The second chapter in the story of the women’s 2011 15’s season took place on a Saturday with good rugby weather. Not to warm, not to cold, windy but not so windy that you couldn’t throw decent passes. Our pitch showed itself from it’s softer side thanks to the all the rain that had fallen. So we gladly ran out on the pitch to take on the visiting ladies from Uppsala.
Kick off at 1 pm with Lugi as the ball receivers. The first half of the first half is rather muddled in my mind, but I think the muddle gives a fair picture of what happened on the pitch. We as a team, collectively, became chocked and bewildered by the brawn and the size of our opponents. Somehow it seemed like those of us whom have played against Uppsala before had forgotten how big, hard hitting and heavy they are, and this contributed to our confusion. Their early, and all to easily made try, did nothing to take us out of this mindset.
For quite a while we stressed and fumbled every time we had our hands on the ball. We stopped listening, looking and thinking. To make matters worse our captain, Anna Thynell, got injured and had to go to the A & E. 14 lionesses remained on the field.
Slowly we found our way, every ball we lost made us more determined to get our heads, and hands, back into the game. Every try scored by Uppsala gave us more will to stop them, to work harder as a team. We started to look, listen and stopped stressing out. By the end of the first half we were truly back in a good mindset and it started to show.
During the second half we continued to improve, playing better and better. No matter what we faced we continued to work hard, pushing ourselves, defending our try line and trying to break through the opponents lines. Throughout the game our lifting in the line outs was perfect and the passing in the back line was spot on. Our will to go in for the tackles, help out in the rucks and trying to stop the mauls was heart warming.
The second half of the second half was a period when we became fewer on the pitch. Lisa Hulthén, who made a fearless and well executed debut as a winger, had to leave for work. 13 lionesses remained on the pitch but we took heart from the sight of our captain, whom had returned to the side line with a few stitches on her forehead. Towards the end we lost two more players in rapid succession. Both of them forwards, so the last scrums were uncontested. When the final whistle blew 11 lionesses remained on the pitch.
In most of the stories we are told as we grow up the little guy beats the bigger guy in the end. This isn’t one of those stories, at least not if you only look at the final score. But it is the story of how we continually improved our game throughout the match. The story of how we encouraged each other to keep going for 80 minutes with our heads lifted high and pride in our hearts. It’s the story of how Louise Ericsäter, Yesenia Medina, Gabriella Westerdahl, Kristina Petersson, My Sundberg, Caroline Lindberg, Anne Franzén, Mia-Maria Nordlund, Malin Olofsson, Anna Thynell, Jorun Borggren, Martina Vivlund, Emmy Westerdahl, Lisa Hulthén and Maria Alvarez performed together as a team filled with love of the game and a will to play, and play hard, no matter what.
Final result: Lugi RK 0 – Uppsala RFC 77
Team awards: Emmy Westerdahl became Lion Tackler and Kristina Petersson became Rugby Queen.