Tag Archives: sevens

Håckes 2019

New year, new possibilities, probably the overriding theme for this year’s Lugi Ladies as they arrived to Växjö to take part in Håckes Cup. As a coach, this was likely the most excited and nervous I have been as we start the year, excitement due to a travelling squad of 17 (down from 18 after a last minute injury), a squad which was without a few of our well known big performers, but nervous as we were coming in as a unknown quantity.

The squad included eight players that had either never played a 7s game before or were attending their first 7s tournament, and with these additions having only every trained a few months of rugby, there was bound to be a lot of growing done both on and off the pitch.

Day 1

Game 1 vs. Polish Ladies

The draw for the tournament was not exactly kind to us as our first two games were against the previous year finalists and this year’s favourites, Polish Ladies and Tabusoro Angels, but despite this there was a great focus within the group to go out and learn against some of the best.

With Polish Ladies being our first test, the aim was to set some standards for the year in both our attacking and defensive play. The biggest positive from the first half was that our defensive pressure forced our well skilled opposition into multiple mistakes, as down to a lady we were up and in their faces after every breakdown. Being down by only three trys at half time was an achievement in and of itself in hindsight, but the oppositions quality, fitness and speed shone through as the ladies went down 45-0.

Game 2 vs. Tabusoro Angels

As we turned around to game two, we were met with some familiar faces in our Tabusoro friends, this year having brought a very physical outfit to play. This time we ended up being on the back foot from the beginning and hardly having any ball to play with, eventually creating another lopsided score and a loss of 43-0.

Game 3 vs. Göteborg

Despite having recorded two losses and no trys in our favour, the ladies maintained their focus and energy going into what was realistically the most important game of day 1 against Gothenburg, again another side that had a big size advantage on us. Whilst Gothenburg exerted a lot of pressure through their rumbling attack the ladies were steadfast in defence with heroic efforts from all, lead particularly by Madita Olvermann and Josefin Dynefors, not allowing the oppositions pressure to turn into points. An early score from Malin Lindström gave us a 5-0 lead from an scrum on halfway, but the lead was soon nullified by Gothenburg at the end of the half to leave us tied at 5-5.

Despite the opposition putting us under early pressure to start the second stanza, a turnover on our own 22, some nice offloading and a lovely 70m finish from captain fantastic Sandra Olofsson saw us take a 10-5 lead. From this point we looked in control, going close on a couple of occasions but not being able to finish with scores, leaving us in a precarious situation, and one which could have easily seen Gothenburg sneak a try and the win. However as they attacked in our 22 and with 2 Lugis down injured our girls once again secured a turnover and moved the ball to space and into the hands of our flying Dutchman Katinka den Nijs who promptly went on the longest run of her life and finished the game off with a try to seal our 15-5 win.

Game 4 vs. Södertälje

To finish off day 1 we faced off against Södertälje. This game gave us the opportunity to start our two youngest Lugi debutants, Linn and Lina (both 16), and get to see what they were made off. It took mere seconds to find out that they had instantly become a part of the Lugi family and were ready to give the team their all; following a Södertälje line break that looked destined to see our girls go a try down, Linn produced a fantastic covering effort to drag down the attacker with mere meters to go to the line, followed up only a few phases later as she made a great step and line break before going 60m+ for our opening try. From there the young Lionesses found their rhythm, managing to increase their lead just before the half with a Damien McKenzie-esque effort from Josefin. The second half went much the way of the first with Lugi pressure forcing opposition mistakes before eventually a break from a scrum lead to space opening for Lina this time who took the opportunity with glee for her first try and a Lugi lead of 17-0.

With that score we introduced another debutant into the game as Astrid Martinsson took the field, immediately making her presence felt with a barnstorming run down the wing and  a sublime offload to almost see Amelie over in the corner before the move was eventually finished off with another Josefin try. As if the game hadn’t gone well enough, our football convert Freja Franzen quickly showed off the power of her crossover skills by dribbling around the Tälje defence, eventually creating an opening in the middle of the park for Linn to go over for her second try on debut. The game finished up in similar fashion to how it started as our opposition made a break down the wing only to be denied by a fine Josefin covering tackle (ok she did get yellowed as it was high), but the tackle showed the work ethic of the team willing to protect their try line even when the game was dead and buried. All in all, a fantastic game for our new crop of Lionesses and a good win to finish the day.

