HRC travelled to Tampere for their first away game of the season. From the beginning it was clear that it was going to be a tough one: We had suffered injuries and lots of players were missing due to different reasons. We had only 16 players in the roster and some players had to play in positions unfamiliar to them. That didn’t stop us from preparing well for the game and at the time of the kick-off everyone was 100% ready to play.
We got two penalties just less than 10 minutes into the game but the kicking was unfortunately inaccurate and the score remained 0-0 until Tampere broke through the blue and white defense for a converted try. Luck was not on our side as Marc Olivier injured himself shortly after the first try and young Ben Landgren stepped on the pitch to earn his first appearance in the 1st XV. Losing a strong forward player early in the game against a team like Tampere is rarely a positive thing and it proved to be the case also this time. Tampere controlled the ball possession and the game was played mostly on our half of the pitch which led to another converted try for Tampere before the end of first half. 14-0 HT.
The second half started with a lot of action. First Petri kicked in a penalty to make the score 14-3 and shortly after that both teams were shown the red card and the game continued with 14 against 14. It looked like HRC was the team that was going to benefit from the space on the field that the expulsions had created when Antti scored a try in the corner. The conversion was missed and the game continued with the score 21-8. However we were not able to keep the momentum we had gained and Tampere scored two tries. Their kicking game had been perfect all afternoon and no misses were seen this time either, 35-10. The lack of substitutes showed on the pitch as Tampere was able to keep their pace as we started to slow down. Juhani scored one more try for us and Petri booted in the conversion but it wasn’t enough. One more penalty kicked in by Tampere in the end of the second half and the scoreboard showed a 40-15 win for the home team when the referee blew the final whistle.
Match report by Tony Brick