Leicester Tigers global partner club RC DIOK are Holland’s national rugby champions for the first time in 20 years following their victory in the play-off final in Amsterdam.
The team beat defending champions RC ‘t Gooi 12-20 to lift the Ereklasse league title.
RC DIOK joined the Tigers family in March 2018 joining Kuala Lumpur Tigers (Malaysia), Dendermonde RFC (Belgium), Delhi Hurricanes (India) and Rugby Colorno (Italy) in helping Tigers to grow the sport around the world.
A capacity crowd watched the action in the country’s capital and it was DIOK who opened the scoring with a 70 metre run from Samoan centre Oliva Sialau, with DIOK’s Ilie Greeve adding the conversion.
DIOK doubled the score shortly after as captain Ross Bennie-Coulson went over and Greeve added the extras to make the scores 0-14.
Just before half-time, DIOK capitalised on a defensive mistake by RC ‘t Gooi and kicked the subsequent penalty as the Leiden city led by 17 points at the break.
The second half saw RC ‘t Gooi score from a scrum on the DIOK’s five-metre line lining up an easy kick for the conversion and moments later, they added another score following a flowing move out wide to make the scores 12-17.
A penalty for DIOK managed to ease the nerves and the team held on to become national champions for the first time since the 1997-1998 season.
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte also joined in the celebrations with fans and the club.
Andy Egonu, head coach at RC DIOK, said after the match: “It means a lot to everybody. We’re super happy with the players and I’m lost for words.
“It’s emotional as we’ve worked so hard for this and the boys have put in so much, I told them this would be the reward – it’s their day.”
You can watch highlights of the match by clicking here.
Across the club, DIOK’s third and fourth teams also picked up their respective championships with the junior team also becoming Bowl Champions.
Find out more about all Tigers’ Global Partner Clubs at the link below.