After two well played qualifiers, especially the one in Lund, our gents team didn’t have the best conditions entering the finals for SM, with some of their key players missing the weekend. However, the boys that were available traveled with the ambition to make it a good warm up for the 15’s season starting the 22nd of August and to give it their all.
Players for the weekend were:
- Ale Loman
- Eric Hansen
- Isak Näslund (C)
- Emil Hull
- Johan Behmer
- Oskar Kalling-Smith
- Fredrik Meyer
- Isak Gudmundsson
- Gustav Kärrholm
- Jason Maartens
Team leader: Truls Sassner
They had the tougher of the two groups, playing three teams from Allsvenskan, the home team Trojan, last year’s winners and favourites Stockholm Exiles and Hammarby.
First game up was against the hosts Norrköping Trojan. The gents were still a bit tired in their legs after the long drive and Trojan were leading by 22-0 at half time. After letting Trojan score a try straight from kick off, LUGI woke up and started to make the tackles necessary for competing in the finals. The game finished 27-5 to Trojan after Ale Loman scoring a try at the end of the game.
Next game was at 13.00 against Stockholm Exiles. The boys knew that they had to play well and as a team to have a chance at this game, and with the feedback from the first game, the lions came prepared and ready. We spent most of the first half defending, but the half ended with Johan Behmer making a break from 30 metres, scoring the try and slotting the kick. First half ended LUGI 7 – Stockholm Exiles 12. After getting a free kick at the start of the second half, Ale Loman scored a try and Johan Behmer kicked the conversion, giving LUGI a 14-12 lead. After this, the difference in fitness became clear. The Lions were all tired from the 30-degree heat, while Exiles continued playing high level rugby without showing any fatigue. The game ended 14-38 to Exiles. A well-played game against one of Sweden’s best teams.
With last games performance against Exiles, LUGI now knew what was required of them, and played a good level of sevens rugby from the start. Eric Hansen scored the first try of the game after a dummy pass from 5 metres out. Johan Behmer converted the try. Oskar Kalling-Smith finished the first half off by scoring a try under the posts and converting it himself. Half-time score 14-12 to LUGI. One minute into the second half Ale Loman scored the final try of the game for LUGI. For the remaining six minutes of the second half, LUGI played mostly defence and just tried to keep the score until the final whistle. They did this with success and the game finished 19-17 to LUGI.
This placed LUGI third in the group, which meant they got to play the team placed fourth in the second group, Erikslund. With day two promising even warmer weather than day one, and after suffering a small injury on Johan Behmer, LUGI had a tired and battle scared team.
The game started well with Ale Loman giving the team a try two minutes in to the game and converting it himself. However the lead was nullified after only a minute. At the fifth minute Ale intercepts a pass at our own 22, scores a try and converts it. Erikslund scored and converted a try on overtime and half-time score was 14-14. The game was winnable, but with tired legs and few subs the Lions didn’t have what was needed and Erikslund ran away with a 14-33 victory. This meant that LUGI were playing for 7th place in the next and last game. The last game of the weekend turned out to be a rematch against Hammarby after they lost against Göteborg in their first game of the day.
LUGI started the game poorly by letting Hammarby score and convert after only 30 seconds. From receiving the kick after the try, Ale ran the straight to the try area with little difficulty to score. He followed the try up by converting, which meant the game was 7-7. After this LUGI was visibly tired and not mentally in the game. They managed to get another try in at the end of second half, scored by Ale Loman kicking the ball from our own 5 metre line all the way to Hammaby’s try zone. The game ended 12-36 to Hammarby.
Point table for the weekend:
Ale Loman: 41
Johan Behmer: 11
Oskar Kalling-Smith: 7
Eric “Robban” Hansen: 5
LUGI came up with some new players and players who hadn’t played for a long time. Additionally, the gents hadn’t put any special focus on 7s during their training sessions. Nonetheless, there are lots of positives to take from the weekend. Everyone got a lot of game time, and at times they played some really good sevens. They did not have the fitness required for the tournament, which showed on day two. Everyone who attended the weekend enjoyed themselves even though the results generally weren’t in Lugis favour. The boys will now have full focus to the 15’s season coming up, starting on the 22nd of August against Frederiksberg.