Disclaimer: The writer would like to point out that this isn’t so much a report as it is an attempt to tell a story. It’s highly subjective and it sums up my impressions as I watched the game from the sideline for 75 of it’s 80 minutes. Details have been lost but yours truly is quite pleased with it.
Let me tell you the story of how a group of 18 rugby players and their coach traveled to Gothenburg for their first game of the season. It’s a story of courage, bravery, magic on the pitch, hard work and big hearts. It’s the story of a team with one player on the national team and six players whom made their 15 a side debut taking on a team with six players on the national team. It’s the story of a game where fear of pain and tackles had no place. It’s the story of how 18 players performed as a team. Where the joint efforts created the magic and everyone played at the top of their game at least once during the match.
This is a story where the scoreboard really doesn’t tell the full story. Where the final score would lead you to believe that Gothenburg just walked across the pitch and scored whenever they wanted to. This was not the case.
This is the story of how the first half of the game was a close cut contest. We denied them to cross the line and they shot down our efforts to cross their line. It was a very physical game. We didn’t loose ball due to knock-ons or missed passes, we lost it in the rucks and in the scrums. The latter happened due to the opposing teams love of wheeling once the ball was put in, something we wasn’t yet ready to withstand.
This is the story of how in the first half of the game Lugi defended their try line like the pros. We forced Gothenburg to move from our left side of the pich to the right side, back all the way to the left before they finally managed to score under the goal posts.
This is the the story of how our back line, who played together for the first time, distributed the ball safely amongst themselves and tried to break through the opposing teams defense. This is the story of how our forwards sorted out their scrummaging, that initially didn’t work as it should, and was beautifully square for the rest of the game.
This is the story of how Gothenburg put on their national team players during the second half and it became an even tougher game. Lugi kept their heads high and kept on fighting for every inch, not willingly giving anything away for free. And even though our technical skills and stamina might be a little lacking we showed that we are capable of fighting back. Never underestimate the heart of a lioness.
This is the story of Anne Franzén, who played her third game. She tackled, rucked, ran and propped like there was no tomorrow. After the match she, well deservingly, received the Rugby Queen crown.
This is the story of Yessie Medina, playing her first match. She’s small, fast, hard hitting and she sure got her job done in the scrums.
This is the story of Emmy Westerdahl, playing her first match. In the scrum she stood her ground as prop despite the verbal abuse, she tried on the role of the flanker before finally moving out to play winger for the last part of the game. But most of all, she tackled like her life depended on it. She was there in most of the rucks and she brought numerous opponents to the ground. She rightfully earned the Lion tackler crown after the game.
This is the story of the second rowers Louise Ericsäter and Gabriella Westerdahl. With their experience of the game they wasn’t just the powerhouse of the scrum they also brought experience and leadership to the field. A good tip to any new forward on the team is to just follow them on the pitch and you will end up where the action is.
This is the story of Kerstin Lövendahl, Caroline Lindberg and Mia-Maria Nordlund, our third row of experienced players. Basically, all three of them were all over the place, in a good way, enjoying themselves in the break down area. Kerstin was the one who made our two tries, and the conversion, thanks to quickly taken penalties.
This is the story of Malin Olofsson, the scrum half who safely steered the game and set up the plays.
This is the story of Anna Thynell who played her first game as number 10. And what a way to make her début! She had a firm grip on the play and it will be interesting to follow her development in her new position.
This is the story of Jorun Borggren who wore the number 11 jersey. She didn’t play the hole game but during the 60 minutes she was on she ran and tackled without fear and hesitation. Her channel was in no way an easy way to reach our tryline.
This is the story of Martina Vivlund and Teresia Bengtsson, both playing their first 15 a side game. Martina might be the fiercest player I’ve ever seen on a pitch. Teresia wasn’t far behind in intensity and they both showed great will and great promise for the future. You wouldn’t have thought it was their first game if you didn’t know it.
This is the story of Malin Andersson fighting her fights in the number 14 jersey. Taking on the opposition and fighting a good fight.
This is the story of Maria Alvarez, the full back without mercy. Her presence, hard work and experience gave the other backs the courage to relax and try to play their own game. Because no matter what, Maria was there scooping up balls and getting the game going again.
This is the story of Cecilia Palm and My Sundberg, both making their débuts during the second half of the game. They came, they played and they bravely took on the opposition. They held their ground in the scrums and the handled the ball securely. We all look forward to watch them develop over the season.
This is the story of Kristina Petersson who played for five minutes, and tried to be as useful as she could during that time.
So, let me tell you the story of how 18 players travelled to Gothenburg for the first game of the season. The story of a game with the final score Gothenburg 78 – Lugi 12. This is a story of a game where the new and the old lionesses played beyond their individual levels and came together as a group, as a team. It’s a story of courage, bravery, magic on the pitch, hard work and big hearts. This is where the story of the 2011 season starts.