The Rhine-Neckar lions have had to accept the first defeat in the Handball Bundesliga after nine consecutive victories. On the 13th day of the game, the previously undefeated Mannheimer in Table Five MT scores were 26:29 (13:15). The foxes Berlin and the SG Flensburg Handewitt profited from the title defender’s slip.
While Berlin expanded the table leadership with an unprecedented 37:29 (17:14) victory at GWD Minden and now 23:5 points, Flensburg moved with a 38:23 (20:9) edge against the Rising TV Huttenberg and 21:5 counters to the lions (20:4) past place two. Flensburg has one, however. The lions completed two games less than the Berliners.
The first brother-duel between European champion Kai Hafer of Hanover-Burgdorf and the seven years younger top talent Max Hafer (21) of the TVB Stuttgart decided the Lower Saxons with 27:20 (16:11) for themselves and with 19:7 points consolidated the fourth table place. Kai Hefner advanced with five hits to the top score of the game, his young brother once hit the net. The THW Kiel had no problems: the last crispy former series champion remained undefeated at 29:19 (16:12) against the TBV Lemgo for the sixth consecutive time in a row.
The last of the touring bands and the much discussed two games in Leipzig and Barcelona plagued lions within 25 hours They also set off furiously in the Kasseler Rothenbach-Halle and led to 13-minute 8:3. The closer the half-time came, the heavier the legs became. At the break (15:13) Melsungen had already dropped the game.
Led by the huge national player Julius Kuhn (9 goals) and the outstanding Keeper Nebojsa Simic Melsung further expanded the lead in the second pass up to 20:15. The lions arrived at 22:20 and 23:21 once again except for two goals, but songs remained cool and made the ninth season victory perfect.
“We were not smart enough, not smart enough in the head,” said Lion director Andy Schmid at “Sky”: “We had four days break before the game. To say we had no more strength would be a cheap alibi.”