Lugi Lions Log

Ladies Win SM Plate

Written by on July 13, 2016
Ladies Win SM Plate

Following the ladies successfully SM qualification campaign in which a third place finish in the Southern group qualified them for group B of the SM finals, our girls were in Norrköping last weekend to compete for the top spots in Swedish 7s rugby.

Our group pitted us against local rivals Malmö as well as Vänersborg from the West and Stockholm Exiles from the northern group, a tough group with the team having a relatively mixed history in terms of past results against each of their opponents. For this group of Lugi Ladies, it was their first SM as a unit and was always seen as a building block towards future competitions.

The team was as follows (from top left);

Ross Watson (coach), Elizabeth Sonnenholzner, Agnes Lindgren, Sara Kaminski, Linnéa Roslund, Cecile Kaminski.

Sandra Olofsson, Meliha Mehmeti, Malin Andersson, Martina Vivlund, Cornelia Norén.

Ladies New tops

The Saturday opened with the girls taking on eventual finalists Vänersborg in the blazing heat of midday, in what was considered to be one of our winnable matches. Unfortunately, it appeared that nerves and the opposition got the better of the girls as any semblance of the gameplay appeared to be thrown out of the window from the kickoff and the ensuing battles at the breakdown were inevitably won by the more physical Vänersborg team. Lugi hung tough despite the early scores by the opposition, but with a lack of execution in attack or pressure in defence Vänersborg eventually ran out as comfortable winners 20-5.

Following the disappointment of the first game, the team took on group favourites Stockholm Exiles who, despite having numerous girls away on national duty, were still  very strong, physical outfit. Despite the relatively short rest between the games, our girls came out and put in a much stronger performance, creating some good opportunities to take command of the game in the first half. Despite these chances it was Exiles who took a 10-0 lead following Lugi mistakes at the lineout and defensively from a penalty. The girls would finish the first half strongly after a sustained period of pressure and nifty handling work saw Agnes go over to leave the half time score at 10-5.

However, the second half saw the Exiles step it up a gear, controlling the ball well and never letting our girls find the rhythm they had built at the end of the first half, putting a further three trys past us to take the final score to 25-5.

With the prospects of making the cup semi-finals very slim, the girls went into the Saturday’s final game against Malmö with nothing to lose, and motivated by a chance to get one over on our rivals who had beaten Vänersborg 12-7 earlier in the day.

The game our ladies produced was light years apart from what they had displayed earlier in the day, executing the game plan well and working so hard that we blew the opposition off the pitch. For a team that we’ve had back and forth battles against all year, to beat them so comfortably really proved to the team what was possible if they executed what had been worked on in training. First half trys came from Meliha, Martina and Sandra, with Meliha crossing over for one more in the second half. Whilst Malmö scored one on the very last play of the game, it was merely a small blip on the dominance of the Lugi performance for all 14 minutes.

With a win in the last game, the girls finished third in the group behind surprise group winners Vänersborg and Exiles in second, setting us up for a plate semi-final against the bottom of group A, Kalmar.

The fortune of coming third on the Saturday, meant a slightly later kick off for our ladies against a Kalmar team that had struggled with numbers on the Saturday, but had been bolstered by some late reinforcements come Sunday morning.

The big positive for our girls was that they started exactly how they had finished the previous day, controlling play for large periods of the first half with plenty of defensive and attacking pressure. First half trys came from Martina spotting a game following a lineout and and a opportunist Meliha displaying her footballing skills following some Kalmar handling errors.

Meliha carriedThe second half started much like the first, with an early try coming from Martina following a quickly taken penalty. From there however, Lugi’s luck began to turn. Firstly an error on our kick off lead to Kalmar securing a quick score and pulling the game back to 19-7 before tragically, a tackle ended Meliha’s weekend in a broken leg mere minutes later. This was naturally a low moment of the weekend as the team lost one of the girls that had really stepped up and shined, something that became apparent when she picked up both the players’ player and coaches’ player award. Fortunately Meliha is ok and should heal quickly.

 

The rest of the game became a very nervy affair for the ladies as Kalmar really started to gain some self-belief and began to control the second half’s proceedings. When they pulled the score back to 19-12 with around minute left on the clock, the game looked like it had a chance to going to extra time with the way Kalmar had been playing, fortunately however, the refs whistle drew an end to proceedings before the girls in blue could add any more scores.

With the win, the ladies earned themselves a long rest and a spot in the plate semi-final against the old foe Malmö.

Note: No footage of the final game due to our cameraman helping Meliha at the hospital.

The last game our the 7s year would see us having a chance of silverware in the plate final against Malmö, a team that we had managed to handle easily the day before, but one that everyone knew would come out firing after the smarting they had received in our group match.

