Monthly Archives: May 2012

Lugi vs Helsingborg, May 19

So it was time for the first home game of the league for the men’s team. The boys started to arrive at 12 to watch the ladies game before but sadly not all players came, not only for the girls game but neither for their own game. This led to some last minute reshuffling and marked the long awaited return for Dion ”Terminator” Granström to his least preferred position, loosehead prop. This was however not a weakness as it led to a balanced front row with Tadas ”the tank” Valutis next to Magnus ”happy face” Andersson.

So the game kicked off with Antonio ”can’t chug a beer” Privitera taking the kick-off. The ball seared through the air with Jordan ”I tackle with my adam’s apple” Hayes chasing it. The sight of our no.7 (first time in the forwards) charging at them proved to be too much and they let it bounce into touch after fumbling with the ball. From the resulting lineout Lugi played through the phases, tried a few Sonny Bills with Viktor ”Sonny” Cordes proving the ineffectiveness of repeated offloads. Anyhow, Lugi came closer to the magic white line when Joseph punched his way over with the 8 odd Helsingborg forwards over and under him. No try given, ball held up. From the resulting Lugi scrum from 5 meters out from which Jim ”did I score?” White bounced of a flanker and dived over. Unfortunately the conversion was missed.

The game went on and the first scare came only minutes after when the ”Terminator” complained about his latest system upgrade on his right leg was malfunctioning. Moments after he had been patched up Helsingborg threatened in attack down the right and had a 3 on 2 overlap. Jim rushed up and put in a beauty of a hit on the chest of the Helsingborg no 10. A loud bang was heard and whilst everyone gasped for air and prepared for the Helsingborg 10 to be taken off the field, he had no such plans and bounced up from the ground. Jim, however was left knocked out from his own hit. After realizing he didn’t even remember his own try he was taken off the field and rushed to the hospital. This saw a change of the rhythm of the game. Edwin ”mini-terminator” Klint-Bywater came on to the field, but Lugi had none-the-less lost their coach and experienced number 8 which led to a re-shuffle in the forwards. It also led to increased stress on the field and a number of heart attacks on the sideline.

The game remained open but the feeling was that Helsingborg were starting to get the upper hand and felt more dangerous. For example Lugi had a great ball deep down in the Helsingborg 22 but tried yet one more off-load from the normally steady hands of Adam ”security” Borg. The ball went to the ground, Helsingborg picked it up and started a daring counter attack that came to an end just outside the Lugi 5 meter line after a courageous tackle from Simon ”breakaway” Pinsky where the Helsingborg player was driven to touch. Unfortunately this marked the tipping point of the first half and gave Helsingborg the momentum for the the remaining 25 minutes of the first half. They became the dominant side and Lugi started to panic more and more. Helsingborg scored two tries in the half. The first from a maul from a lineout where the Helsingborg no.8 picked the ball and dived over the line. Despite the courageous body positioning of Denis ”the menace” Hellebuyck, Helsingborg dived on the other side of the maul… The other try came on the wing close to the touch line as David ”tattoo” found himself flatfooted in a one on one against there winger, despite the courageous efforts from ”Sonny” who nearly pushed the Helsingborg wing to the sideline. Lugi 5 – Helsingborg 10 was the halftime score.

During the break Lugi came in and laid down the strategy for the upcoming half, a strategy simple and yet so effective. The essence was to calm down and play with more composure and let the rest take care of itself. Up until this moment the Lugi lads had hardly broken a sweat apart of ”can’t chug a beer” who had been targeted by the Helsingborg forwards in their running attempts. Despite not letting anyone past him the forwards decided on giving Antonio a hand in the second half and double up on the gigantic Helsingborg no6, Robin ”can chug a beer”. This also led to Gijs ”new grandpa” Van der Poel becoming airborne as he bounced of a tackle.

The kick off was caught by the overly large helsinborg flanker, who proceeded to sear down the middle of the field, helped by the Lugi’s disorganisation. The Helsingborg kick-offs (there would be more) was however one of the few misses in the second half from Lugi’s side. The scrums had been such a ferocious battle in the first half that Helsingborg had been forced to opt for uncontested scrums from there on, something that caught everyone on the sideline with surprise…

The continuation of the game saw Lugi playing with great calm and composure, no more desperate off-loads, no more passes to the ground, no more passes behind the back of the teammates, no more missed tackles. Just pure, structured and well executed rugby. The first try of the second half wasn’t from pure, structured rugby though. Instead it was a moment of individual brilliance that saw Sebastian ”nervous pee’er” Hylander sprinting away from 30 meters out and diving over the line for a beauty of a try. Once again the conversion was missed.

From this Lugi put the foot down and started to control more and more of the game. Helsingborg defended courageously and did well but Lugi had now had the momentum. A brilliant sequence of play from right to left and back right saw Kyle ”ballerina feet” taking the ball on the halfway line, throwing a dummy pass, bursting through, offloading to ”breakaway” who passed back ”ballerina” whom eventually gave the inside pass to ”can’t chug a beer” who dived over for the try. 15-10.

The forwards were working hard with ”happy face” leading from the front and being one of the first to the breakdowns and always looking for the pass from the scrumhalf to add some composure to the game. This, and Joseph ”second half sweat” le Pluart’s increased work rate saw the Helsingborg pack being run ragged from side to side. This could only lead to one thing, and as Helsingborg were being made to work hard to move about in a great defensive play, ”Sonny” found himself a gap the size of his protein shaker, squeezed through and sprinted away to dive in underneath the posts. Conversion scored by ”ballerina”. 22-10.

