Lugi Lions Log

Match Report: Ladies Win SM Round 1 Qualifier

Written by on April 24, 2016
Match Report: Ladies Win SM Round 1 Qualifier

With a long pre-season behind them it was finally time for the ladies to take on the rugby season’s premier 7s competition, SM 2016. With the new format across the country splitting Sweden up into North, West and South regions for qualifying places into the SM finals, the Lugi ladies have been pitted against Pingvin, Malmö and Ronneby in a series of four qualifying rounds.

Round one was to played in Trelleborg, home of the qualifiers number 1 ranked team, Pingvin, with Malmö ranked 2, Ronneby 3 and our ladies ranked 4th. With rankings based on various factors from last season, there was nothing for the ladies to be aggrieved about, but it certainly added a little more juice to the qualifier.

So, on a sunny Saturday in Skåne, Lugi set off down south with a squad of 9 girls, built around a growing core of experienced players and supplemented with a few new faces. The team sheet read as follows:

Top Row: Cecile Kaminski, Meliha Mehmeti, Malin Andersson, Sara Kaminski, Ross Watson (Coach)

Bottom Row: Sandra Olofsson, Martina Vivlund, Cornelia Nóren, Océane Chabrol, Elizabeth Sonnenholzner. 

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Game 1 vs. Pingvin

The ladies first game came against the hosts, Pingvin, which would provide us with a good measuring stick for how we would fair on the day. The girls started off well and capitalised on Pingvin mistakes to get themselves close to the home team’s line before Elizabeth broke over from close range with some strong running. The advantage would not be held for long however, after poor tackling from the ensuing kick off allowed a line break and a offload to see Pingvin in under the posts. Unperturbed, the ladies hit right back following a fantastic break from Sandra Olofsson, who’s run was well supported by both Martina and Elizabeth, leading to her slightly wayward pass being collected and taken in by Sonnenholzner for the score.

So far the story of the game had been about the porosity of the defence from both sides and Pingvin’s next possession didn’t break the trend, as following a lack of Lugi defensive pressure and a series of nice offloads, the home team went over yet again under the posts.

The Lugi ladies were also first to strike in the second half, as a penalty move straight off of the training ground was perfectly executed and allowed Martina to finish off the try with some strong running. Once again though, the positives for Lugi were evened out with a lack of defensive execution as Pingvin hit straight back, getting around the edge of the Lugi defence to score the last and decisive try of the game. The end result was an even game of three trys apiece, but decided by just one kick.

Following the game, the whole team was very pleased with their performance and the loss felt more like a win, having put on some good rugby and started strong. Our weakness in defence was identified and the team resolved to improve on it going forward.

Final Score: Lugi 17 – Pingvin 19

Game 2 vs. Malmö

Following their strong performance at Håckes Cup, our local rivals Malmö were always going to be strong contenders in the Southern qualifying pool. This contest opened up a lot tougher and tighter than our first game, with our tackling up to the expected standard and Malmö matching us. The ladies defensive pressure, which was so lacking in the first game, was the key to the opening score in game 2, as our defence smothered Malmös backs near their own line, eventually causing a turnover through a fumbled ball and Olofsson being quick to gather and score. Malmö then enjoyed a good spell of possession, albeit deep in their own half, keeping the ball tight around the ruck and working the blind before finally getting the ball wide to their speedster, who was able to get on the outside of our defence to get over the line for the score. Despite the disappointment of allowing their key player on our outside, the defensive chase to deny an easy two point conversion was an exemplary note of the team effort and work that has been developed over recent seasons.

In previous seasons, the ladies play has been marred by drops in confidence and an inability to respond following opposition scores. Therefore, on of the day’s big positives was the team’s ability to stick to the gameplay and play the full 14 minutes as if it was 0-0. Following Malmös score, our ladies were able to hit back with aplomb after Olofsson made a great break after a scrum won against the head, and took us deep into Malmö territory. The score was finished off by the day’s Player’s Player, Meliha, who spotted the space blind off the ensuing breakdown and ran down the line to take Lugi ahead 10-5.