The message to the team before they ran out was to dig deep and push themselves past wall they would eventually hit after four intense games of 7s. On this front they delivered with aplomb. Once again, the execution of the game plan and the high work rate proved far too much for Malmö, with our defensive pressure forcing them into mistakes and our width in attacking making them work very hard to defend us. First half trys were scores by Elizabeth and Martina put us into the driving seat, and once the team had established themselves, they never looked like relenting having taken the lesson from our previous game against Kalmar.

Whilst Malmö fought hard, they were unable to constantly threaten with the ball, only scoring once with a few minutes to go, whilst Lugi managed to go over twice more in the second through Sandra and Martina. Final score Lugi 24 – 5 Malmö and a plate coming home to Lund!

Plate Win

 

Ladies Qualify for SM Finals

Written by on June 6, 2016

Ladies Team Photo - Roneby

Following the four SM qualifiers, the teams that will be making their way to Norrköping this summer for SM Week have been confirmed, and our ladies team are amongst them. Having collected 48 points in the qualifying process and finishing third in the region’s qualifier, we join the seven other qualifiers from the three qualifying regions.

The ladies have been seeded in group B where they will face Northern group winners Stockholm Exiles, West second place finishers Vänersborg and our old rivals from the south Malmö RC, who finished just above us in second place in the southern qualifier.

Having missed out on SM Week last year, the girls should be rightfully road of their achievement in a tough group and will need to step up their game again to try and place at the top of the final standings.

Martina selected as a reserve for European Championships

Written by on May 24, 2016

Martina EM

The club would like to congratulate on her selection as a reserve for the Swedish Ladies 7s squad for round 1 of the European Championships to be held in Ricany, Czech Republic next month. Good luck to everyone involved!

Match Report: Ladies SM Qualifier Round 3 – Trelleborg

Written by on May 24, 2016
Match Report: Ladies SM Qualifier Round 3 – Trelleborg

Going into the penultimate round of the ladies SM qualifier, our girls were still atop of the qualifier rankings, and with tough and even games with the rest of the group in previous rounds, everyone knew round 3 would be just as competitive.

The team that made the short trip down to Trelleborg was unchanged from the previous weekend and was as follows:

Malin Andersson, Océane Chabrol, Cecile Kaminksi, Sara Kaminski, Agnes Lindgren, Cornelia Norén, Meliha Mehmeti, Elizabeth Sonnenholzner and Martina Vivlund.

Ladies SM Round 3 - Trelleborh

Game 1 vs. Pingvin

Having faced an understrength Pingvin side in the previous round, everyone knew that we would be faced with a stronger Pingvin side on their home patch, and as expected the girls from Trelleborg turned up this weekend at full strength.

Despite this, it was Lugi who were first to get on the scoreboard following their own scrum early on in the half, which having scrappily been hooked out, was cleaned up by Sonnenholzner who sent the ball on it’s way down the back line and eventually ending up in the hands of Martina, who cruised across the line to make it 5-0 to Lugi.

Sadly for our girls however, it would turn around from that moment in the favour of the home side, with our ladies not getting much of a say in the rest of the game. The remainder of the match can be summed up simply as our ladies not being able to secure their own possession from set pieces and Pingvin being a lot more aggressive in and around the contact area, leaving the team with only scraps to live off. With Pingvin converting their chances as they came along, they eventually ran out easy winners, putting our ladies on the back foot in the race to finish in the final.

Final Score: Lugi 5 – 25 Pingvin

Game 2 vs. Ronneby

The day’s second game saw us taking on the team that lay bottom of the series rankings, Ronneby, a team that had been strengthened from the previous week with the addition of some players from their farmer team, Wexiö.

As usual, Ronneby were no pushovers, as despite heavy defensive pressure from Lugi, they eventually broke round on the outside of our defence, only for Sandra to make the try saving tackle down the touchline. Having once again failed to execute their own set piece, Lugi conceded possession to Ronneby, but our Lionesses were the ones to benefit off of the ensuing phase of possession after Ronneby’s handling errors popped the ball up into the arms of the awaiting Sonnenholzner, who took off up the middle of the pitch before passing the ball into the waiting arms of Vivlund to take under the posts for the try.

From there the team got into a little tussle (metaphorically!) with the referee, with the man in the middle asserting his dominance and pinning our girls back time and again. But it was Lugi who would put the next points on the scoreboard, following a scrummage win against the head and some quick hands to Cornelia in the centre, who streaked away to extend Lugi’s lead to 12-0.

Having dominated the first half on the scoreboard, the second half would see Ronneby reverse that trend as they won the second half 12-7, with Elizabeth scoring Lugi’s only try. From a performance perspective the team learnt that mentally dropping focus can cause problems even against sides that should be handled easily, and whilst the win was a positive on the day, there was much still to work on.

This game would also see the team losing Sonnenholzner for the remainder of the round following the re-aggrivation of a small niggle suffered during the previous week’s competition.

Final Score: Lugi 19 – 12 Ronneby.

Game 3 vs. Malmö

Having lost to Malmö twice in the previous round’s games, the team knew that this was not only a big game in terms of determining who went into the day’s final, but also in terms of trying to regain a little of the lost pride from the previous weekend’s defeats.

