In their 28 years of history, never before have Trocadero Marbella Rugby Club embarked on a season with such ambition and optimism. Now in their second season in the Division of Honour B, the club has strengthened in all areas, on and off the pitch, in their pursuit to make Marbella a name synonymous with top-level rugby.
The club has reinforced an already strong squad with nine top quality players, four of whom are from Argentina: Pablo Castro Moyano, Manuel Paniagua, Luciano Rivero and Santiago Pando. They have all joined thanks to grants offered by the International Institute of Languages, a backer of the new project.
Promotion to the top flight won’t be a formality, though. Marbella will be just one of 36 clubs competing for two promotion places. They will play 22 matches during the regular season, and by 28 January, it will be clear whether they are in contention for promotion when the playoffs begin.
Marbella are competing in Group C with the majority of opponents from Madrid (Olímpico de Pozuelo, CRC Pozuelo, Complutense Cisneros, CD Arquitectura, Alcobendas B, Liceo Francés and Industriales Las Rozas), one from Extremadura (CAR Cáceres) and three local derbys (Ciencias Sevilla, Universidad de Granada and Unión Rugby Almería).
The top two teams from groups A, B and C, as well as the two best third-placed teams go into a ten-team play-off competition for one automatic promotion place. The team which comes second then plays against the team placed second from bottom in the top flight for the final promotion spot.
Trocadero Marbella got the new campaign off to a strong start on a big day at Bahia’s Park which welcomed in the new season with a number of events in the build-up to the game as well as after.
The atmosphere around the ground, created by around 300 supporters, ensured that the hosts got off to the best start possible, recording their first try within three minutes, courtesy of Santi Pando.
However, the tide soon turned when Charlie Riches was sinbinned and Industriales took a lead that they would hold until the 80th minute.
An impressive 16-point tally from Lucas Pomposiello kept the hosts in the game right until the dying moments when Lupi’s two tries, in the 72nd and 80th minutes respectively, both converted by Pomposiello, completed the epic comeback, 31-28, which was met with delirium from the home fans, excited for the long season ahead.
While the opening-day entertainment will be hard to match, the club hopes that this is only the beginning and took the opportunity to remind those present that a season ticket can be purchased for just 30 euros.