As agreed with Coach Demoulin, everybody meet around 11am in Tali. Each player has his water bottle, drinks regularly, forecasting a warm day and a warm game ... We all look concentrated. We have to win today. Jyväskylä, the brother enemy. We're the first club in Finland, but they beat us several times last year.
"This is your first official game. YOU have to win it! Let's show everybody..." coaches and captain have been motivating the group for more than one week now, and it seems that the team is ready.
Thierry comes from the pitch and starts talking with Nicolas...
- Your parents are really nice
- You know them?
- No, but I tried to phone you yesterday ...
- Ah, at my French number?? Hmm, I just bought a Finnish mobile
- Great, so please give your phone number and your address to your mum, she would like to have them ...
Everybody starts warming up, focusing on the game and on one's first tackle. Take down to the legs, put him down. We want the ball, we want to score.
For some reasons, the game is a bit delayed ... and we realize that the attendance is quite high compared to last year. Maybe 30 people came to see us.
Great, let's show wonderful football rugby.
The roster for this first game:
1 - Seb ( Mikko )
2 - Paul
3 - Vesa ( Janne T.)
4 - Max ( Yann )
5 - Heikki
6 - Christoph, Captain
7 - Rabbe
8 - Richard ( Max )
9 - Andy ( Janne L.)
10 - Bro
11 - Thierry ( Jussi K.)
12 - Nicolas
13 - Jussi
14 - Jarno
15 - Papi Jimbo ( Richard )
21 - Peter did not play
We have the kick off and the first maul will be as the game: rough but fair. Jim comes out of it with scars bleeding on the face, as well as some others.
After 20 minutes of game, we come close to the line, once, twice and three times. But they always manage to get the ball, to kick and to chase.
We're clearly leading but the score is still 0-0 and with their kicks, they could score ...
We're pushing hard since the beginning and it's only a question of time, when we will make a try. Finally, after half an hour of game, on a superb team movement and a great "percussion" (Say [ PÖRKYSION ] ) of him, Thierry Demoulin scores the first official try of HRC! Converted by Bro from the touch line 7-0!
Just before half time Jussi Alaputto breaks through and dives a try, converted by him.
Among the public, some people are discovering what rugby can be ... " Well, I still don't know so much about the game... Anyway, it's nice to be watching any game outside in the sunshine. What I'm realizing of the game is that it's really tough! Gosh, just after some minutes the first player was bleeding... Still, I enjoyed being there and for sure will come another time as well! "
Fortunately, some other spectators are explaining the basic rules ... " Don't worry, it's a fair game; anyway you have to expect not to recognize your boyfriend!"
During the second half, we did not show so good rugby anymore. A couple of injuries mix up the game, which is stopped frequently. Andy and Thierry got injured, but they will be back next weekend, in Vaasa. 3rd try is brilliant. Heikki gives commands: "forwards, move backwards before they throw in the ball in the line-out. Andy: get ready." We beautifully intercept the throw, play it fast back to Andy, then Bro as nr. 10 takes a 40meter run, taking a couple of hits, makes a dummy, pass the ball wide to Rabbe, and Jyväskylä defense is teared apart. Forwards really made the good work this time ... Converted by Jussi.
4th try came after 75 minutes of game. After our line out we do good mauling, then we play wide, from Bro to Thierry, then to Rabbe who takes a tackle, passing to Jarno on the wing, who scores his first try!! Our rookie did again nice tackles. A couple of times he got big hits, but this iron head just kept on going.
We were good in lineouts, Heikki lifting, Seb supporting, Christoph jumping. The only line out they won was when Heikki broke Christoph pants ...
Our front row in the scrums was not that good though. We controlled the scrums, their scrum being even worse. We stole several of their put-in´s.
We played better than earlier this year. We have not played with this first 15´s earlier. We have done hard work to this and we can see the results now....
Final score 28 - 0
Sum up of the points :
Thierry Demoulin, 1 try
Jussi Alaputto 1 try, 3 conversions
Rabbe Länsisalmi, 1 try
Jarno Paasonen, 1 try
Bro Bannatyne 1 conversion
Comments heard in the public "Thanks for a great match, Helsinki guys! I think the crowd really enjoyed it and will definitely get bigger next time! Keep up the pressure for the matches to come!"
Right after the game, we gathered in the changing rooms, where we found the beers that our beloved chairman had brought. Thanks to him and his "Chairman fund raise "!
After a nice, warm shower, couple of beers and a small rest in the grass, we all went to Soft Rock Pub, close to the pitch. Yann has been really happy when a " sleepy 40 year old bastard " crashed the back of his Porsche at a traffic light...
Many players from Jyväskylä joined us .... we won't make fun of their 3rd half spirit this year! Also some feminine players from "la crosse" Finnish national team came along...
Thierry (Helsinki) and Tuomo (Jyväskylä) have been designated men of the game, and you had good fun in Munkkivuori before going downtown all together, in Baker's... We tried first Baker's pub, but the barman being rude with the players' girlfriend, we changed to Baker's terrace.
After a quick meal at Mc Donald, the doorman (Should I say the bulldog?) told Mikko that his friend (Seb) was to drunk to come back in ... but after a couple of minutes diplomatically explaining the situation, they both came in.
It was really great to be there, all together (some team mates missing though, their sister, cousin or whoever graduating on this 1st of June...) with Helsinki and Jyväskylä players... Step by step, everybody went home to sleep after the exhausting day and around 3am, Jyväskyläläinen surrounded Seb and Heikki. We can say that things change :)
Finally, the last men went home walking under the morning sun ... a team mate phoned him, to explain that he was having a chat with a feminine rugby player, in a completely different bar than everyone else, when her boyfriend came looking after her... and throw him out with those poetic words " and you might as well f.ck off! "
Match report by Sebastien Garcia