From dawn to dusk...
Despite the temptations of the night of the arts HRC2 managed to get 18 eager rugby players for the last Finnish Cup tournament of the season. After Warriors crowded the back seats we were ready to roll to the west coast (Rauma) at the break of dawn. Well, at least most of us...Tiago "Portuguese goose" Ferrera missed the bus and was trailing us in his silver convertable.
After pitch inspection and couraging words from our coach Sam "Tongan Sam" Elone we were ready for a 3-game-long war. Captains Aki "prettyboy" Pentikäinen and Joonas "abs" Santala prepared the warm-up. Aki also handled a mandatory pre-match interview with his life-long experience in the show-biz. Due to the lack of forwards and surplus of backs we had to introduce some players in new positions. Petri "the Hulk" Lackman doing a great job as a hooker and Joonas and Tiago playing solidly in 2nd row.
HRC 26 - 10 WRC
First match against Warriors started off exactly how a classic match-up should. Lots of energy, great running and eternal fight for the gain line dominance. We scored first but warriors trailed. Ville "Black cocks number one fan" Siiskonen led the forward pack while Niilo "blood stains" Kivistö operated nice moves with the backs. Tackling was nearly perfect and scrums worked well too. Slowly but steadily we were able to increase the lead and take a sweeeeet win over the arch rivals.
HRC 3 - 14 Lahti Sisu
Second match-up was against group-winning Lahti boys. We desperately wanted to improve our track record against the boys in black. The match was fierce from the get-go leading to several negotiations between referee and the captains. Joonas 'John Eales' Santala scored an early penalty and we came close putting more points on the board but unfortunately Lahti was able to snatch the lead. We played a decent match but Lahti was just a tad better this time. Despite the loss this was the best score against Lahti this season.
HRC 0 - 41 Rauma Ice Pack
After a very short break we had to face the hosts. Rauma had put up probably their best team ever showing some great moves and runs in the earlier matches. Tiredness was clearly taking its toll on us, especially when we had such a few forwards to throw in the gladiator arena. Despite a nasty scoreline we gave everything we had to spare and managed to even improve our poor tackling in the second half.
Finally the sounds of the game turned into sounds of third half. Once again Rauma boys put up a classy 3rd half with bbq, sauna and some french singing. Unfortunately we had to leave the premises and return to Helsinki a bit too early. For us a bus trip back did not mean the end but merely a second beginning as the singing and drinking competitions with and against the Warriors carried on till the dim of the dusk and did not end until AussieBar closed its doors.
Man of the Tournament: Tim "Timmyyyyy" Sampson
Chairman's special mention award: Niklas Sved (played his first ever rugby matches)
Club's special fairwell awards: Christoph "Stalingrad-Christina" Bergs and Elliot "Le Frog" Frot...we miss u guys already, please come back soon
Match report by Joonas Santala