For the Black & Yellows who were away with their countries, the Sunday that closed out the international break was another day of contrasting fortunes. As they did on Friday, the German national team again lost to France – although Alina Grijseels, Lisa Antl & Co. produced an improved performance and almost came back from a five-goal deficit at the interval.

The DHB team ultimately lost 30-29, however. Under time pressure, Grijseels was unable to find the net with her last throw, leaving the Germany camp – for whom a win had been within the realms of possibility – frustrated. But Antl drew a very positive conclusion, despite the results.

"I think that we've taken a huge step forward this week," declared the pivot, who was in the starting line-up for the second clash with the Olympics champions. "It was a friendly match and that gave us the opportunity to try some things out," she added.

It was clear that Antl and Grijseels have great chemistry. "Alina and I train together and have also played 60 minutes alongside each other in the last few games. You can see that we're very used to each other," said Antl, who did not manage to find the net. Grijseels converted three penalty throws and scored five goals.

Also on the scoresheet was Dutchwoman Zoë Sprengers, who helped the Netherlands to beat Switzerland 38-25 on the final matchday of the Golden League in Denmark. Yara ten Holte, who was voted Player of the Match in both of the first two games, was rested and spent the full 60 minutes on the substitutes' bench. Overall, the Dutch finished in second place behind Norway.

There will be almost no time to rest for the BVB players who were in international action, with Vfl Oldenburg set to visit Wellinghofen the day after tomorrow. Throw-off is at 19:30 CET; tickets are already available online.