Day 2

Plate Semi-Final vs. Ronneby

Our 3rd place finish in the group saw us through to the plate semi-final with a midday kickoff against Ronneby. The girls were on the front foot early on and having worked themselves into Ronneby’s 22 were gifted with a penalty 10m from the line which Sandra Olofsson soon converted into points with a quick tap and score. Once again, the team exerted a lot of defensive pressure, with Freja proving to be a constant disruption to Ronneby’s attacking play and never allowing them to gain any real foothold in the match. Sandra was once again the beneficiary off a quick turnover from Linnea Roslund this time as she cruised in from beyond halfway to make the half time score 12-0. The second half saw the introduction of a lot of our newer players and the game became slightly more attritional as Ronneby had long spells of possession but were never able to break our line. The game was finished off in a sublime fashion as Lisa Rämisch initiated another turnover try from outside our own 22 which saw her deliver the ball to Lina who preceded to round her defender and make for the try line before being dragged down and executing a beautiful lift off the floor to the supporting Lisa to go in under the posts. Game done and onto the plate final where we would meet Gothenburg.

A look into the ladies half time huddle!

Plate Final vs. Göteborg

The last game of a great weekend for the team and the focus was firmly on controlling what we could control and letting the rest take care of itself. Once again Gothenburg rumbled forward at first receiver trying to bulldoze our line and once again our defence held up, with every single Lioness making several key tackles each. With Gothenburg going closest to the first try of the game it looked like their physicality would break us down, but having defended a 5m scrum and earning ourselves a penalty our girls shifted the ball wide into the hands of Malin Lindström who went on another impressive 90m canter, rounding the sweeper and putting us into 7-0 lead. Gothenburg once again took charge of the play following the kick off, but with our defence in their faces they let a ball slip to the floor and Lindström once again went down the wing for the score, 12-0 at the half.

The half time team chat asked for more of the same, keep tackling and keep it out of the contact. Unfortunately mistakes and ill-discipline allowed Gothenburg to spend the entire half in our territory and once they had their all the ball and we were unable to wrestle it from them. This pressure eventually lead to the classic, yet effective, schoolboy tactic of giving it to the biggest runner from a 5m penalty and with only a couple of minutes played in the second period our opposition were within a score of us again. With Gothenburg winning a scrum just within our half following the kick off, the penalty count started to mount, and the resulting yellow card saw us down to 6 and defending our line. This eventually resulted in another Gothenburg try, this time directly under the posts and with the ensuing conversion, the game was tied at 12-12 and going to extra time.

By this point the physicality of the game had already seen us lose both Madita and Erika to injury and it was a big ask to play further minutes against an opposition that had all the momentum. Despite that, we came mere meters from winning as a loose Gothenburg kick saw Malin once again hare down the wing looking for the finish only to be forced out 5m from the line. Unfortunately, that tackle was both the end of Malin’s game and the game itself as from the resulting lineout Gothenburg swung the ball wide for the first time in the game and produced their own 90m effort to take home the spoils.

Whilst the way the tournament ended was a disappointment for the team, the positives we took out of the weekend far outweigh any kind of cup win. All our new girls got to play and enjoyed their rugby, the team created a fantastic atmosphere despite being a very new constellation and most importantly they enjoyed the rugby they played together, a great sign for the upcoming season. FInally I would just like to give a big thanks to the weekends support team of our two managers Martina and Rebecka as well as our physio Elizabeth who all played massive roles in the weekend’s success!

Players’ Player: Josefin Dynefors

Coaches Player: Tilda Kharraziha

Ross Watson

Player Stats

Håckes 2019 Stats

S = Starter, s = sub, M = minutes played, T = trys, C = conversions

The Ladies would like to thank our kit supplier Nordic Rugby for the amazing warm up tops!

Match Report: Ladies Win SM Round 1 Qualifier

With a long pre-season behind them it was finally time for the ladies to take on the rugby season’s premier 7s competition, SM 2016. With the new format across the country splitting Sweden up into North, West and South regions for qualifying places into the SM finals, the Lugi ladies have been pitted against Pingvin, Malmö and Ronneby in a series of four qualifying rounds.