From there the game evened up, with both teams enjoying a fair amount of possession and having attacking phases quashed by a mixture of good defence and errors. With a game that could have gone either way with only a single try in it, it was Lugi that finished the game off after Malmö gave away a penalty on their own 22, allowing Sonnenholzner to execute a near perfect chip and chase and see herself over the line on the last play.

Final Score: Lugi 15 – Malmö 5

Game 3 vs. Ronneby

The ladies final pool game came against a team that has slowly been on the rise in the south, and who are no longer to be taken lightly following a series of good results in recent tournaments. A win in this final pool game would give our girls a shot in the qualifier final against Pingvin.

After a spluttering start to the game from both teams, Lugi’s defensive pressure once again earned them a score, this time for Ronneby native Cornelia, who scooped up a Sonnenholzner offload to cross the whitewash. The following muffed kick-off and swarming Lugi defence allowed Elizabeth to get a score of her own and go under the posts following a nice step. With Ronneby looking a little deflated and following a series of mistakes near their own line, Martina was able to crash over for score number three following a close range penalty and a slick offload out the back from Sonnenholzner.

With the Lion’s tails up in the second half the play started to really flow and the girls once again got rewarded for their willingness to work in support of one another in the form of multiple offloads going to hand down the right flank before the ball finally landed into the arms of Vivlund on the wing, who tip-toed her way down the line for another score. The final high note of the game came from our flying French winger Océane, who found herself rewarded for her excellent support during the whole day as she finished off nicely following some slick hands and offload off a Ronneby turnover.

The remainder of the game served as a warning for the team, as attacking shape began to be lost and the girls fought a lot of their battles around the breakdown instead of out wide, leading to a scrappy finally quarter. Nonetheless, the ladies had deservedly put themselves through to the final and were happy with the rugby they had produced and their smothering defensive effort.

Final Score: Lugi 27 – Ronneby 0

Game 4, Final vs. Pingvin

Having secured themselves a place in the final, the Lugi Lions found themselves up against the team that had seen them off in the day’s opening game. The ladies confidence in themselves and their rugby had been building throughout the day and they were ready to take on the home team and the crowd in what promised to be an interesting encounter.

Similar to game one, the ladies got off to a flyer as following a scrum in our own half, Martina was able to take advantage of a slip in Pingvin’s midfield to go 80 meters untouched for the score. If ever there was an omen that this was the ladies final to take, it came on the ensuing conversion attempt as Martina’s conversion received a solid helping hand from the crossbar to get the ball over and take Lugi 7-0 in the lead.

Despite the good fortune, things got wobbly in the following minutes for Lugi as Pingvin pressure and a lack of handling execution saw the girls pushed back from the opposition’s 22 to nearly conceding at their own end on multiple occasions, saved only by some last ditch tackling and Pingvin handling errors.

It was said handling errors that allowed Lugi to get the opening score of the second half, as good awareness and work on the ground from Meliha allowed Martina to take advantage of an open blindside to run in for the score and take us to 14-0. With the minutes beginning to tick away, Pingvin started to exert some pressure on the Lugi line following a well placed clearance kick. Eventually this pressure from the white and black of the home team saw them over in the corner following a blindside move from an attacking scrum, clawing the score back to 14-5.

With only a minute left in the game, the hammer blow was delivered by Lugi following some mazy running by Mehmeti off the kick-off softened up the defence enough for Cornelia to put on a nice step and strong run to break the Pingvin line, before showing a clean pair of heels for the score.

With the score standing at 21-5, the game was dead and buried and our girls rightly celebrated an excellent qualifier win!

Final Score: Lugi 21 – Pingvin 5

Following a very successful day, the team was quite rightly overjoyed and thoroughly pleased with some of the rugby that was produced, but realised that there are plenty of aspects of their game that can be improved on and more hard work needs to be put in to up their game before the next round, which is sure to prove even more competitive. More than anything it showed the team the rewards that can be reaped from hard work and dedication on the training field and has given them a long awaited qualifier win.

Finally, a big thank you should be given to Pingvin for an impeccably run qualifier and all the teams involved for a great day of competitive games.

