Disclaimer: The author of the text would like to point out that she is well aware that the following is more of a psychological journey into the game than a proper match report. She is also well aware that it’s rather gloomy but she is hoping that you, the reader, will be able to read it to the end where it will be slightly more cheery.
Let me tell you the story of how we came apart as a team and had to wrestle with our own minds. This is the story of what happens if you loose heart during a game. The story of dark thoughts and a deafening silence on the pitch. The story of how a team gradually stopped being a unit until all that remained was fourteen women in matching jerseys on a pitch. But it isn’t just a story of gloom and despair. It’s also a story of how we found each other again after the game, and how we choose to tackle similar situations in the future. This is the story of our game against Malmö/Pingvin.
17 players and their coach travelled down to Trelleborg on a sunny Thursday morning to take on their local rivals. The weather was a bit on the hot side, but not so hot it was insufferable. We were all prepared to write the third chapter of our story.
The clock struck 1 pm and the game got started. Everyone looked cheery and threw themselves into the game with energy and determination in their hearts. It was an even struggle for possession of the ball with the game flowing back and forth across the pitch. Our scrums were not perfect but they worked, we all communicated well and we tried to play according to our game plan. For the first twenty minutes we played good rugby even if we allowed the opposition across our try line twice.
But gradually things started to change, and we allowed it to become a downward spiral. We all played on but for every remaining minute of the match we came apart more and more. All through the first half we remained a team, we still communicated and you could still see our love of the game in our play. For the second match in a row our line outs were near perfect, we tried to stop mauls and win the ball in the rucks. Our backs ran with gusto towards the try line every time they had ball in hand and it paid of. Emmy Westerdahl crossed the line and made her first try in a 15 a side game. When the half time whistle sounded the score was 22-5, and we still had every opportunity to turn the game around and secure a victory.
The second half is the story of silly mistakes. A story of the end of proper communications. A story of how we stopped being a unit of fifteen players working together and divided ourselves into smaller and smaller units working as one until we all were individuals on a pitch. It is the story of how we lost joy, love and heart. We continued to hold our heads high all through the game but the lack of heart was palpable. When the final whistle blew fourteen lionesses remained on the pitch.
The second half is also the story of how two players made their début on the team. Edith Brodda and Caroline Ahlgren came on during the second half of the second half. They held their ground in the scrums and we all look forward to follow their development on the pitch.
This is the story of how Kerstin Lövendahl, Malin Olofsson, Anne Franzén, Kristina Petersson, Gabriella Westerdahl, Caroline Lindberg, Mia-Maria Nordlund, Louise Ericsäter, Yesenia Medina, Anna Thynell, Jorun Borggren, Martina Vivlund, Teresia Bengtsson, Emmy Westerdahl, Maria Alvarez, Edith Brodda and Caroline Ahlgren came apart as a team and lost their ability to communicate. This is the story of our darkest moment of the season thus far (and hopefully it will remain so). But it is also the story of how we all after the game expressed our frustrations. The story of how we decided to not go back to that mental space again. This is the story of how we as a team never can allow ourselves to stop expressing our love of the game out on the pitch. We can take defeat but despair and self doubt have no place when we step out on the playing field. This is the story where it became clear, at least for the writer, that our biggest strength as a team is our love for each other and our love of rugby. If we bring that into our games we are truly unbeatable, no matter what the final score says. When we bring the love to the pitch we are truly lionesses ready to take on anything.
Final score: Malmö/Pingvin 72 – Lugi RK 5
Team awards: Yesenia Medina was crowned Lion Tackler and Anne Franzén became Rugby Queen.