What a game of two halves this turned out to be! I had a forward pack with five players over one hundred kilograms, two French men in the centres - one a prop and the other a back row player. And I've never seen Helsinki play the way we did in the first half, we were like men possessed. We smashed the Warriors left, right and centre and kept them under serious pressure and eventually they started to crack and give away penalties, which Petri had no problem knocking over the bar. The best was yet to come - following some great pick and drives from the forwards we were in their 22 and when we spun the ball wide up stepped Marc-Olivier Meunier to barge his way through two defenders to score a great centre/prop's try. And at half time we were up 17-3 and in control.
When the second half started it was clear the Warriors captain Johno had fired up his lads, as was to be expected. After about ten minutes the Warriors started to get their score board ticking over, and in fairness to them it was their turn to be the men possessed - they turned it up a notch and unfortunately we did not have an answer to it. I think it is fair to say that our style and speed of playing caught up with us a bit - that's not to say we went quietly into the night - far from it! There were some stand out moments and players that day and a lot of players put their hands up to get the man of the match award, but on that day my man of the match went to Ville for his never say die attitude and his awesome effort throughout the game - he was always in the thick of the action and he definitely led from the front in that game. It was great to see such a big guy put in such an effort for the full eighty minutes. So well done to Ville and everybody else that played. While we lost that game 29-17 in the end, the tide was definitely turning at HRC, confidence was up and players were starting to back themselves, and in sport that's priceless!
Match report by Michael Kennedy