The first Championship match of the season 2012 was against our local rivals, Warriors Rugby Club. As HRC 2nd team had already beaten Warriors in the 2nd team tournaments and as training attendance had been good, HRC was full of confidence for the first Championship match. Match venue was the same as always, the beloved Myllypuro pitch 2.
HRC started strong by keeping the ball and crashing into the Warriors defence line. HRC managed to make meters and was camping a lot of time close to the WRC's tryline but, unfortunately, it didn't pay off. Warriors showed why they were the reigning champions by scoring tries as soon as they got retained the ball. Warriors back play was highly inventive and they took advantage of our poor tackling and gaps in the defence line. But, HRC decided to keep fighting and with the help of Juhani Majanen's golden boot, penalties went in and HRC remained close. Before half-time, fighting finally paid off with a nice try from Andrew Myrie. Juhani converted beautifully and 19-13 was the half-time score.
Second half started well for HRC. Marc-Olivier Meunieur put some pressure on WRC defence line and managed to steal the ball and almost reached the try line. Warriors turned the ball over but their clearing kick went straight to Andrew Myrie who ran through WRC's scattered defence line and scored a try. Juhani converted and HRC was finally on the lead. Unfortunatelly, that joy didn't last long as WRC got a soft try. Juhani managed to close the gap with a succesful penalty kick but then, Warriors hit the pedal and scored two tries with one conversion. Final whistle came and HRC left the pitch empty handed.
There were a lot of positives in the game, HRC scrum worked very well and our forward pack managed to make a lot of hard yards. But, poor line outs and reorganization of the defence line paid ultimately lost the game. Also, some bad new came as Mika Takala suffered a severe leg injury. Some individual brilliance was seen, though, Andrew Myrie showed his intelligence on the field, Mikko "Magic Moilanen controlled the game well as a scrum half, Juhani Majanen was in great kicking form and the new HRC player Chris Denholm impressed as a flanker. But Man of the Match was winger Jared Gregory, whose superb running lines made a lot of meters in the game. The whole team deserved credit for its never give up -attitude.
Match report by Ville Siiskonen