Round one was to played in Trelleborg, home of the qualifiers number 1 ranked team, Pingvin, with Malmö ranked 2, Ronneby 3 and our ladies ranked 4th. With rankings based on various factors from last season, there was nothing for the ladies to be aggrieved about, but it certainly added a little more juice to the qualifier.

So, on a sunny Saturday in Skåne, Lugi set off down south with a squad of 9 girls, built around a growing core of experienced players and supplemented with a few new faces. The team sheet read as follows:

Top Row: Cecile Kaminski, Meliha Mehmeti, Malin Andersson, Sara Kaminski, Ross Watson (Coach)

Bottom Row: Sandra Olofsson, Martina Vivlund, Cornelia Nóren, Océane Chabrol, Elizabeth Sonnenholzner. 

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Game 1 vs. Pingvin

The ladies first game came against the hosts, Pingvin, which would provide us with a good measuring stick for how we would fair on the day. The girls started off well and capitalised on Pingvin mistakes to get themselves close to the home team’s line before Elizabeth broke over from close range with some strong running. The advantage would not be held for long however, after poor tackling from the ensuing kick off allowed a line break and a offload to see Pingvin in under the posts. Unperturbed, the ladies hit right back following a fantastic break from Sandra Olofsson, who’s run was well supported by both Martina and Elizabeth, leading to her slightly wayward pass being collected and taken in by Sonnenholzner for the score.

So far the story of the game had been about the porosity of the defence from both sides and Pingvin’s next possession didn’t break the trend, as following a lack of Lugi defensive pressure and a series of nice offloads, the home team went over yet again under the posts.

The Lugi ladies were also first to strike in the second half, as a penalty move straight off of the training ground was perfectly executed and allowed Martina to finish off the try with some strong running. Once again though, the positives for Lugi were evened out with a lack of defensive execution as Pingvin hit straight back, getting around the edge of the Lugi defence to score the last and decisive try of the game. The end result was an even game of three trys apiece, but decided by just one kick.

Following the game, the whole team was very pleased with their performance and the loss felt more like a win, having put on some good rugby and started strong. Our weakness in defence was identified and the team resolved to improve on it going forward.

Final Score: Lugi 17 – Pingvin 19

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBm0Dovt7Bs&index=4&list=PLVjhtzQeEQXkgBqiZaQbeI6thMPZXF1eA

Game 2 vs. Malmö

Following their strong performance at Håckes Cup, our local rivals Malmö were always going to be strong contenders in the Southern qualifying pool. This contest opened up a lot tougher and tighter than our first game, with our tackling up to the expected standard and Malmö matching us. The ladies defensive pressure, which was so lacking in the first game, was the key to the opening score in game 2, as our defence smothered Malmös backs near their own line, eventually causing a turnover through a fumbled ball and Olofsson being quick to gather and score. Malmö then enjoyed a good spell of possession, albeit deep in their own half, keeping the ball tight around the ruck and working the blind before finally getting the ball wide to their speedster, who was able to get on the outside of our defence to get over the line for the score. Despite the disappointment of allowing their key player on our outside, the defensive chase to deny an easy two point conversion was an exemplary note of the team effort and work that has been developed over recent seasons.

In previous seasons, the ladies play has been marred by drops in confidence and an inability to respond following opposition scores. Therefore, on of the day’s big positives was the team’s ability to stick to the gameplay and play the full 14 minutes as if it was 0-0. Following Malmös score, our ladies were able to hit back with aplomb after Olofsson made a great break after a scrum won against the head, and took us deep into Malmö territory. The score was finished off by the day’s Player’s Player, Meliha, who spotted the space blind off the ensuing breakdown and ran down the line to take Lugi ahead 10-5.

From there the game evened up, with both teams enjoying a fair amount of possession and having attacking phases quashed by a mixture of good defence and errors. With a game that could have gone either way with only a single try in it, it was Lugi that finished the game off after Malmö gave away a penalty on their own 22, allowing Sonnenholzner to execute a near perfect chip and chase and see herself over the line on the last play.

Final Score: Lugi 15 – Malmö 5

https://youtu.be/Tf59kTrtMcg?list=PLVjhtzQeEQXkgBqiZaQbeI6thMPZXF1eA

Game 3 vs. Ronneby

The ladies final pool game came against a team that has slowly been on the rise in the south, and who are no longer to be taken lightly following a series of good results in recent tournaments. A win in this final pool game would give our girls a shot in the qualifier final against Pingvin.

