Rugby in Sweden and Europe

Thoughts on rugby from Hunter Mabon Senior

Going to the match

In a visit to my home town Edinburgh to support the U20s we went with them to the Scotland – South Africa match. It´s years since I´ve been to an international there but my experience of Murrayfield stretches back to the 1950´s. I even scored a try there when playing on the wing for Edinburgh schools against Canada. I was at the game when the mythical South Africans beat Scotland 44 – 0 which with a 5-point try would have been 60 – 0 and also at the game where the SRU admitted 106,000 spectators were present. In actual fact there were 146,000 but there would have been a riot if that figure had been revealed. In these days there was a school pipe-band playing before the game, a senior royal met the teams and elderly stewards escorted spectators to the single stand. In these teetotal days the stewards would also challenge spectators who had smuggled in a hipflask (fickplunta) and eject them from the ground.

Things are a bit different nowadays. Drink is available, the stewards are now young boys and girls who proved incapable of giving any coherent advice about how to find your seats. We climbed about 100 steps, no question of lifts, and found that we were placed just beyond the dead-ball area. This made us almost 100 m. from the centre spot and perhaps 160 metres from the furthest away corner of the pitch. The game started at 5:20 pm, determined of course by the BBC who had scraped together enough to pay for the two cheapest internationals, the other being Wales vs Tonga, and these of course had to be played consecutively. It was dark by the time we were seated with half an hour to go and the floodlighting ranged along the top of the stand also distracted from viewing the actual pitch. Both teams were out by then going through their drills but they were back in the changing rooms with 20 minutes to go. Then all the lights were switched off and the crowd was asked to light up their telephones which many thousands did. I´m told this is done at pop concerts which I last attended 60 years ago when we didn´t even have a telephone at home. Then in pitch darkness the Red Hot Chili Peppers gave a mediocre rendition of the Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond” although they were helped by the whole crowd which sang along lustily. The Proclaimers classic hit was also played while a psychedelic display raged around, interspersed with canons/fireworks exploding at regular intervals. Then, just as we were expecting the Rolling Stones or Justin Bieber to appear, two teams ran on to the pitch and it seemed a rugby game was planned. A poor version of the normally moving South African anthem blared out and then we had “Flower of Scotland” with it seemed all 60,000 of those present belting it out. No royal presentations these days and the game was on.

This was what we had come to see, but for me it was almost impossible. My eyesight is not what it was, but I am told by others around me with better vision that only tiny players could be discerned in the distance. I watched the match on one of the big screens at each end of the ground. But there were further problems. Beer sales mean that spectators are up and down throughout the match to purchase and to relieve themselves. Many stand up every time Scotland approaches the opposition line, quite often on the day, even blocking the big screens. I saw nothing of the Scottish tries and very little of anything else as a screen of bodies appeared every few minutes.

What with a battle to get into the ground and a battle to get out again it took us 4 ½ hours to get back and forward to our hotel about three miles away for the 2×40” game.

And the cost of the tickets? 1.200:- each. Was it worth it? Certainly not. I´m sure the youngsters had a great time, but it would have been better for my wife and I to have bought a small TV for the price of our two tickets and to watch rugby at home for the rest of our natural lives.

Engineers take every chance to win 44 – 7

After the pretty miserable conditions on a last resort pitch against Stirling University on Wednesday it was a pleasure to arrive at an immaculate Edinburgh University sports ground on a sunny day on Friday. In front of a crowd of over 300 in the stand the teams were piped on to the pitch in brilliant renditions of “Du gamla, Du fria” and “Flower of Scotland”.

The Swedish U20 team was by now down to 18 more or less fit players against a team of 21 students who were around 3 years older, in the middle of their season and without the strain of a match two days before.

Nevertheless, Sweden started off well, put their opponents under pressure, and Liam Pallin ran round the outside to touch down. Mattieu added the points and the visitors had a spring in their stride. Sweden continued to attack but missed three line-outs in a row and within a few minutes the University counter-attacked and were over in the corner. Play moved from end to end for some tine but then the home team turned defense into attack once again and scored an excellent try after interpassing in the backs. The kick went over to make it 12 – 7. There was stalemate for some time in an open flowing game. Sweden had their chances but the home defense was very solid,

On 25”, the Engineers took a penalty to the corner and in a clever move broke away to score in the corner. Then, just on half-time, after intense pressure the home team got their fourth try via a drive over and it was 24 – 7 at the break. This felt a little peculiar as Sweden had had over 50% possession and territory but couldn´t break down the opposition defense.

