The first event of the SRF’s experimentation with the shortened version of the game saw the Lugi Lionesses travel down once again the Trelleborg to take on four other teams, in what was a day aimed at developing not only skills but also the general knowledge of how to plays the 10 man game.
The format saw us take on four different teams and at the end of the day the girls had won one, drawn one and lost two, not bad for our first run out but leaving us with plenty of areas to improve.
Game 1 – Loss to Göteborg 25 – 0
The old rivals were the first team on the slate and we started with a very experimental line-up to see what this game of 10s was all about. The first half really highlighted the difference that playing with five less players makes, as Gothenburg took advantage early on by passing the ball round our defence which was a little too tight around the breakdown. Our attacking play lacked incision to begin with, which meant very little possession going forward and therefore a lack of threat to Gothenburg’s lines. The girls ended the first half trailing by four trys but by no means looked defeated.
The second half was a much tighter affair as time and again the Lugi line, lead by Elizabeth Sonnenholzner and her hard tackling, thwarted the Gothenburg attack and better organisation with the ball in hand meant that the girls threatened on numerous occasions. However, despite the effort Gothenburg scored one more unanswered try to take the game 25-0.
Game 2 – Draw with Vänersborg 12 – 12
Out of all the day’s games, this one meant the most after last weekend’s loss and tomfoolery on the behalf of VRK. This weekend’s clash saw Lugi dominate their opposition in every possible way early on with Sonnenholzner once again shutting down the oppositions most dangerous player, who had had a field day against the Lugi defence the previous weekend.
The attacking play this game was excellent and impact running from Emma Lönsjö and captain Mican Francke – Ryden meant that the ladies constantly broke the gain line. Their excellent play got exactly what it deserved when after putting together numerous phases, Francke – Ryden broke the line and scored under the posts to allow Kerstin Lövendahl to add the extras for a 7 – 0 lead. Unfortunately the girls received a big kick in the teeth when a turnover in the tackle led to a breakaway try just before the half, which was fairly lucky for VRK since they hadn’t created much in the way of attacking phases for the whole half.
Coming out after half time with the score at 7-7 the ladies once again were all over their opposition with Francke – Ryden making herself a nuisance at the breakdown with multiple turnovers and the whole team working together as a unit. The second try of the game was the result of fantastic team play as a lineout won on our own 22 followed by some top level back play led to Lövendahl finding herself some space on the outside and scoring from a long way out.
Travesty then befell the team when a series of poor decisions from the middle led to VRK gaining a head of steam and ultimately a last second try from a couple of meters out despite the valiant Lugi defence. A heartbreaking end, a draw on the scoreboard, but ultimately the girls proved their point after last week’s performance and can be justly proud.
Game 3 – Win against Malmo 66 – 5
The third game against Malmo was a one sided affair but the girls worked hard for every try they scored and never played down to the level of their opposition, instead producing fantastic rugby for the full 20 minutes. Sonnenholzner got the team on the scoreboard after some quick hands and good backline play led to a bruising run that saw her break five would be tackles. The second try came through the hard working Ann Gustavsson who was a constant threat throughout the game with multiple breaks and on this occasion found herself over the whitewash following a handoff and a short run.
The girls were 21 points to the good when Malmo broke the line and despite some hard working cover defence, managed to put up their only points of the game to take the score to 21-5.
Usual service quickly resumed as fearless international Francke – Ryden benefited from some good support play after a Gustavsson break to grab the score that re-asserted the Lionesses as the best team on the park. Anna Thynell also got her name on the score sheet as all her handoff practice finally payed off as she skipped her way through the Malmo defence before juking the last defender to finish off a fantastic solo effort.
As the game wound down, hearts were found in mouths as Britt Dreja went on a barnstorming run with the whole sideline cheering her on only to be brought down inches from the try line, but ultimately leading to a Lövendahl try. From there, Lövendahl and Francke – Ryden both grabbed themselves hat-tricks on the way to a final score of 66-5 and a overall great team performance.
Game 4 – Loss against Pingvin 46 – 10
The final game of the day saw us take on the home team, Pingvin, who had enjoyed a fairly successful day overall in their previous matchups. The game started poorly for the Lionesses as immediately from the kickoff Pingvin worked it wide to their winger who turned on the accelerators and outpaced the Lugi cover defence to the try line. This was quickly followed by a very similar scenario, but from a scrum, when once again Pingvin took advantage of our weak defence out wide to take the ball around us and extend their lead to 10 – 0. Lugi once again proved their newfound resiliency as they then managed to work through a couple of phases up to the oppositions 22 meter line before good awareness from Francke – Ryden spotted a small opening on the blindside, which she exploited for a try with a quick pick and go.
At this stage Pingvin showed a bit of cynic spirit by knocking down one of Lugi key players while the ball wasn’t even in play. The Lugis never really reacted to this episode and from here the team really struggled to cope with Pingvin’s ability to work the ball out to the wing. In fact on numerous occasions the Lugis were faced with breaks out wide which lead to multiple trys from the opposition. The team fought valiantly throughout and once again were rewarded when Lövendahl simply outpaced the opposition’s backline by arcing round the outside and scoring our final points of the day. In the end the scoreboard was a little disappointing with a loss by 46 – 10, but overall the girls could be pleased with their fight and toughness throughout.
Squad: Lina Adeen, Chloe Chardon, Britt Dreja, Mican Franke – Ryden, Ann Gustavsson, Emma Lönsjö, Kerstin Lövendahl, Rebeka McCarthy, Malin Carvalho Nejstgaard, Anna Thynell, Linnea Roslund, Elizabeth Sonnenholzner, Gabriella Westerdahl.
(written by Ross Watson)