Like I said in my last report the tide was starting to turn at Helsinki RC and we had learnt a lot from the Warriors game and had all worked hard at training. So when the league leaders Tampere came to town we met them on the pitch full of confidence, and it showed early on with some fierce hits going in and great go forward from the team. We piled on the pressure early and Tampere gave us a kickable penalty which Petri duly kicked over the bar. Tampere came back at us as expected and piled on their own pressure and scored a try, then the game ebbed and flowed as both teams sought to gain the upper hand, I cant remember exactly how the scoring went but I know that Avea scored one of his trade mark tries (with about four guys hanging of his back) after some great attacking runs from HRC, then Petri scored a penalty to level the scores at 13 all.
Now we were in a battle and holding our own with the league leaders, both teams were desperate to score next and also desperate not to concede points either. But lady luck was on Tampere's side that day and their flanker got in under the post for a converted try in the last minute, needless to say breaking our hearts in the process, but as they say "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger"! So we came away from this game with more lessons learnt and we worked even harder at training our bodies and minds so we wouldn't need lady luck - we would make our own luck from here on in!
In every game I had played as captain so far, the HRC boys were making it very difficult for me to pick a man of the match, which is obviously a good thing. Against Tampere Avea had a great game as did Ville, Petri and Juhani but my man of the match went to Steve Whittaker who played the perfect blindside flanker game - when he wasn't stealing the ball or making important tackles he was non-stop chatting to wind up the opposition, which when done good can earn us points, which it did (and a black eye for Steve!) and at the very least it will put guys off their game, so well done Steve for a great effort and to all that played - you made your captain very proud to be your captain.
Match report by Michael Kennedy