It was warm sunny day and early wake up especially all the players traveling by bus from Helsinki to Jyväskylä.
I was in Vilppula more than 100 kilometres away of Jyväskylä. So I started my match day on Saturday morning, moving first by train to Haapamäki.
Still 80 kilometres to Jyväskylä. I need to change train and I had almost one hour time to eat there, before Jyväskylä train should leave.
But after very good lunch trouble starts. Train is not coming, it will be at least one hour late. I need to react pretty fast. Solution waiting to train and maybe 30 minutes before match on the field. Solution taxi and I should be at least one hour before the match on the field. Taxi arrives and driver promise me bill will be 120 euros.
Pretty close Jyväskylä number is 119.90 and driver closes the bill. We are on the pitch 75 minutes before the kick off.
Before the match team is building up concentration, aggression, tactics, back and forward moves, everyone knows we need to win this to carry on the season with high spirit and championship hopes and everyone feels it is possible but it will not be easy as we remember how they won us 2012. Kevin, Amaurau and Rich are forming the first row, Marko and Benoit second row, Chris Boyd and Dmitri flankers, Chris Denholm number 8, captain Jared scrum half, Juhani number 10, Joonas and Mika centers, I will be playing left wing, right wing Kaius and full back Jono, back three. Stephen Whitaker is coaching from sideline because of his knee, Manu, Niklas and Petri are subs, Ville Siiskonen also encouraging team from the sideline and Thierry acting as a line judge.
Match started. Jyväskylä forwards dominates, they score early try, willing to kill the match before half time. While Jyväskylä is putting great pressure to Helsinki line, captain Jared playing 9 injuries himself in a really bad way, but there is no time to stop now, just play for Jared giving him and the team victory. Niklas comes to replace Jared.
First Helsinki try
HRC is coming more and more to match picture after first 10-20 minutes. Ball is on the left side of the field, pretty close of sideline. Forwards are putting phases working, ball is played to Chris Denholm. Chris uses his will, power and will power rushing over the line, first try for Helsinki.
After Helsinki first try numbers are very close but domination is moving from Jyväskylä to Helsinki.
HRC has ball on the left side of the field. Forwards go over the ball to secure it, I am the first one, so I need to act as scrum half, I hear the voice of inside center Mika asking for the ball, I give Mika long pass, he run few meters, before kicking it high towards Jyväskylä full back. Kaius is running hard after the kick, full back has no room for his kick, so Kaius manages to charge down the ball, taking the ball and running for the second Helsinki try.
Helsinki is now leading, match is still on, Jyväskylä is trying hard but now we know some of their weak points.
Golden boot, Juhani is holding on the ball. He is kicking high and long ball to left side of the field. Two Jyväskylä players are trying to reach the ball, I read the bounce right winning the ball, hearing Joonas Nevakivi asking for the ball, I give him little pass securing him nice run for try.
Half ends and we are leading.
Jyväskylä need points, so they are pushing hard from the start. We are getting more injuries and also one yellow card, I am moving to flanker after 10-20 minutes, because of injuries. Manu is joining first row, Petri wing. Still we were thinking, we are not giving up today no matter happens.
When they are not getting points, Jyväskylä forwards seems to get more tired and we are getting more and more ball from the scrums.
And we need also one try for the bonus point.
Our forwards won the ball on the left side of the field. Ball was quickly passed to back line and loose forwards I and Dmitri were joining to move resulting Dmitri getting the ball giving his best speed for very massive run. Fourth try and bonus point for the HRC.
Joonas is walking on with very pink underwears. I was awarded man of the match. For my opinion there was many inviduals and especially the HRC team very good on that sunny day. No shouting to ref or other players, just belief and hard work that is why we won. Be it or some other year, lot of shouting and losing the concentration and belief, losing the match, but not today on summer 2013. After Jared injury, Niklas was doing great job as a scrum half, Marko was giving many of his landmark tackles when Jyväskylä was very hard pushing by their strong forwards. Juhani three conversion kicks gave us more points, so final points are 26-8. Tactically we were using kicks, back moves and forward phases all was there.
Match report by Jarno Warsa-Ritaranta