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Match Report: Ladies SM Qualifier Round 3 – Trelleborg

Going into the penultimate round of the ladies SM qualifier, our girls were still atop of the qualifier rankings, and with tough and even games with the rest of the group in previous rounds, everyone knew round 3 would be just as competitive.

The team that made the short trip down to Trelleborg was unchanged from the previous weekend and was as follows:

Malin Andersson, Océane Chabrol, Cecile Kaminksi, Sara Kaminski, Agnes Lindgren, Cornelia Norén, Meliha Mehmeti, Elizabeth Sonnenholzner and Martina Vivlund.

Ladies SM Round 3 - Trelleborh

Game 1 vs. Pingvin

Having faced an understrength Pingvin side in the previous round, everyone knew that we would be faced with a stronger Pingvin side on their home patch, and as expected the girls from Trelleborg turned up this weekend at full strength.

Despite this, it was Lugi who were first to get on the scoreboard following their own scrum early on in the half, which having scrappily been hooked out, was cleaned up by Sonnenholzner who sent the ball on it’s way down the back line and eventually ending up in the hands of Martina, who cruised across the line to make it 5-0 to Lugi.

Sadly for our girls however, it would turn around from that moment in the favour of the home side, with our ladies not getting much of a say in the rest of the game. The remainder of the match can be summed up simply as our ladies not being able to secure their own possession from set pieces and Pingvin being a lot more aggressive in and around the contact area, leaving the team with only scraps to live off. With Pingvin converting their chances as they came along, they eventually ran out easy winners, putting our ladies on the back foot in the race to finish in the final.

Final Score: Lugi 5 – 25 Pingvin

Game 2 vs. Ronneby

The day’s second game saw us taking on the team that lay bottom of the series rankings, Ronneby, a team that had been strengthened from the previous week with the addition of some players from their farmer team, Wexiö.

As usual, Ronneby were no pushovers, as despite heavy defensive pressure from Lugi, they eventually broke round on the outside of our defence, only for Sandra to make the try saving tackle down the touchline. Having once again failed to execute their own set piece, Lugi conceded possession to Ronneby, but our Lionesses were the ones to benefit off of the ensuing phase of possession after Ronneby’s handling errors popped the ball up into the arms of the awaiting Sonnenholzner, who took off up the middle of the pitch before passing the ball into the waiting arms of Vivlund to take under the posts for the try.

From there the team got into a little tussle (metaphorically!) with the referee, with the man in the middle asserting his dominance and pinning our girls back time and again. But it was Lugi who would put the next points on the scoreboard, following a scrummage win against the head and some quick hands to Cornelia in the centre, who streaked away to extend Lugi’s lead to 12-0.

Having dominated the first half on the scoreboard, the second half would see Ronneby reverse that trend as they won the second half 12-7, with Elizabeth scoring Lugi’s only try. From a performance perspective the team learnt that mentally dropping focus can cause problems even against sides that should be handled easily, and whilst the win was a positive on the day, there was much still to work on.

This game would also see the team losing Sonnenholzner for the remainder of the round following the re-aggrivation of a small niggle suffered during the previous week’s competition.

Final Score: Lugi 19 – 12 Ronneby.

Game 3 vs. Malmö

Having lost to Malmö twice in the previous round’s games, the team knew that this was not only a big game in terms of determining who went into the day’s final, but also in terms of trying to regain a little of the lost pride from the previous weekend’s defeats.

However, whilst round 2’s games were fairly close, this one turned into a one sided affair in favour of Malmö. Whilst our ladies enjoyed a great deal of possession, protecting the ball well and stringing together multiple phases, they were unable to find a way through the Malmö defence. Whilst the opposition can be commended for their grit without the ball, Lugi only had themselves to look to as it was the team’s inability to get the ball to the space and around the opposition that proved to be decisive.

The first half, although resulting in a 12-0 Malmö lead, was a well played and even affair, with scores only coming off of well taken opportunities, nothing for our girls to be unhappy with. But it was the second half that was to hurt the most from a Lugi perspective as Malmö seemed to go uncontested in their quest to get over the whitewash, eventually running the score up to 31 points in their favour.