After a spluttering start to the game from both teams, Lugi’s defensive pressure once again earned them a score, this time for Ronneby native Cornelia, who scooped up a Sonnenholzner offload to cross the whitewash. The following muffed kick-off and swarming Lugi defence allowed Elizabeth to get a score of her own and go under the posts following a nice step. With Ronneby looking a little deflated and following a series of mistakes near their own line, Martina was able to crash over for score number three following a close range penalty and a slick offload out the back from Sonnenholzner.

With the Lion’s tails up in the second half the play started to really flow and the girls once again got rewarded for their willingness to work in support of one another in the form of multiple offloads going to hand down the right flank before the ball finally landed into the arms of Vivlund on the wing, who tip-toed her way down the line for another score. The final high note of the game came from our flying French winger Océane, who found herself rewarded for her excellent support during the whole day as she finished off nicely following some slick hands and offload off a Ronneby turnover.

The remainder of the game served as a warning for the team, as attacking shape began to be lost and the girls fought a lot of their battles around the breakdown instead of out wide, leading to a scrappy finally quarter. Nonetheless, the ladies had deservedly put themselves through to the final and were happy with the rugby they had produced and their smothering defensive effort.

Final Score: Lugi 27 – Ronneby 0

https://youtu.be/ip5ek9opKho?list=PLVjhtzQeEQXkgBqiZaQbeI6thMPZXF1eA

Game 4, Final vs. Pingvin

Having secured themselves a place in the final, the Lugi Lions found themselves up against the team that had seen them off in the day’s opening game. The ladies confidence in themselves and their rugby had been building throughout the day and they were ready to take on the home team and the crowd in what promised to be an interesting encounter.

Similar to game one, the ladies got off to a flyer as following a scrum in our own half, Martina was able to take advantage of a slip in Pingvin’s midfield to go 80 meters untouched for the score. If ever there was an omen that this was the ladies final to take, it came on the ensuing conversion attempt as Martina’s conversion received a solid helping hand from the crossbar to get the ball over and take Lugi 7-0 in the lead.

Despite the good fortune, things got wobbly in the following minutes for Lugi as Pingvin pressure and a lack of handling execution saw the girls pushed back from the opposition’s 22 to nearly conceding at their own end on multiple occasions, saved only by some last ditch tackling and Pingvin handling errors.

It was said handling errors that allowed Lugi to get the opening score of the second half, as good awareness and work on the ground from Meliha allowed Martina to take advantage of an open blindside to run in for the score and take us to 14-0. With the minutes beginning to tick away, Pingvin started to exert some pressure on the Lugi line following a well placed clearance kick. Eventually this pressure from the white and black of the home team saw them over in the corner following a blindside move from an attacking scrum, clawing the score back to 14-5.

With only a minute left in the game, the hammer blow was delivered by Lugi following some mazy running by Mehmeti off the kick-off softened up the defence enough for Cornelia to put on a nice step and strong run to break the Pingvin line, before showing a clean pair of heels for the score.

With the score standing at 21-5, the game was dead and buried and our girls rightly celebrated an excellent qualifier win!

Final Score: Lugi 21 – Pingvin 5

https://youtu.be/RBm0Dovt7Bs?list=PLVjhtzQeEQXkgBqiZaQbeI6thMPZXF1eA

Following a very successful day, the team was quite rightly overjoyed and thoroughly pleased with some of the rugby that was produced, but realised that there are plenty of aspects of their game that can be improved on and more hard work needs to be put in to up their game before the next round, which is sure to prove even more competitive. More than anything it showed the team the rewards that can be reaped from hard work and dedication on the training field and has given them a long awaited qualifier win.

Finally, a big thank you should be given to Pingvin for an impeccably run qualifier and all the teams involved for a great day of competitive games.

Team Awards

Player’s Player – Meliha Mehmeti

Newbie – Océane Chabrol

Coaches’ Player – Whole Team

Point Totals

M. Vivlund – 35

E. Sonnenholzer – 20

C. Norén – 10

M. Mehmeti – 5

S. Olofsson – 5

O. Chabrol – 5

 

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Lionesses on Track for SM Finals Qualification

The third of four SM 7s 2014 qualification rounds saw our ladies head down to Trelleborg to compete in the tougher of the two groups against Kalmar, Pingvin and Vänersborg. Despite some early travel issues when Malin’s car decided it needed a new axel, the girls arrived on time and ready to enjoy the rugby as well as the scorching sun.

