Last Saturday was a day that many of the HRC 2nd team players (and some 1st XV players as well) had been waiting for a long time: The first away games of the 2010 season, a tournament in Lahti to be precise. The team left with bus from the city we all love, to play the game that we all love, against teams that we all love to play, and also against one team that we all love to hate. Everyone seemed well rested in the morning and eager to play their A game, which was expected because there was a lot of improvement to do from the previous tournaments. As always, the team was formed from a mix of new and experienced players. Steve was coaching the team with help from the captains Aki and Mathieu.
The team arrived in Lahti in time to prepare for the three games of the day both mentally and physically. Everyone was 100% focused as the first game was against Warriors. Our game plan of the day was to keep the ball alive, avoiding rucks and mauls, making space for the supporting players and to kick only inside our own 22 if needed. However, when the game against Warriors started all of this seemed to be forgotten by our half back Eliott and fly half Aki, resulting to a couple of terrible mistakes plus lack of communication that eventually led into two early tries scored by Warriors. We were down by 12 points but no one was willing to give up the game, especially Eliott who was determined to make up for the previous mistakes. And that he did by scoring two great individual tries and the win was up for grabs for the both teams again. HRC gained a huge confidence boost and started ramming down the defensive line of Warriors eventually putting 48 points on the score board. Warriors had no control of the game because of HRC’s brilliant passes, off-loads, runs and tackles. I was truly happy to go to the bench and see Niilo doing a great job as number 10, and with help of Eliott they provided quick balls for our backs to do their magic with. After the game HRC was ready to play their next games with great self-confidence and the poor Warriors saps were ready to pack their bags and take the first train to Aussie Bar.
Match report by Aki Pentikäinen