When we last left you our heroes in Orange had 2 wins, 1 loss, and were looking to push their way towards the top 4 in their pool as day 2 of the WCBU began.
The weather, unsurprisingly, was hot, hotter than anything we ever see back in Amsterdam, and also just hotter than the first day of the tournament. Not that hot days in the desert is a big surprise, but March in Dubai can sometimes be merciful. But not on this day. Our first opponent as the sun made its way over the skyscrapers in Jumeirah Beach Residence; Germany.
Germany mixed were another team that had gotten the better of our squad during a preparation tournament in Portugal last month. It was clear even then that the road to success meant getting past them and that was certainly a goal. Along with Canada they had established themselves at the top of the pool after day 1 and were looking strong. The first half turned out to be a good one for the Netherlands, after coming back from an early 2-0 deficit, the crew came back and took the lead a few times only to have Germany get it back each time. In the last 20 minutes of the game, despite throwing everything they had at them, the German D caught fire and put up several unanswered points leading to the final result: NL 7 DE 10. A disappointing loss that also meant a major setback on the quest to top 4 in their pool.
After a long break and a rare opportunity to watch some of the many many games going on all around us, in the evening it was time to face off with the Czech Republic. Not unlike the GB Mixed team, these guys had also had some difficult losses and some positive results as well. As they so often say in this game – anything was possible and NED would make sure to put everything they had into this match. After a scorching day by the half way point of this game a nice cool breeze blew in and the sun faded out behind the haze making it that much more possible for our (and their) players to play their hearts out. Maybe it was skill, maybe it was the frustration of having lost their previous match, or maybe it was their delicious tournament organized bag lunches; whatever the cause, team Oranje went all out on both offense and defense, stifling the Czech attack and piling on the points. 7-3 at the half would turn into 13-5 by the end of the game. The team was pleased but also too busy getting mentally and physically ready for the following day’s challenges to celebrate. Some dinner, some treatment of sore muscles, and plenty of rest for tomorrow would feature matches against India, Canada, and The Philippines.