play at the Dutch national rugby stadium in front of a decent crowd. Saturday will be a special occasion for all involved; players, coaches, supporters, match officials, and we wish all involved from both teams the best of luck – it is set to be a great occasion between two sides who are respected rivals.”
“The Cobras are equal parts thrilled and nervous for the grand final,” noted their head coach David Lipman. “It’s not often that you get a chance to go back-to-back, but we’re not in the business of letting down our fans. We’ve been working harder than ever to be the best team in the Netherlands. Den Haag are always a tough team to play, we’re ready for a battle but I’m confident that our boys will get the job done.”
Following the completion of the domestic regular season, the Netherlands Rugby League Bond has announced a train-on squad for their 2019 international fixtures.
LB head coach, Kane Krlic commented: “Over the last two years we have made tremendous strides in our development. I have tried to stay loyal to the bulk of the squad and we have added a few quality players who have performed well in this year’s domestic competition. It’s up to the new boys to force themselves into the starting positions.”
Krlic added: “It will be the first year where we have been able to select the same spine of the team, so they should all be familiar which is something we can build on. There has never been such competition for places and that can only push up the intensity at training; the boys set themselves high standards and constantly want to improve.”
The national team will face the Czech Republic on 24 August and Germany three weeks later.
NETHERLANDS TRAIN ON SQUAD : Tim Goudswaard, Reno Haverkamp, Daniel Mijnders, David Schram, Daan van Rossum (Amsterdam Cobras) Ivan Broesma, Paul Dirkzwager, Thomas Farrell, Romeo Goldman, Lucas Gout, Frank Longhurst, Leon van den Bruggen, Bonne Wilce (Den Haag Knights), Sjoerd Botterblom, Santino Landius, Arie-tjerk Razoux Schultz, Ruben Stuifzand, Mark van de Broek, Gydo van den Heuvel (Harderwijk Dolphins), Ben Dommershuijsen, Patrick Funk, Shadan Lavia, Edson Neves, Mario Terlouw, Dennis van den Broek (Rotterdam Pitbulls)