However, whilst round 2’s games were fairly close, this one turned into a one sided affair in favour of Malmö. Whilst our ladies enjoyed a great deal of possession, protecting the ball well and stringing together multiple phases, they were unable to find a way through the Malmö defence. Whilst the opposition can be commended for their grit without the ball, Lugi only had themselves to look to as it was the team’s inability to get the ball to the space and around the opposition that proved to be decisive.

The first half, although resulting in a 12-0 Malmö lead, was a well played and even affair, with scores only coming off of well taken opportunities, nothing for our girls to be unhappy with. But it was the second half that was to hurt the most from a Lugi perspective as Malmö seemed to go uncontested in their quest to get over the whitewash, eventually running the score up to 31 points in their favour.

With that said, Lugi can be proud of how they finished the game, having finally got around the edge of the oppositions defence with a break from Martina and following some good support play from the rest of the team, Sandra Olofsson was able to dot down over the line to finish the game on a high.

Final Score: Lugi 7 – 31 Malmö.

3rd Place Playoff vs. Ronneby

Whilst the ladies dropped down into the lower half of the final placings matches, it was still all to play for, as in such a tight qualifier, it was key to come away with the 10 points awarded to the 3rd place finisher. Once again the girls faced Ronneby, who had failed to beat us on any occasion so far this season, but had pushed us close earlier in the day.

Again the ladies ended up in a tight and tense match, that saw an early try for Lugi coming through the tough running of Sara Kaminski as she crossed the line from close range. But with Ronneby finished the half strong with their own try, the second half was massive in terms of our SM qualification.

Lugi managed to keep their trend of starting the halves on the front foot when Martina broke through the oppositions line to take the score to 12-5. Unfortunately for Lugi, that was not to be the killing blow, as Ronneby were able to claw themselves to within two points with only minutes to spare, making it anyones game as the clock wound down. However, any worry that the Lugi coaching staff had after Ronneby’s try, was immediately quashed following the kickoff, as a safe recovery by Agnes enabled her to go forward in order to create a nice offload opportunity for the awaiting Cornelia, who stormed 60 meters for the decisive try.

Finals Score: Lugi 17 – 10 Ronneby.

With that, the ladies secured a third place finish and 10 points, leaving us joint top of the table on 42 with Malmö going into the last SM qualifier on the 4th of June in Malmö.

Whilst the ladies place at SM Veckan is not ensured yet, a 3rd place finish in the next round is enough for qualification no matter what happens in the other two regions, whilst a fourth place finish would see us depending on Enköping not winning the next North qualifier to get us to Norrköping. (*disclaimerthis is according to the coaches math skills and interpretation of the qualifier rules, thus not 100% certain).

Point Totals

M. Vivlund – 26

C. Norén – 10

S. Olofsson – 5

E. Sonnenholzner – 5

S. Kaminski – 5

Match Report: Gents vs. Pingvin B

Written by on May 22, 2016
Match Report: Gents vs. Pingvin B

Match Report by Joacim Thilén

Since the third half was long and wet, today’s report will be a bit shorter…

Saturday’s game could have become the game that would be called the comeback of the year or even the decade. In the first half Lugi where struggling to keep the defensive line especially when Pingvin shifted the ball across their backline. This resulted in several tries that all were converted.

Not helping in the first half was a yellow card given to myself. No need to take the details, but it was a fair call and stupidly made by me.

After a hard first half that ended 28-0 to Pingvin. In the paus Lugi talked a lot about keep fighting and not giving up. From the sideline it was also clear that Lugis attack was effective as long as we cut out the mistakes.

For the second half most of the bench was subbed in. Its interesting how much easier it is to see the weak points when you are on the sideline. So the new players coming on knew what had to be done to stop the try-machine Pingvin.

In the second half Lugi really fired up and started to play with the passion that the game required. The centers started to put in some serious tackles in the backline which was very effective to stop Pingvin attacking. Lugi also started to stick to the game plan that has been worked on. Several planned moves were executed with accuracy close to perfection. And now this was starting to show on the scoreboard.

In the last play of the game Lugi had the ball and the score was 29-33 in advantage of Pingvin. Lugi worked hard to try once again to steal the candy from the children. Unfortunately Pingvins defense stepped up and the final whistle was blown.
Final score 29-33 to Pingvin.

A round of applause should go to the following:
The two headgeared South Africans who showed how rugby should be played.
The surfer, who makes it look so easy to run around an entire team by yourself.
Björn Davidsson for running the touchflag on the far-side. Its small thing to do, but its a great help to the team!!!

I hate to loose. The only thing that comforted me in this sad moment was the fact that Lugi stepped up big time in the second half and never gave up the game.

Men vs Pingvin B

Tries:
Viktor Cordes 2
Anele Gela 1
Jordan Foster 1
Francois 1

Conversions:
Tobias Magnusson 4 points