A good start for LUGI with a win against the newly resurrected rugby club, Ronneby. After some panic and confusion about transportation the Lugi Lion’s gents were off to play their opening game of the season in Ronneby. The squad of 20 players was a mixture of old, experience, and new (both to the club and to the game). As we entered “raggare” country, the atmosphere amongst the travellers was a mixture of nervousness, anticipation, and fear, as people started contemplating the game against a relatively unknown quantity.

We arrived at the pitch 20 minutes before kick off, and we were told that the changing room is on the other side of town, and that it would be best if we changed at the field, in front of passing spectators. However, there was very little hesitation from the Lugi gents and some even decided to relieve themselves in the bushes to the shock of unexpected strollers (which I believe is highly illegal in Sweden but apparently not so in France).

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The game started at 15:00 as planned, with a monstrously high kick from Ronneby, but the Lugi forwards were spectacular under pressure and managed to keep their composure. Months of not playing the code of union was evident in the opening minutes, as there were a lot of scrappy passes and knock-ons from the Lugi players. But after that, “the game of the gods” started coming back to the Lions and it wasn’t long until Lugi scored their first try through Chris “The Australian” O’Conner after a well executed team play.  From then on, Lugi had full control of the game and the next try came when Laury ”The Frog” Renac started conjuring up holes in the Ronneby defense with his pin point passing, sending Chris “ The Australian” O’Conner into the try area once again.

Throughout the first half the Lugi captain, Viktor “The Sandman” Cordes, was a dominant presence at the breakdown, stealing balls, and putting players to sleep with his outrageous hits. Other players worth mentioning were our two wingers, Pablo “The Eye” Abril and Fabian “Mighty Mouse” Nyborg, who both danced around the defense like baby Jesus on a pogo stick on multiple occasions. By the end of the first half, fatigue finally got the best of our captain and Conor “Babson” Regan.  They had to come off for a couple of minutes only to come back later in the game (thank god, for rolling subs)!

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This was a perfect opportunity for Florent” Chabel” Thurin to make his debut in the Lugi maroon, and Jacob “The Beard” Hasselbalch to play his first every rugby game. Jacob “The Beard” Hasselbalch stepped up to the plate and he managed to withhold the shove from the Ronneby pack. From then on, there was very little doubt that Lugi had found a new young prop forward.  The boys scored once again through Sebastian “The Hammer” Hylander smashing his way over the try line. Despite the away sides dominance in the first half, Lugi were only up by three converted tries. Ronneby looked very dangerous when camped within the Lugi half and managed to score a beautifully executed forwards try just before half-time, the half time score 21-5.

Old injuries came back to haunt “The Frog” and he had to sit out for most of the second half as “The Australian” stepped up and played at fly-half for rest of the game. Iain “Ginger” Lednor played outside center, and embraced his inner Sunny Bill Williams by setting up a perfectly performed try for James “The Pie” Webb.

The last 10 minutes of the game saw two Lugi legends returning from injury (ED: what they’re legendary for, nobody knows), Linus ”Madman” Persson who came on as a flanker, and William “Bum Bum” Bickford who took up his usual post on the wing. Linus “Madman“ Persson  had clearly drank his madman energy drinks prior to the game and was a menacing presence on the field for the rest of the game. The last Lugi try came when Iain “Ginger” Lednor gave a perfect inside pass to “Bum Bum” who managed to pop it back to Lugi’s back line before Lugi continued to play Fijian style rugby before sending the ball down the line for Tobias “Twinkle Toes” Magnusson to cross over the whitewash.

Unfortunately, the game ended on a sour note for Lugi, as there was a communication breakdown during the restart and no one caught the ball. This allowed Ronneby’s number 8 to easily snatch the ball and run towards William “Bum Bum” Bickford, Lugi’s last line of defense. With eyes red with determination, the Ronneby number 8 plowed over “Bum Bum”, crushing the small wingers pride as well as scoring the last try of the game. The final score when all was said and done, 50-10 to the mighty Lions.

Match Report by William “Bum Bum” Bickford

Lugi Team Line Up

1) Johan Rehnström (LB)
2) Sebastian Johnsson
3) Viktor Cordes (LB) – 1 try
4) Matthijs Mooy
5) Ole Fischer
6) Conor Regan
7) Eden Clayton
8) Marcus Gersbo (LB)
9) Sebastian Hylander (LB) – 1 try
10) Laury Renac
11) Pablo Abril (LB)
12) Chris O’Conner – 3 trys
13) James Webb – 1 try
14) Fabian Nyborg (LB)
15) Tobias Magnusson (LB) – 1 try

Substitutes
16) Linus Persson (LB)
17) Jakob Hasselbach (LB)
18) William Bickford
19) Iain Lednor – 1 try
20) Florent Thurin

*Lugi Born (LB) – Lugi is their first rugby club