With that said, Lugi can be proud of how they finished the game, having finally got around the edge of the oppositions defence with a break from Martina and following some good support play from the rest of the team, Sandra Olofsson was able to dot down over the line to finish the game on a high.

Final Score: Lugi 7 – 31 Malmö.

3rd Place Playoff vs. Ronneby

Whilst the ladies dropped down into the lower half of the final placings matches, it was still all to play for, as in such a tight qualifier, it was key to come away with the 10 points awarded to the 3rd place finisher. Once again the girls faced Ronneby, who had failed to beat us on any occasion so far this season, but had pushed us close earlier in the day.

Again the ladies ended up in a tight and tense match, that saw an early try for Lugi coming through the tough running of Sara Kaminski as she crossed the line from close range. But with Ronneby finished the half strong with their own try, the second half was massive in terms of our SM qualification.

Lugi managed to keep their trend of starting the halves on the front foot when Martina broke through the oppositions line to take the score to 12-5. Unfortunately for Lugi, that was not to be the killing blow, as Ronneby were able to claw themselves to within two points with only minutes to spare, making it anyones game as the clock wound down. However, any worry that the Lugi coaching staff had after Ronneby’s try, was immediately quashed following the kickoff, as a safe recovery by Agnes enabled her to go forward in order to create a nice offload opportunity for the awaiting Cornelia, who stormed 60 meters for the decisive try.

Finals Score: Lugi 17 – 10 Ronneby.

With that, the ladies secured a third place finish and 10 points, leaving us joint top of the table on 42 with Malmö going into the last SM qualifier on the 4th of June in Malmö.

Whilst the ladies place at SM Veckan is not ensured yet, a 3rd place finish in the next round is enough for qualification no matter what happens in the other two regions, whilst a fourth place finish would see us depending on Enköping not winning the next North qualifier to get us to Norrköping. (*disclaimerthis is according to the coaches math skills and interpretation of the qualifier rules, thus not 100% certain).

Point Totals

M. Vivlund – 26

C. Norén – 10

S. Olofsson – 5

E. Sonnenholzner – 5

S. Kaminski – 5

Match Report: Gents vs. Pingvin B

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWQ3XCurqlY&feature=youtu.be

Match Report by Joacim Thilén

Since the third half was long and wet, today’s report will be a bit shorter…

Saturday’s game could have become the game that would be called the comeback of the year or even the decade. In the first half Lugi where struggling to keep the defensive line especially when Pingvin shifted the ball across their backline. This resulted in several tries that all were converted.

Not helping in the first half was a yellow card given to myself. No need to take the details, but it was a fair call and stupidly made by me.

After a hard first half that ended 28-0 to Pingvin. In the paus Lugi talked a lot about keep fighting and not giving up. From the sideline it was also clear that Lugis attack was effective as long as we cut out the mistakes.

For the second half most of the bench was subbed in. Its interesting how much easier it is to see the weak points when you are on the sideline. So the new players coming on knew what had to be done to stop the try-machine Pingvin.

In the second half Lugi really fired up and started to play with the passion that the game required. The centers started to put in some serious tackles in the backline which was very effective to stop Pingvin attacking. Lugi also started to stick to the game plan that has been worked on. Several planned moves were executed with accuracy close to perfection. And now this was starting to show on the scoreboard.

In the last play of the game Lugi had the ball and the score was 29-33 in advantage of Pingvin. Lugi worked hard to try once again to steal the candy from the children. Unfortunately Pingvins defense stepped up and the final whistle was blown.
Final score 29-33 to Pingvin.

A round of applause should go to the following:
The two headgeared South Africans who showed how rugby should be played.
The surfer, who makes it look so easy to run around an entire team by yourself.
Björn Davidsson for running the touchflag on the far-side. Its small thing to do, but its a great help to the team!!!

I hate to loose. The only thing that comforted me in this sad moment was the fact that Lugi stepped up big time in the second half and never gave up the game.

Men vs Pingvin B

Tries:
Viktor Cordes 2
Anele Gela 1
Jordan Foster 1
Francois 1

Conversions:
Tobias Magnusson 4 points

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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