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Croatia upset Germany to score first-ever win

  • Friday, August 06 2010 @ 08:11 pm ACST
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Croatia won the toss and elected to kick to the beach end aiming to take advantage of a strong breeze. With their cheer squad in full voice the Knights would have been expecting a solid start.

However, it was the Germans who proved to be more attacking in the early stages running and carrying the ball, with Beyer providing a strong option up forward. Although the conditions were tough, both teams were able to put together good passages of play. Unfortunately for the Germans they could not covert this pressure into a score on the board.

As the quarter progressed, the Knights were able to push the ball forward, with Cvetko kicked beautiful check side goal from the forward pocket, Cudina then kicked another for Croatia after a great centre clearance. When Cudina kicked his 2nd with a quick snap after some great ruck work the Croatians had a handy lead. The Knights then began dominating the clearances and with their bigger bodies were able to move the ball forward to create scoring opportunities. At quarter time Croatia led by 32 points.

This report courtesy of the EC2010 organising committee.

The Germans started the 2nd quarter well scoring a goal after a quick clearance. They were able to scrap the ball forward after the centre bounce and had 2 goals within a minute. The German small men punched, handballed and kicked the ball forward at every opportunity but the windy conditions made moving the ball smoothly very difficult. The Black Eagles tried to create opportunities through Bense, Mast and Hoeher but the Croatian backline stood firm, bombing the ball back out of defense time after time. Cudina was a stand out looking dangerous for Croatia and able to create some forward thrusts. Both team defenses held firm and at half time Croatia led: 5.5.35 to Germany 2.2.14.

With both teams vying for their first win of the Championships there was a physical start to the 3rd quarter, with the bigger bodied Knights trying to outmuscle the Germans as they tried to run the ball into the wind. The Croatians controlled most of the play, but found it difficult to score. Croatian stalwart Koracak found himself in a perfect position to kick the ball out of a pack to score the only goal of the quarter.

The ruckmen on both teams battled well giving their teams chances to clear the ball. Croatia had the play for the majority of the quarter and managed to lead by 33 points at three quarter time.

Kicking with the wind the Germans needed the first goal, but it wasn’t to be, with Croatia punishing the Germans after a sloppy turn over in the middle of the ground which resulted in a goal.

Players battled hard for the remainder of the game and when man-mountain German ruckman, Mats Wurmbach, kicked a goal after 25m penalty, there was a slight glimmer of hope for a comeback. The Black Eagles then made some costly mistakes in defense, turning the ball over and when Kravar for the Knights kicked great goal out of the pack the Croatians sealed their first win of the Championships, much to the delight of their travelling party.

Final Score

Croatia 9.12 (66) def Germany 3.3 (21)

Best Players:
Croatia: Cudina, Matija Mamic, Tonkovic, Kravar, Koracak
Germany: Bense, Mast, Horenburg, Beyer, Hoeher

Goals:
Croatia: Cudina 2, Currane 2, Cvetko 1, Koracak 1, Deranja 1, Kravar 1, Molnar 1
Germany: Seiberlich 1, Schulze 1, Wurmbach 1