But worse was to come. Sweden pinned the university in their own half for an unbroken 15”. But then an interception saw a break-out from near the university line. The runner was caught but support was there for them to score on their first outing into the Swedish half.

Ten minutes later they were back in the Swedish half again and another long run saw a try yet again in the corner.

This made it 34 – 7, but the Swedish team didn´t lose heart and were back on the attack once more. And once again an interception near the home team line saw the students sweeping 90 m. up the field to score again with 7” minutes to go. On the final whistle the university made it into the Swedish half for the fourth time and scored yet again to make it 44 – 7.

By my watch, after the break the university engineers were in the Swedish half for 6”, during which time they chalked up four tries! Sweden on the other hand had spent about 25” around the home 22 m. line without getting over the whitewash.

The scoreboard doesn´t lie, but it certainly didn´t reflect what was in fact quite a close game.

The U20s had run out of players by the end and the pack was chopped and changed throughout but still stood up pretty well, although the lineout was shaky. Anthony R. had a good game, judged to be man of the match, while the biggest man on the field, Alasdair M. had a few useful bursts. Theo was hampered by a twisted ankle from Wednesday but was still given the man of the tour award. Olle H. was once again very steady at scrum half. If Sweden had had the 23 players originally chosen for the trip the score would, I think, have been very different today. But these problems have to be surmounted. Over a dozen of the players from the tour will be eligible for the U20s again next year and with the U18s also showing up well this Autumn there should be the makings of a good U20s team for 2019.

All in all, an excellent tour so far, rounded off today with a visit to the Scotland – South Africa game. Congratulations once again to coach and manager Henry van Niekerk and Sean Logan. It is a pleasure to see how a tour of this type should be administered and managed. And congratulations also to the players. A well-behaved, polite and appreciative group of young men.

U20s overpower Stirling University 22 – 7

The newly formed Swedish U20 team put up an impressive display to beat a better than expected Stirling University by four tries to one in a match whose venue was changed twice because of waterlogged pitches. The final pitch was acceptable, although heavy and muddy, and the game was played in an almost continuous drizzle.

Coach Henry van Niekerk had had his fair share of troubles prior to the game with two last minute withdrawals through injury, two players not released by the army and one player not allowed on the plane because his papers were not in order. Finally, he assembled 19 players with a shortage of front row players. Second row moved up to prop and back row to second row, but the forwards were just able to hold their own in the scrums and were ahead in the lineouts.

Stirling started off strongly aided by a slight slope and a following wind but the U20 defence was rock solid. The Swedes came more into the game and showed they could make breaks in the backs. Finally, after 15” Samuel Ekfeldt broke through and ran away to score under the posts. Mattieu Spens converted and a few minutes later a powerful forward drive saw Arvid Peters over for another. 12 – 0 to the visitors but Stirling continued to press and they finally got through to score a converted try on the half-time whistle.

In the second half it was the U20s who had the advantage and a little better timing of the final pass could have given a couple of tries. Stirling held on however although the attacks got closer to their own line. Finally the pack went over again and Anthony Rafael got the touchdown. One last attack by Stirling, but it was comfortably contained and the Swedes worked their way down the field again for Theo Karlsson to force his way over for the final try.

The Swedish defence was outstanding, I don´t think they missed a tackle all afternoon and the handling of both teams was top class considering the conditions. Theo at Nr 8 was a very nasty surprise for the Scottish boys, He burst through several times to make 40 metres with two or three defenders required to stop him. My man of the match. Viggo Pihl had an excellent game as well, despite playing out of position. The backs all ran strongly, as well as chopping down their opponents. Olle Håkansson kept the ball flowing from the base of the scrum while Rasmus Lindquist at stand-off created problems for the Stirling defence. All in all a fine team effort.

Stirling took the game very seriously with both their teams training and warming up before the game. Stirling are not one of the stronger varsity sides but university rugby is making rapid progress in Britain and they were a well-drilled and useful side who were certainly not planning to lose to the inhabitants of the frozen North.

This was a punishing game and we will see how many of our 19 players are still on the field for the Edinburgh University game on Friday. The Edinburgh University team is the best in Scotland. They played a start of season match against St Andrews in September at Murrayfield in front of a crowd of 10.000. This team would probably have been too strong for the U20s, but we will be playing the Engineering faculty which should be about the right level to provide another tough game.

