After an unusual and long pre-season, this SM-final was the first one for the ladies in 3 years and everyone saw it coming with excitement. It meant a new and big learning opportunity for the team.
The girls had the chance to play some 7s games in Braunschweig, Germany, earlier this year in March where they met different teams of different levels and started putting their playing system into place. What really mattered for the team this season was however, building the team values and everyone on and off the pitch should be part of this! A second opportunity to play 7s came up during some training games in Malmö where the girls fought well and won against Malmö.
During the SM qualifiers, it became clear that the team had the capacity to be consistent throughout the day and stepped up their performance with every game played. With only one win during the first weekend, the team came off the pitch with 2 of 4 wins during the second qualifier. Most importantly, however, they fought for each other on the pitch and played with passion and no pressure on the result, but focus on their development.
Now the SM final weekend was ahead. With a lot of teams involved that most of the girls never faced before, the focus was not on the opponent, but on their own LUGI team and what they were aiming for: Play the rugby they have been playing throughout the spring. And they did it!
The first team to play, Gothenburg, had become a known opponent from the two past weekends. From the start, the ladies put in a strong defensive work which made it hard for Gothenburg to break through the line, tired them out and opened up gaps for our attack to score 3 tries. The following two teams were mostly new to play for our ladies, but again, a strong defence lead to two well-fought games, with clear win against Uppsala and a loss against Enköping.
The second day of a 7s tournament is always tougher, especially in 30 degrees, but what a first game our ladies played! According to the Norrköping girls “the toughest game“ they had played during this weekend. At half time 7-5 to Norrköping, so all cards were still on the table. Two mistackles in the second half lead to Norrköping getting away with a win, but not an easy one. Now, time for the Bronze game against our friends from Malmö that the girls will start the 15s season with this weekend. The game was even and tight, but credit to our girls who turned around the game lying behind by one try after first half and in the end won it by 12-10.
They had just won the Bronze medal! OMG! A lot of screaming, laughter and tears were mixed all together at once and the ladies are still digesting this experience!
The Bronze medal!!! A result that was possible because the girls have got Ross Watson at their side, our ladies coach, and all the girls that help out off the pitch.
Ross gave them all the tools they needed during this season: Rugby skills and principles, team values as well as mental tools creating a team atmosphere based on development as people and as a team together. Ross has not only been there as a coach during training sessions but put together a whole off-season program for the ladies, extra sessions, but most importantly he is always up for socials and banter and creates memories which makes him the great coach and person he is! His comment on the result from the weekend:
“Obviously it’s a fantastic result for the team after not qualifying last year and whilst everyone sees the result over the weekend I am most proud of all the work we as a team have done behind the scenes over the last couple of years in creating an environment where every individual contributes and wants to improve themselves as human beings. Whilst the 13 girls who competed at the weekend may earn the plaudits, and rightly so, it’s really a result of the contributions of all the 25+ squad members we have had over the past year.”
A big shout out to all the girls who have made this team what it is today and supported us during this weekend! A thank you as well for the whole Lugi Lions R.F.C. who cheered us on from home and from the sideline.