The afternoon looked to be a mix of broken clouds and occasional rays of sunshine with the promise of rain. The wind was light to medium. The ground a scattering of green and brown that had lost the back breaking hardness of the previous summer month. All in all perfect rugby conditions! The Helsinki team had turned up spirited and confident of an enjoyable rugby game ahead. Rauma were a tough but sociable side and always a pleasure to play. Not yet in the First division of Finnish rugby, but definitely threatening a breakthrough, they would still be tough opposition.
With a mixed line up of first and second team players and led by Captain Sebastian Garcia they lined up on the pitch from right to left getting ready to kick-off. Aki Pentikainen started the game on the whistle of referee George Mossford and the Helsinki team surged forward. The first half saw each team trading blows and testing each others defences. Some good scrummaging and individual sparks led to a couple of unconverted first half tries for Helsinki. However it also saw some poor ball retention and some unfortunate backs moves which did not go to hand. The referees whistle for half time gave some relief to the players and they grouped together for the half time huddle. Although we were ahead it was not a convincing lead and Rauma still had everything to play for. The half time break gave the players a chance to reflect on the mistakes and to revise there tactics. Some words from Matt and Seb led to a renewed surge of aggression from the players.
The second half started well with a converted try in the early stages and a comfortable lead of 17 – 0. However Rauma were wounded but not beaten as they came soaring back with an unconverted try 3 minutes later. Helsinki had let their guard down and it had cost them. This must have been a bit of a wake up call for the lads as in the final ten minutes of the half three unanswered tries sealed the match with a final score of 34 - 5. To make things tougher the rain came down in torrents during this half and yet Helsinki still turned the screw! A cracking effort from the team and congrats to everyone who took part.
Helsinki the victors but still with work to do. The gratious in defeat Rauma heading straight for the after match beers and already looking forward to the 3d half revelries. Great opposition!
Man of the Match Palemia Field for his powerful line breaking runs, crunching tackles and two tries including the support of the third. (Picking up and scoring with Henry probably doesn’t count as your try Palemia!)
First Try! Henry Wright for his monumentous effort at the end where he almost single handedly pushed the entire Rauma forwards pack out of his way to score the last try of the match. Thanks to Palemia for putting him down in the right place! Wink
Try! Ray Drummond for proving once again that 15 players is just not enough to stop him. Pleasure to watch.
Try! Markus Alajoki for a storming try down the left hand side and showing Rauma how difficult it really is to tackle a human cannonball.
Try! Aki Pentikainen for a fantastic midfield break and acceleration to score under the posts. The force is strong with this one.
Most crunching tackle Mr Clutterbucks return to Rugby left one or two Rauma players with a phobia of short flying Australians! He came out of nowhere and showed Rauma his second passion of being a demolition ball!
Captains first win! Sebastian Garcia's second game in charge and first win! No losses yet! May his reign continue!
Referee George Mossford for continued professionalism throughout and not being too effected by the rain!
Match report by Simon Elliott