Half-way in the European 15s

Five of the ten games played in the European North Conference 1, with the remainder to be played in the Spring of 2019.

After two games each Sweden and Ukraine have 9 points, Hungary 5, Luxembourg 1 and Moldavia 0.

Sweden has still to play Hungary and Ukraine; Ukraine plays Moldova and Sweden; Hungary plays Sweden and Luxembourg; Luxembourg plays Moldova and Hungary, while Moldavia plays Luxembourg and Ukraine.

Sweden´s strengths and weaknesses have been dealt with earlier. I´ve watched all the games and none of the teams have been particularly convincing. Ukraine are ranked 35 and should be the strongest team in the group. Yet in 2017 they only drew with Hungary and were well beaten by Lithuania who were then promoted. This year they were initially in command against Luxembourg but faded at the start of the second half and the match was in the balance, 17 – 13, for some time. Their strong pack pulled them through and they got a try late on to make it 24 – 13. In their second game, they also looked like running away with it, leading 30 – 10 at half time. But once again they seemed to fade, letting Hungary back into the game with a final score of 48 – 24.

Sweden started off with the rout of an appalling Moldavian team who conceded 49 points in 17 minutes in the second half. In their second game against Luxembourg Sweden just had the edge but could easily have lost to a final easy penalty which just sailed by.

The final game saw Moldavia face Hungary. The match was moved to a small town outside the capital and was played on the worst, badly marked, pitch I have ever seen in European rugby. Moldavia had retained nine of the starters against Sweden, had improved slightly, but were still a very poor team. The crowd was no more than a few dozen. This was Hungary´s first game and they were not impressive, far poorer than the year before. They conceded a try in the first minute and struggled to win 31 – 16, although their victory was never in doubt.

Summing up, Sweden a little better than the year before, but still nothing like a complete side. Ukraine with a strong pack who seem to go off the boil in the second half. Nothing like the team of yesteryear, Luxembourg improving, playing better against Ukraine than against Sweden. Hungary definitely weaker than the year before but can still put together some good scoring moves. Moldova a sad story with several fine forwards playing at top level in Western Europe. Unless they all rally to the cause, they will lose away to Luxembourg and be relegated ending up among the lesser northern European teams. Ukraine will take 5 points off Moldavia while Sweden should also win their first game in the Spring, although it depends on which Hungarian team turns up. This should give a promotion decider in May with Sweden travelling to the Ukraine. This will be the most important rugby game for Sweden in 2019 and I would call upon the Union to start planning for this immediately. Anything less than the best trained, selected and coached Swedish team will not be good enough to beat a Ukrainian team at home, who also have all to play for.

Sweden U20 head for Scotland

I can´t say I´ve been a great fan of even more Swedish national teams being formed to represent the country abroad. With U18s, males, females, 7s and 15s all clamouring for a role in representing Sweden it is easy to see why the Union is wary about financing a further age group, U20.

There are, unfortunately, no U20 leagues or tournaments in Sweden and this I think should be a requirement before any teams are sent abroad. In this case there are, however, a number of factors which suggest that this U20 team should be supported.

The U20 age group is growing in importance internationally at the expense of U18. It is important to test our strength at this level.

Almost all the players are based in Sweden and are playing regularly in various leagues. All five of the Exiles players have played at least the odd game for the Swedish champions (I´m still counting Jonathan Craenen as an Exiles player although he´s now studying in Belgium) and at least five more play regularly for other Allsvenska clubs. In fact I think half a dozen of the young men have been selected for national senior squads and three of them have in fact already played for Sweden.

I don´t know all of the players from the smaller clubs but this seems close to be the best we can put together, apart from perhaps a couple of players from Pingvin. As has been mentioned the team has congregated three times and put up not a bad show at the Stockholm Tens.

Their coach, Henry van Niekerk, has first as assistant and then as senior coach led Exiles to their last five Swedish titles and in doing so has built up a coaching competence which deserves recognition at a higher level.

In short, let´s see how they get on against not the strongest of opposition.

University rugby in Scotland has in the past been at a modest level but in recent years there has been a big improvement. Stirling are not among the best while Edinburgh are the current champions. In the latter case, Sweden will I think be playing one of the larger faculties, engineering.