Having talked about starting fast in the trainings leading up to the weekend, the girls not only achieved this, but put Kalmar to the sword in the process with a huge score of 39-0. Despite the Kalmar side being a bit weaker than the one we lost to 7-0 in the Gota Series, it’s doubtful the result would have been any different if they were at full strength with the way our ladies dominated the match from start to finish.  Martina Vivlund scored early and often as she was the beneficiary of some great teamwork as well as using some of her own individual skill to score five trys in the game.

ladiesready

 

After a little time off, the girls prepared to take on the hosts, a young side who have been coming on leaps and bounds recently and had beaten the other group competitor, Vänersborg, 21-10 in their first game of the day. The scoreline when all was said and done was a disappointing 39-0 to Pingvin, but on reflection it was a fairly even contest in the first half before the second became a whitewash. The first half was very tight with our girls competing well and only a couple of defensive mistakes letting the home side finish the half 12-0 ahead. Despite our earlier scoring capability, the team just couldn’t find the holes in the Pingvin defence, and combined with a lack of fitness weakening our defensive efforts, lead to the home team really asserting their authority and running away with things in the second half.

All the days images can be found here.

Our final game of the day came against a team that has traditionally been somewhat of a bogey side for the ladies, Vänersborg, who play a somewhat more “physical” style of rugby. However, this was not the Lugi team of days past where a crushing defeat the match before would lead to subsequent poor performances. Instead, the ladies put on a very good performance, being stingy in defence as well more structured in attack, never giving Vänersborg a sniff of hope and seeing us run out winners 22-5. The highlight of this game was our final score of the contest, a lineout move straight from the training ground, which whilst it may not have gone the legal five metres, was pleasing to watch as Mican romped 40 metres down the pitch before offloading to her support runner Ana who dotted it down over the line.

Overall it was a pleasing day with two very convincing performances, but it also highlighted some areas that need to be worked upon in the upcoming weeks before the second round of the Gota Series as well as the next round of qualification games.

The results on the day now leave the ladies lying in second position in the SM South qualification series, with only four teams qualifying for the finals in Borås. The final round of the qualification series takes place in Växjö on the 31st of May where a respectable result should see the ladies qualify for the finals.

Game 1 vs. Kalmar

 

Game 2 vs. Pingvin

 

Game 3 vs. Vänersborg

Lionesses Win Three in Ronneby

The first round of this year’s Gota Series saw ten Lionesses travel up to Ronneby to take on the hosts, Kalmar, Wexiö and Borås in the shortened version of the game. Along with our new players Amy and Sandra excited for their first ever rugby action, captain Mican couldn’t wait to get back onto the pitch after a long rugby lay-off to rehab her shoulder.

The footage from each game is included below in this report, but overall the ladies put together a great day of rugby despite being a little undermanned and with a couple of players ailing for various reasons. Our traditional slow start saw us drop the first game in a tight contest against Kalmar, a game that I know the girls would like back and which on another day, one which we would have won. The main takeaway from the loss was that it wasn’t our structure that was the problem, but just a little bit of inexperience and execution problems at the business end of the game that let us down, something that we will only develop with time.

Ladies Team Photo

However, from that loss, we responded by playing some fantastic team rugby throughout the rest of the day, with the highlight being our support play, a key in the game of sevens. The work rate of every girl meant that the scores were shared out fairly evenly across our team and being one of the reason why we ran away somewhat with the games against Ronneby, Wexiö and Borås.

Whilst the competition is not the toughest we will face in Sweden, the standard on the day helped us ease our newer girls into action and is a vital tune up before the next SM qualifying round on the 26th April in Trelleborg. The girls can be very proud of all their performances and deservedly went home with huge grins on their faces and lots of Lugi Kärlek in their hearts.

Team: Malin Andersson, Olivia Maunsbach, Sandra Olofsson, Amy Rice, Linnéa Roslund, Mican Rydén, Elizabeth Sonnenholzner, Anni Törhönen, Anna Thynell and Martina Vivlund.

Ross Watson – Ladies Coach

Lugi vs. Kalmar

Lugi vs. Ronneby

Lugi vs. Wexiö

Lugi vs. Borås