Team Awards

Player’s Player – Meliha Mehmeti

Newbie – Océane Chabrol

Coaches’ Player – Whole Team

Point Totals

M. Vivlund – 35

E. Sonnenholzer – 20

C. Norén – 10

M. Mehmeti – 5

S. Olofsson – 5

O. Chabrol – 5

 

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Match Report: Gents vs. Malmö

Written by on April 11, 2016
Match Report: Gents vs. Malmö

The report written below has been written by Joakim Thilén.

First game of the season. What can be better than to play against our rivals Malmö.
The game started off at a fairly high pace. After winning the ball back from the scrum. Lugi got a penalty right infront of the uprights. The penalty kick was called for but unfortunately missed. This occurred twice whilst Malmö managed to score a penalty kick in the first half.
Simon Lundqvist showed his skills as a rugbyplayer and scored a try for Lugi in the first half. To bad this was the only points scored by Lugi.
In the end of the first half unfortunately Jonno had to leave the field due to a split eyebrow as well as a headache (tackling technique is on the schedule…), replaced by Emil who stepped forward and showed the way.

Malmö displayed their backline skills that Lugi’s defense had a tough time to stop. Malmös hard running backs gave them the tries needed to win the game.
Due to Malmö being quick and strong into the rucks Lugi spent a lot of time defending which was done well with a lot of heart. Sebbe Hylander took on a lot of work in defense which saved the Lugi Lions several times.

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In the second half Lugi received a yellow card. Which made Lugi struggle even more in defense, After the yellow card was played out Lugi fired up with some new found energy and stepped up to Malmös good rucking.
Sebbe Hylander found himself at scrumhalf between the backs and the forwards. The backs yelled for the ball to be played wide while the forwards screamed for short balls and pick ‘n’ goes. Therefore happened what’s described next:
In the last 15 minutes of the second half Lugi decided to display some old school rugby. By doing crash balls and pick ‘n’ goes for 15 minutes straight. This type of rugby was successful and showed the capability of the forwards in the team (Emil, Viktor and Axel deserves a mention for their hard work).
Lucas played his first game of rugby today and did so with great courage and heart.
Unfortunately Lugi where found defeated with 35-5 when the final whistle blew. This first game of the season showed Lugi what has to be worked on for the future.

Here is a short report written by me. My thoughts about the game.

Håckes Report – Ladies

Written by on March 15, 2016
Håckes Report – Ladies

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As has become customary, the Swedish rugby year got kicked off with Håckes Cup in Tipshallen, Växjö. With the ladies section expanding to twelve teams this year, seeding had taken place for the drawing of groups and the ladies found themselves in what many would consider the toughest group, facing last year’s champions Gothenburg, perennial contenders Tabusoro Angels, and a always physical Vänersborg team.

With the original idea of going as North 2 South, the team had been open to players from across Sweden as a form of invitational team to start with, but with a strong turnout from our own players (unusual, we know), we decided for the team to go as Lugi and add in a couple of extra girls.

In the end the team sheet read: Malin Andersson, Tyra Bremborg, Cecile Kaminski, Sara Kaminski, Agnes Lindgren, Meliha Mehmeti, Sandra Olofsson, Elizabeth Sonnenholzner, Ida Tadic, Martina Vivlund with Josefine Devine (Uppsala), Sara Sundler (Uppsala) and Maddy Sala (Wexiö).

The focus for the tournament, as with previous Håckes Cups, was put on working on the basics of 7s play, learning to play with our newer players, and getting our rugby legs back under us before the upcoming season of SM 7s.

With the first game against Vänersborg, the team set its sights on what was realistically their most winnable game going on Gothenburg and Tabusoro’s recent history. One thing the team has always seemed to lack in the past was the ability to start fast, but this year the team turned things on their head and were clearly the side that were ready to play from the off. Lots of early defensive pressure and some lovely attacking play allowed Agnes Lindgren in for the first score. Pressure from the following kick off and Vänersborg giving away a penalty close to their own line allowed Elizabeth Sonnenholzner to increase the lead with step inside that secured a quick brace and a 14-0 lead.