I can´t really assess the strength of the opposition in advance, but I will stick my neck out and state that we should win both matches. Defeats would suggest that we have more to work on at this level.

I will be attending both matches and expect to file match reports on the Exiles home page.

When money as always is short, my family has said that we are prepared to give financial support to the Union when teams are well prepared, the best Swedish players are chosen, and the teams are well coached and managed. We consider this to be the case with the present U20 team.

Final thoughts on the Swedish XV

I have had another look at the game against Luxembourg yesterday and have a few final thoughts. Sweden could easily have lost of course if the final penalty had just drifted inside the post instead of just outside. But I think on balance Sweden did just about enough to win. Their attack was a bit sharper and, apart from a burst just before the interval, Luxembourg never really looked like challenging the Swedish line. In fact, Sweden haven´t conceded a try in the two games so far, which is always a plus.

The backs were better this week than against Moldova, with a much lower error rate, but the off-loading still needs to be improved. The two centres and Arnold on the wing were threatening and the oldest brother Murphy created gaps when coming into the line from fullback. My main complaints when it comes to the backs are that there are four or five scrum halves in Sweden who offer more than the young lad from Södertälje. Once Fredrik Enstad moved to his best position the threat from the Swedish backs increased dramatically. I also feel that Philip Murphy has a bit to go at standoff. He makes half-breaks, stops and is not terribly good at offloading. Once again there is one far better player in Sweden.

Turning to the forwards, I think it is an insult to Swedish sport to have three obviously overweight players in the starting line-up. They seldom contribute in the rucks and mauls, especially towards the end of the game, and end up in the backs where they slow the other real backs down without ever making more than two or three metres, if they don´t drop the ball. This is very poor selection indeed.

On the positive side I think Arthur Marini had his best game for Sweden. He took 7 or 8 lineouts and disrupted a couple of Luxembourg throw-ins, as well as getting about the field. Theo Karlsson was his usual dynamic self and the Luxembourg scrum started going backwards when he moved up to the front row. Giga has had a quiet start to his international career but in the last 20 minutes yesterday he began to flex his muscles and showed up well in attack and defence. Not bad for a refugee after three years in the country!

It´s sad to think how much stronger we could be with the 7 – 8 reinforcements who are available. A whole squad of them are off to play in the Dubai Sevens in a few week times with several international select teams. I think we would have a chance against Ukraine in the Spring if they were included in the Swedish team, but I doubt if we can make promotion with the present squad.

Luxembourg next

Sverige hade 23 spelare i truppen mot Moldovien (80 – 6). Mot Luxembourg i morgon presenteras en trupp om 21 spelare. Fem spelare har försvunnit från den första truppen och tre har tillkommit.

De som lämnat är Sami Paulsson (Exiles), flanker; Conor Murphy (Landsdowne), uthalv; Nils Holmgren (Uppsala), nr 8; Jonas Zengler (Trojan), tredje/andra led; Sebastian Pihlainen (Hammarby) ytter. Fyra av dessa kan vi nog leva utan, men Sami är en enorm förlust, han var ju Sveriges bäste spelare mot Moldavien. Jag vet inte om det är jobb eller skada som är problemet, men det är en klar försvagning att han inte är med.

De som tillkommit är Alfred Nordgren (Malmö), kedja; Jan-Olof Johansson (Spartacus), kratsare; Antoine Coopoosamy (Exiles), ytter. Alfred är en klar förstärkning, men det kan man knappast säga om de två andra. 34-åringen Johansson har spelat 4 – 5 matcher för Spartacus i Div. 2 i år och Antoine är en bra klubbspelare som dock inte platsar i Exiles bästa 23. Av Exiles 12 serie- och slutspelsmatcher startade han i fyra och var på bänken i två.

De som startar mot Luxembourg blir något svagare p g a Samis frånvaro och jag vill påminna som vanligt om att truppen av okänd anledning saknar 8 – 10 av Sveriges bästa spelare.

Luxembourg spelade bra mot Ukraina (13 – 24) för ett par veckor sedan och är bättre än på länge. Jag är inte helt säker på att Sverige vinner; det kan bli en tuff och jämn match. Men vi ställer upp med ett lag som inte rimligtvis kan aspirera på Trophy-nivån nästa år.

