Match Report (Vienna Celtic 1st XV vs Mladost Zagreb)
A very motivated but still uncertain squad of 15 players made their way to Zagreb last Saturday, with many key players missing it was already clear when the doors of the bus closed for departure that every person on that bus was going to have to give 100% for 80 minutes against a foreign team.
The game begun with the Celts lead by Patrick Mester recieving the ball and making an attack very early, the result of this attack was a turnover ball and Mladost were quick to recover and scored on the counter attack. It was then that it occured taht the speed, agility and ball handling skills of the Mladost team was not to be under estimated. Still the Celts fought on and received a penalty very close to the line. The kick was unfortunate and the Celts remained with zero on the scoreboard, only minutes later Celtic found themselves with the pressure of the forward pack pushing for the line, with 2 meters to go an unfortunate handling error was made in the ruck allowing the Mladost team to recover using the penalty they were awarded. Seeming to have seen our weeknesses Mladost spent the next 15 minutes putting together some brilliant moves using mostly their backline and were able to score numerous times.
The Celts however did not lose their heads and continued to attack and defend very well only losing to the extrem speeds gained by the Mladost backline. It was because of one such break that Vicentiu Vicaro (Player and Coach) put his body on the line and injured his arm leaving the Celts with no option but to take him off the pitch. With Vicentiu doing what he could from the outside of the field and the 14 remaining Celts inside the field giving 110% it became apparent that using the forwards was a good option against the Mladost team.
The first half ended with the Celtic team having zero points on the board and Mladost leading with about 42 points. As the 2nd half got underway the team continued where they stopped before the break and powered forward using mostly the pack and numerous pick and drives, it was this team effort that lead to the 1st Try for Celtic scored by the No. 2 Lee Zeinzinger. Shortly after this try the team suffered another upset when Yeong-u Seo the Celtic No. 12 suffered a blow to the head and too had to leave the field due to a lack of vision caused by an ever swelling eye. Now with only 13 very tired Celts on the field the Celts seemed to gear up one and fought their way even more viciously into the game forcing the opposition to make errors and were awarded numerous penalties against Mladost.
It was one such penalty which started the momentum for the 2nd Try scored by Ralph Summer (No. 8) in the corner which saw the ball pass hands of almost all the players on the team. Mladost came back and with two tries of their own spreading the ball out to the wings and occasionaly crashing through the centres as at this point we had no centre and the no 10 was missing too. Yeong-u treated himself in the meantime on the side of the pitch a rejoined the field for the reamining ten minutes which saw Mladost speed over the line for the last try in the last minute. the final score in the end was a well earned 72 - 10 for Mladost.
Celtic saw this game as a good test for the players that were present and will definately take back with them a few lessons that can only be obtained when playing such a talented team.
Pictures of this game can be found in our Gallery thanks to Mladost.