After this try the game started to lose some of it’s frenetic pace and Linus ”engineer” Persson (look at the pics from the tour of you don’t understand the nickname) came on for ”Tattoo” and ”nervous pee’er” left the field to give way to Tobias ”youth” Magnusson. Moments after ”youth” came on there was a uncontested scrum which showed some quick thinking of the old and experienced Helsingborg no9….”Youth” asked the Helsingborg 9 if he still was allowed to tackle him despite it being uncontested, the answer from the Helsingborg 9 was no…

The game ended and all lived happily ever after. Apart of Adam and Sebastian who got picked up for drug testing and no one had seen 2 hours after the game.

Lugi 22 – Helsingborg 10

Best on:

  • Sebastian 3
  • Antonio 2
  • Kyle 1
  • Malmö vs Lugi Lions, May 12

    Saturday was the first game of the regular 2012 season. Our hosts had organised for the game to be played at Malmö Stadium, as a showcase of the sport for young Skåningar. Unfortunately, due to the threat of poor weather, the stadium’s groundkeeper shifted the match to Lindängen only hours before kickoff. While news of the change in venue spread quickly through the Lugi ranks, not everyone received the update: one lonely soul remained stranded, whistle in hand, no doubt wondering what became of the thirty south-Swedish ruggers.

    In any case the groundsman was right. Twenty minutes before kickoff a light rain settled in that would continue through to the final whistle.

    The Lugi lads started the day well. Pressure on the first kickoff lead to a turnover, from which Malmö conceded an off-side penalty. Adam “Monk” Borg slotted the ball through the sticks and we took an early lead.

    Sadly, these were to be the only points we were able to put on the board for the day.

    Rain, in combination with a high penalty count – 35 full arms by my math – meant that the game was played largely from the set piece. And our tight-five forwards seized the opportunity to show what they have been working on over the winter.

    Lead by Magnus Andersson and Tadas “Horse Power” Valutis in the front row, our scrummaging was strong. New player Mihai Suvaiala adds a lot to that combination, clearly showing in the second half why prop forwards should not, preferably, weigh less than 90kg. Where we struggled in the scrum was in stability after the hook, and in support from the back row. This is something that will come with experience, but in facing an ex-international scrum-half, this was a weakness for which we paid in points.

    Lineouts were a little shaky to begin with, but soon settled. Josef Le Pluart was dominant at the front, and “The Pendulum” Guenot solid at the back. Since realising that contact lenses improve your eyesight “The Pendulum” has established himself as a lineout wizard often tapping, yes tapping, the ball from the top. A true display of French flair. But like our scrums, in coming games we will benefit from better stability and support for the scrum-half.

    Unfortunately we were unable to capitalise on the platform offered from scrums and lineouts. Our back-row was simply too slow to the breakdown. The Malmö lads are not known for removing themselves from the ball carrier, and we were hesitant to show them how it’s done. Time and again we conceded penalties at the first phase, and time and again we did not react to the resulting quick tap.

    Only Johannes “Preacherman” Imberg, in a brief stint at blindside flanker, was able to demonstrate the proper flair that the position requires.

    Back row rugby was a strong part of our game in 2011. It allowed us to turn the phases over quickly and move the ball from one side of the pitch to the other. If we are to build on the successes of last year we must reaffirm our strength in this part of the game.

    Given the lack of support they received, it is a wonder that Sebastian Thylander and Antonio “The Stallion” Privitera played as well as they did. While we rarely strung together more than two phases, our nine and ten approached what was in front of them with grit and determination. Both players were strong in the tackle and vocal in defensive organisation. With more time together and better decision making in attack they will come to offer us a broad and reliable foundation for dynamic running rugby. Keep an eye on these two.

    In the backline, Kyle “Handprint” Cahill was impenetrable in defence, and “Viking” Cordes looked dangerous on the few occasions he was given the ball. Our outside backs had their work cut out for them on Saturday. To stand in the cold rain for 10 minutes at a time and then be expected to turn on a dime is no easy task. “The Tattoo” Lönsjö was certainly up to the task, looking dangerous with a particularly plucky run on to a half-volley in the first half. While our other outside backs worked well in position play – backed up by a sweeping Dennis “Frenchie” Hellebuyck – they too often looked to pass the responsibility of contact on to somebody else.

    As the game progressed our breakdowns got better but our defence got worse. As a result, we started to look better with the ball in hand, but unfortunately allowed Malmö to pile on the points. While the final score was 28 to 3, this doesn’t feel to me like a true indication of the day’s match. We had plenty of energy in the legs – fitness was certainly not a problem on Saturday – but some of the fight went out of the heart.

    There was one player who lost none of his heart, and for his consistent work rate and tenacity earned himself the best-on-ground award: Dion “Hammer” Granström. Wet weather conditions are never nice to play under. It takes a certain type of player to turn that around and “Hammer” is that certain type of player. He was fierce in contact – one of the few players to actually tackle with his shoulders – a pillar of strength in the set piece and tireless in support.

    There were a lot of positives to take out of Saturday’s game. Despite the scorecard, I’m not worried with the team’s progress, and am confident that I will have a very different story to tell after our next battle with Malmö in three weeks time.