Skall också bli intressant att se hur Moldavien klarar sig mot Ungern i morgon. Ungern var en frisk fläkt förra året och kan inte Moldavien skärpa sig kan det bli en ny storförlust. Flera av deras bästa klungaspelare spelar dock numera på hög nivå i Väst. Matchen streamas inte, viket är illavarslande, och det står inte en rad om den på Moldaviens hemsida.

Enköping fyller 50 år

Åren går och plötsligt har nykomlingarna fyllt 50 år! När Exiles började spela 1964 var svensk rugby ett ganska litet sällskap. Motståndarna var Attila, Älvsjö, Troján, Malmö och Pingvin. Men inom några år var det flera nya som tillkom: Göteborg, Vänersborg, Uppsala, Enköping och Spartacus och rugby började få något slags rikstäckning. På 60-talet var det Malmö som dominerade med 5 SM, deras senaste (sista?) 1967. Attila stack upp 2 gånger, även här kanske för sista gången 1968, medan Exiles och nykomlingen Uppsala (med f.d. Exile Tony de Belder i spetsen) tog en titel vardera.

I början på 70-talet tog Uppsala och Exiles sina andra SM, tillsammans med ytterligare en nykomling, Vänersborg.

Men fr o m 1973 blev det Enköping som dominerade svensk rugby i nästan två årtionden. Under perioden fram till 1990 vann de 16 av 18 titlar med endast Uppsala (1977) och Exiles (1989) som avbröt sviten. Med 11 i rad (1978 – 1988) som längsta serien. Under långa perioder var de t o m obesegrade och det var snack om att de skulle behöva söka sig utomlands för att få något motstånd. Intressant att notera var att nästan alla spelare kom från Enköpingstrakten och att de inte sällan hade ett halvt dussin juniorer i laguppställningen. Det är alltid svårt att jämföra spelargenerationer men jag tror nog att de som varit med länge skulle placera Kari Tapper, Niklas Jaråker, Jonas Toresäter och Mats Asp bland sina bästa svenska spelare genom tiderna.

Ingenting varar för evigt i idrottssammanhang och så har det också varit för Enköping. Pingvin dominerade som bekant under 90-talet med 10 titlar i rad, fast flera av dem vanns med ett nödrop. Efter sekelskiftet har det varit Exiles som varit det ledande herrlaget med 18 SM-finaler i rad och 12 titlar, men det skulle förvåna om de kan upprepa Enköpings bedrift från 70- och 80-talen.

Av de sex finaler som Exiles förlorat på 2000-talet var det Enköping som stod för fyra av dessa. Men det har varit 7 år sedan sist och även om de tog bronset i år skall jag vara snäll och låta bli att nämna med hur mycket de förlorade mot Exiles några veckor innan. Än en gång har de dock ett ungt och lovande lag och vi får hoppas att de med åren blir starkare. Svensk rugby behöver ett konkurrenskraftigt Enköping. Deras damlag har också till och från varit bland de bättre och kan hittills stoltsera med fem titlar.

20 SM till herrarna och 5 till damerna ger 25 vuxna SM, en strålande prestation och även om Exiles håller på att hinna ikapp (15 herr-SM och 10 dam-SM) får vi än så länge tilldela Enköping titeln ”Sveriges bästa rugbyklubb genom tiderna”. Gratulerar på födelsedagen!

Sista ordet om Sverige – Moldavien

Jag såg att Pasi, förbundets sekreterare, hade antytt att mina skriverier bestod av ”Faktafel, sakfel och felbedömningar”. Jag såg framemot att läsa hans synpunkter och kanske rentav rätta till mina fel. Det visade sig dock att Pasis inlägg bestod endast av dessa fyra ord. Svårt att bygga upp ett försvarstal på grundval av denna penetrerande analys.

Nåväl, jag har inget otalt med Pasi, jag tycker att han och de flesta andra i styrelsen gör ett bra jobb, även om det tycks vara omöjligt att förmå den aktuella landslags-ledningen att berätta vad de håller på med.

Jag ser lite antydningar om skadeglädje att jag kunde ha så totalt fel om det svenska landslagets styrka och jag befarar att de två segrarna mot två länder i sönderfall (Lettland och Moldavien) kan anses legitimera vår landslagsstyrning.

Begrunda dock följande:

På deras officiella hemsidan skriver Moldovas Rugbyförbund (som tydligen skiljer sig från den aktuella ledningen) följande:

”Moldaviska landslaget inledde med en förödmjukande förlust på 80 – 6 mot Sverige i Conference 1 N.

