After the dissapointment of a week earlier the Helsinki RC ladies had a good week at training and were fired up to turn the tables at home and stay in the hunt for a place at the upcoming final's day hosted by Helsinki Rugby Club!
Some early pressure from the home team paid off with captain Ulla Tuomainen crossing the line to give Helsinki a 5-0 lead.
A tough match was always on the cards and Tampere fought back and to equalise with a try. After a match and a half of tackles around the neck the Tampere number 8 finally goes too far and five minutes before half time the referee shows a yellow card, sending her for a well deserved 10 minute break.
In the second half Tampere took the lead 10-5 before Teija Alasalmi burst through for her second try in two games against TRC, taking the score to 10-10 and setting up a dramatic end to the game.
While Sanni was confusing ankles and knees, HRC continued playing a hard game with our forwards knocking the TRC pack back and the backs running some great lines. Mira Saarikoski burst through the TRC defense from fullback to score under the post, and with Zita Floret's conversion the home team had a 17-10 lead with time running out.
A week ago it was a poor second half that saw TRC win, but this time HRC were playing with everything right to the final whistle, not giving TRC a chance in the dying minutes and although a bonus point try was not to be, a victory for HRC ladies was!
Once again, choosing the player of the day was difficult with every HRC player giving 100%. Teija was always in support, Sonja gave the TRC girls something to think about, Marikki played well, Sanni and Zita combined well in open play, Mira made some great runs and every player stayed on the field despite it looking like a battlefield at times, but player of the day was Ulla Tuomainen who had a great game as captain, leading by example, stealing more balls in the match than Richie McCaw does in a season and looking very happy to be back at number 8, so well done Ulla and well done HRC Ladies!
Match report by Tony Brick