Netherlands defeat Norway in Sassenheim
In their first of their five scheduled autumn international fixtures, Netherlands men ran in eleven tries to defeat Norway 58-22 in Sassenheim.
In fine conditions, winger Hamish Wragg opened the scoring for the hosts in the third minute but it was three tries in as many minutes either side of half time that put them in the ascendancy.
They also finished strongly with another four scores in the final ten minutes to emphasize the margin of victory.
Netherlands head coach Dave Hunter commented: “It was a good physical match and the scoreline probably flattered us in the end. Norway played really well, they made less mistakes than we did and put us under a lot of pressure.
“We managed to get on top in the last 20 minutes and scored some good tries, but at times we put ourselves under pressure and there were some harsh words at half time. We got into shape really well and we defended well, but there’s plenty to do looking forward.”
Netherlands centre Lucas Thomson posted two long range tries and also kicked a brace of goals, while Norway’s Jymaal Mellor-King also claimed a double and three conversions on his debut alongside father Eric.
Norway head coach Liam Stead noted: “Although the scoreline doesn’t reflect it, for large parts of the game we weren’t just in it, we were on top, they scored 36 points in the last 10 minutes of both halves.
"We’ve played some really good rugby and we completed our sets, just our fitness which let us down. We know what we need to work on but this is a step in the right direction.”
Netherlands will next face Albania followed by games with Serbia, Germany and Czech Republic.
Harry Mulligan, Maas Van Der Reek, Mike Prins, Lucas Thomson, Hamish Wragg, Lars Mudde, Will Johnston, Tom Turnock, James Adams, Mauricio Gomez Pasos, Tom Van Bokhoven, Rowan Schuiling, Frank Longhurst. Interchanges: Mitch Donnelly, Shadan Lavia, Kees Kuijpers, Bonne Wilce
Tries: Wragg (3), Van Der Reek (12, 40), Prins (25), Johnston (38), Thomson (41, 80), Van Bokhoven (61), Mudde (70), Turnock (74), Donnelly (77). Goals: Mulligan 5/8 , Thomson 2/3
Sin Bin – Mulligan (28 professional foul)
Lucas Zuniga, Martin Høyland, Brett Harvey, Arne Oma Torsen, Frank Kiriinya, Kristoffer Milligan, Jymaal Mellor-King, Mathias Vada Stenseth-Holm, Robin Bjørnstad, Nils Kristian Holte, Marius Odland Sagelv, Alexander John Ponton, Simon Olsen. Interchanges: Andreas Vaagen, Eric Mellor, Stephen Mwikaria, Dan Horne
Tries: J. Mellor-King (27, 57), Høyland (54), Olsen (69). Goals: J. Mellor-King 3/4
Referee: Moray Gilland (Scotland)
Half Time: 28-6