In Oisterwijk, foreign players take a piece of rugby culture with them: ‘They are all hard workers’ | Regional sports

Despite several signings from abroad, the rugby players from Oisterwijk Oysters lost their first league game of the season 12-36 van ‘t Gooi. Nevertheless, the Argentine Matias Pfaff looks forward to the upcoming duels with confidence.

Looking at Oysters’ position, it is notable that several new foreign players have joined Oisterwijk’s ranks. Including four players from New Zealand, the cradle of rugby: Damon Hurley, Matt Collins, Toafa Touli and Taualai Tofilau. In addition, South African Rickson John and Argentines Bauti Casabella and Matias Pfaff are also playing in oyster blue this season.

Fairy tale

How do these players end up at Oysters? The board of Oysters emphasizes that foreign players do not get paid to come and play at the club. Housing is provided for them, however, and the players are helped, if necessary, to find a job so that they can support themselves here. Many of these players see it as an adventure to play abroad for a while. Some of the boys work as expats in the Brainport region and also enjoy playing rugby at a high level.

Pfaff is in his second season with the Oysters. “I really enjoy being at this club,” he says. “Many of the boys on the team have played together since childhood and are friends. But new players are also welcome. Oysters is truly a ‘family club’. Of course, sometimes I miss my own family in Argentina, but I think it’s cool to be here and develop and learn new things.”

Still a lot of work to do

The Argentine looks back on the first competitive match against ‘t Gooi with mixed feelings. “I think we have taken a big step forward compared to last season, but we still have a lot of work to do as a team. It is especially important that everyone becomes more attuned to each other. ‘t Gooi wasn’t even that much stronger than we were, but I played better together as a team. That made the big difference in this game.”

In the duel with ‘t Gooi, for which Oisterwijker Daan van der Avoird also plays, Oysters were already behind 0-7 within two minutes. But due to the strong interplay between, among others, Ralf Steenbakker and Toon van Spaandonk, Isaac Kense was able to squeeze in the first Oisterwijk try of the season within ten minutes. Pfaff took advantage of the conversion and got the equaliser. After this, ‘t Gooi proved to be a size too big and the team took a 7-19 lead. A fine try by Kense brought the Oysters back to 12-19 but that was it for the Oisterwijk points. ‘t Gooi won the match 12-36.

Added value

Pfaff expects the international reinforcements coming to the Oysters this season will certainly be of added value to the club. “They are all hard-working and good players who bring something extra to the pitch. This ensures that we as a team will have more opportunities this season to bring in players who can correct situations in a match. In addition, these guys all bring a piece of new rugby culture to Oisterwijk. It will certainly help lift the game of rugby in Oysters to a higher level.”

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