In the second half, the game evened up considerably, with both teams committing errors to put themselves under unwanted pressure. However, it was Vänersborg’s who took advantage following a Lugi turnover in midfield, as their speedster was gifted an almost unchallenged run in for a try. In previous seasons, this might have been a cause for heads to drop, but Lugi riposted immediately from the ensuing kick off with Sonnenholzner identifying the space and having beaten two defenders executed a textbook 2v1 to see Martina Vivlund rewarded for her close support with a run in try from half way.

The remained of the game was played out in the opposition’s half, with the ladies being unable to take advantage of the added pressure they put on. Final score, Lugi 19 – Vänersborg 7.

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Following a very good start to the tournament, spirits were high, but with two of the tournaments best teams left to face, the players knew we were in for a fight in our last two games of day one. Unfortunately, neither game turned out to be much of a contest with Gothenburg and Tabusoro both running in 40 points on our girls. A combination of team rotation, inexperience and the higher class of opposition meant that our girls were ever really in the games, despite having very positive spells in both. Despite the scoreline, the team learnt some valuable lessons and felt more than prepared for day two in the bowl competition.

 

Click here to watch the games on Youtube

 

Due to the aforementioned seeding and perhaps a lack of competition foresight, the girls were drawn to face Vänersborg again to open up the second day.  The opening to the game was a lot more even in comparison to the first contest, with both teams having good spells of possessions and scrambling well in defence following promising breaks. Once again, Lugi were the first to strike following a tap penalty near the oppositions line and some quick hands, Meliha Mehmeti crashed over in the corner after a quick step inside. The rest of the half played out in a similar fashion, with both teams creating good openings but ultimately failing to finish opportunities. The second half then became a tense affair, once again both teams matching each other evenly and absorbing periods of sustained pressure. However, it was Lugi that were the first to crack following some poor decision making in their own 22 and turning over possession to Vänersborg, with the team from the west quickly taking advantage and managing to get themselves over in the corner following some strong running.

With the game on a knife edge and bodies and brains beginning to tire, it was Vänersborg that ultimately made the step up, scoring almost immediately from the following kick off after a Lugi mistake at the breakdown. With only a couple of minutes to go, and a score down, Lugi got a final chance after some quick thinking and a good break from Martina Vivlund got the team deep into the oppositions 22, ultimately however the attack fizzled out following a little poor handling and good defensive pressure. With desperation setting in, Vänersborg managed to run in the final score of a hotly contested game in the dying seconds and with that the Lugi Ladies were sent into the 11th-12th place playoff to face Sandviken Old Stars.

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Despite the disappointment of the mornings earlier loss, the team was resolute that they would finish the weekend with a win against the team that had been ranked fifth coming into the tournament, despite having failed to record a win in any of their games. The Old Stars were unfortunately low on numbers and morale and whilst you can only beat the team that’s in front of you, the game ended up being a one way affair as Lugi ran in 36 points to 0, even if they had had a penalty-ridden opening three minutes. A big positive from the game was the playing time given to some of our lesser experienced girls and the ability to try new combinations of players whilst still keeping our foot on the pedal. Whilst it may not have been the greatest game to finish on, it was still good to go home with another win.

All in all, the team enjoyed their weekend, learning together and playing some good rugby. The lessons learned from our opening tournament will be invaluable as we move into the season and we will continue to build.

Annual General Meeting 2016

Written by on February 20, 2016

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This year’s AGM will be held on the 3rd of April, 12:00 at the clubhouse. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Any motions that you want to bring to the board need to be sent to st.landgren(at)gmail.com before the 13th of March. See you there!

Time for Membership Fees

Written by on February 7, 2016

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It’s that time of year and with our treasurers email going out just before the weekend, here’s the info you need to know to get your membership paid.

The account to pay to is Plusgiro 797887-7.

The types of memberships are as follows;

Support Membership: 300 SEK

Kids, Youth & Old Boys: 600 SEK

Senior Half Year/Full Year: 800/1500 SEK

Family Membership: 800 SEK

Please make it clear who and what is being paid for on your bank message.

Regards,

Björn Wennerlund, Treasurer.