It was Helsinki Warriors turn to organise the 2nd team tournament and HRC's troops were again ready to rock and roll and play some entertaining rugby. A good number of players showed up for Saturday to defend HRC's reputation as a fierce and annoying opponent for the other participating teams.
Due to Jyväskylä's Finnish Championship game against Turku, many Lahti Sisu players pulled out of the 2nd team tournament and therefore Lahti had to withdrawn their team leaving only 3 teams to contest for the glory: Helsinki RC, Warriors RC and Rauma Ice Pack.
The first game was against our lovely rivals WRC. From the beginning, our boys showed a great ambition and wanted to keep ball in hand and it worked spectacularly well: great runs with great angles by our nimble backs Jaakko Hannula, Petri Pallari, Jarno Paasonen and Anton Nevalainen created havoc and mayhem in Warriors side of the pitch. First few opportunities were ruined by not spreading the ball when needed but then everything clicked together and our gallant boys scored some spectacular running tries. Before the half time, HRC was leading by 4 or 5 tries.
In the second half, WRC decide to strengthen their team by fielding some of their first team players. They did gain some more possession but again, HRC manage to turn over some balls and release great counterattacks and tries were again scored by HRC. Warriors managed to create some chances and they took them by scoring two tries but eventually, our boys had the privilege to celebrate the second victory over Warriors this season in the Finnish Cup! Well done!
Straight after the Warriors game, HRC had to face Rauma. The match eventually became probably the biggest ass-kicking in HRC's history, but unfortunately, not in a HRC's favour. Rauma dominated the game with their agile and continuous attacks, where their players outpaced everyone in HRC. Our boys tried their best and we managed to launch some very good counterattacks but every time Rauma got the ball in their hands, they scored. Our tackling game wasn't good but then again, playing 10's against quick players is always very challenging in terms of tackling. At the end, Rauma won the game by 96-12. The mood was high in HRC, camp, however, as everyone knew that Rauma is a team that should be playing in the Championship - their game was very convincing. A big applause to Rauma for good sportsmanship as well. Eventually, Rauma also beat WRC by a margin of 60 or 70 points.
As the captain of the day, all I can say is that our boys gave their best and played some great rugby. Both the forwards and backs had a great day and it's difficult to name a player of the day, but I'd like to give special credit to Jussi Alaputto, who, again, showed some superb tackling skills and managed the game very well in both matches.
I'd like to thank very much all the players plus the supporters for a great day of rugby! It was a privilege to lead this team. I hope to see you all in trainings and upcoming matches (both the Championship and the cup games).
Match report by Ville Siiskonen