Tovaal Under 19's Rugby tour Düsseldorf

I decided that the youth team (under 19’s) should start touring as this was something our club was not doing, but most others have already set up.

A tour was arranged with Jon Cook at the International School Dusseldorf.

Jon kindly arranged the pitch, and a mini tournament for Sunday to include Aachen, plus a game on Friday evening v ISD.


The boys decided that a tour without parents would be fun, so we arranged cars and drivers from within the group.

Once arranged, camping sorted out, tour fees paid, kit designed and ordered, tents bought, food arranged, the serious job of all getting to the game on Friday evening began.


We left at different times based on the player’s availability, the first two cars that arrived at the camping set up the tents and got the food ready, meatballs and pasta, thanks to Flory.

As it was a Friday and the traffic was heavy, the last two cars to leave went straight to the pitch in time for the game.


Kick off was 20:30, and the ISD looked like a handy outfit.

The pressure was on them in the first 10 minutes, but they held us out, finally we broke through and scored through Silvester.

After that it was an arm wrestle for the next ten minutes, before we scored again via Jeroen, we had kept them under pressure with hard tackling, fast line speed and pressure.

Two scores to none, and we were on our way, or so we thought.  It did not last too long, they attacked via a high kick, a dropped ball by us, a missed knock on by the referee, and ISD were in under the posts.

14 - 7  Game on!!!

We attacked, broke through and scored but it was disallowed, score stayed at 14 - 7.

Half time came and went, we were attacking again and again, but they held us out.

I was getting a bit worried we had not scored despite all the pressure, when we broke though and got another try from a kick tap from Silvester five metres out, relief.  21 - 7 with 5 minutes to go.

Last try of the game came from a quick "tap and go" from Thijke,  on to Jeroen ending with Elliot on  the left wing scoring on the right, at the death of the game.

Try scorers:-  Silvester x 2, Jeroen x 1, Elliot x 1


Friday evening, after we cleaned up and showered, we took the cars to a metro stop, and went to the Altstad via tram.

Amsterdam is clean compared to this place, and Goes seems like a sleepy hollow...but it was an experience for the boys, and they enjoyed people watching.

We even got to see a German Policeman in action, doing a great "John Cena" takedown right next to where we stood. The boys applauded the effort, speed and dexterity of the move.  Textbook takedown!!

The “crim” did not look so happy..


After a long day on Friday, Brian decided to let the boys relax on Saturday morning, before taking a training session for 2.5 hours at the ISD training ground. The weather was baking hot, and a lot of water was consumed, but the session went well, and plans were put in place for the next day.

Saturday evening we went into the Altstad to watch the England V SA game, catching the tail end of it, before returning to the camping for an early night, for a couple of hours we sat by the camp fire, playing music and "shooting the breeze" before we hit the airbeds (or in the case of Stefan, a camping stretcher, you can’t beat traveling in style)

Or so we thought……..

Then the lightening came, the thunder came and then the torrential downpour came, of the 11 tents we had, only 3 stayed dry. Lucky Daan, Titch, Mike, Djurre, Brian and me,  not so lucky everyone else.

The boys were literally swimming in their tents, with Roel doing a swan dive into the tent of Elliot, Stijn and Wessel...  he can swim like a fish!!

Top tip:- Dont buy Praxis tents.





After we got up, rung out the clothes and sleeping bags, emptied the water from the tents, we ate breakfast together, then packed up the tents, clothes, food, the cars, and trailer.

We left the camping and headed to the pitch for a two game showdown with the German sides

Jon told us there was a big rivalry between ISD and Aachen, so we offered to play ISD then Aachen straight afterwards, so ISD got a rest between games.

The games were 18 minutes long each way, so total of 36 minutes, the temperature had dropped a bit but it was still a hot sticky day.


The game against ISD was a good one, we had worked on the game plan on Saturday and practiced it.

Still it was hard to get through their defense, and then we lost Daan to injury early on in the first half, , but a short time later Silverster scored a try, followed by two more tries from Tovaallayers, we had the game in the bag, but the games were taking their toll on the boys, We had lost Daan and Ryan, and Raf was suffering from a stiff neck, and we still had one game to play.

Forwards worked hard to give the backs a good platform to attack from.

Final score was 21 - 0.

Scorers:- Silvester x 1, tovaal x 2


Next up after a 10 minute break was Aachen. They looked big, fit and hungry.

Their club website had a headline that they were out for revenge against ISD and that they were the better team when they last met, despite ISD winning.

So, not sure if they had an off day or were just unlucky., time would tell.

Either way it looked like it would be a tough match.

We had them on the ropes for 10 minutes, but again, like ISD, we could not get through.

When Aachen had the ball they made the wrong choices, and made it easy for our defense to stop them. They did not get out of their 1/2 in the first 18 minutes, and Jeroen managed to sneak through for a try.

At halftime it was 7 - 0, close game.

We lost Thomas in this game, the ref stood on his ankle, sadly it was not a German ref but an English one, so I guess we were all happy SA won the night before…

In the second half, we took control and ran the ball from one side to the other, Aachen could not keep up with the speed of play, as we hit them with wave after wave of attach, Jeroen and Silverster getting over for five more tries between them,

In the final play Ilias was held up on his back over the line, so it was almost 7 tries...

Final Score 40 – 0

Scorers Silvester x 2, Jeroen x 4

Total for the trip was 13 tries, and 1 try against. Great result.


The whole squad had worked hard over 3 days to bring home the wins, and this was a squad game, with the heat, and the injuries.

Rugby was the winner, this was a new team spread across 3 teams, coming together as one, with one game plan, and one vision.

The level of the Colts and Juniors that came on tour has increased so much in the last year, and their ability to adapt to different players around them is a testament to their hard work at training.

It was a pleasure for Brian and me to see the growth and understanding from this group of players, and this is just the beginning of Tovaal U19's annual foreign tours.


Congratulations to the U19 team. 3- 0.

Ontwerp en realisatie Nilsson

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