Utan en riktig förberedelse eller ett riktigt urval, med spelare i 50-års åldern och spelare som inte längre spelar rugby utan arbetar utomlands, har den aktuella ledningen för Moldavisk rugby uppnått sitt mål att ”i huvudsak delta” och har nu hamnat på 48:e plats i rangordningen.

Matchen visar den aktuella moldoviska rugbyledningens sanna ansikte.

Efter det att U18 kom sist i Europas 7-manna och efter denna förödmjukelse för landslaget uppmanar vi förbundets aktuella ledning att avgå.”

Vad jag förstår utsåg regeringen en ny ordförande, en f.d. spelare, varpå alla de etablerade spelarna vägrade ställa upp för landslaget. Att döma av ovanstående inlägg var situationen ännu värre än man anade, det var ett riktigt bottenskrap som ställde upp mot Sverige. Någon statistik från matchen:

M. gick bakåt i varje klunga men S. lyckades vinna en enda klunga mot insättningen.

Efter 30” ledde Sverige 9 – 1 i straffar. Dessa sparkades mot sidlinjen och togs ohotade av främst Anders N. och Sami. Bollen ut till kedjan som 9 gånger tappade bollen, passade fel eller förlorade bollen vid tacklingar. Gult kort till M. klungaspelare och då kunde S. trycka in två försök. Det tredje kom också efter anfall i klungan. 17 – 3 efter en halvtimme. De 10 återstående minuterna till halvtid kunde M. med hjälp av tre straffar gå till anfall. Detta bestod av att överviktiga forwards upprepade gånger sprang rakt in i den svenska försvarsmuren. 17 – 3 i pausen.

Två försök till S. på några minuter in i andra halvlek, men då hade M. en ny anfallsperiod som gav en straffspark. Efter 58” fortfarande endast 31 – 6, men efter 56” låg fyra M. spelare på marken och det var uppenbart att loppet var kört. Under 17” (58” – 75”) gjorde S. sju försök och 49 poäng. M. samlade sig de sista fem minuterna med samma anfall som tidigare och samma utfall.

Andra halvlek: få straffar (3 – 5), få inkast, få klungor, 4 till fel hos S. kedja

Totalt: straffar 12 – 9; inkast – alla egna 11 (Anders 5, Sami 5, Arthur M. 1) inga (?) mot inkasten; klunga – en mot insättningen, 13 fel i S. kedja

Allmänt: tveksamt om M. nådde allsvensk nivå. Närvarande Exiles spelare ansåg att de var minst 100 poäng bättre och det kan vara en riktig bedömning.

Svensk klunga gjorde bra ifrån sig, men mot enbart symboliskt motstånd. Jonas Grillfors kastade in bra och Sami var överallt, framåt och bakåt.

S. ihopplockade backar hade en alldeles för hög felfrekvens. Så länge det var något motstånd uträttade de ingenting. Axel Kalling Smith kanske den som var mest lovande. Fredrik Enstad borde ha spelat klunghalv från start, såg Ni hur han skapade de två sista försöken?

Sveriges bästa lag hade petat ut minst hälften av de 15 som startade.

Jag såg på nytt Ukraina – Luxemburg. En helt annan nivå än S. – M.

L. spelade jämnt i klunga och inkast men kunde till sist inte stå emot de tuffa U. forwards som utgjorde sina främsta anfallsvapen. L.s kedja var också bra, med lite tur hade de fått ett par försök till.

Antagligen blir S. i stort oförändrat inför Luxemburg. Jag är inte helt säker på att ett sådant svenskt lag kan slå L. på bortaplan.

Sverige – Moldavien

Det gamla vanliga, avhopp i sista sekunden, horribla beslut om vilka som startar, laget annonseras half ett på lördag morgon.

Det finns anledning att revidera min prognos att Sverige kan vinna med några få poäng. Det står förvisso inte ett ord någonstans om landslaget från Moldavien, men de måste vara rätt svaga för att förlora mot den svenska uppsättningen.

Några kommentarer: Grillfors har inte spelat särskilt många matcher i år, bara två som kratsare. Som jag nämnde i går finns fyra bra kratsare hos Exiles och Pingvin. Inget fel på Christopher Nilserius men att placera honom fore en av Sveriges bästa spelare alla kategorier, Theo Karlsson, är horribelt. Marini har inte imponerat hittills som andraledare, men det fanns inte mycket att välja på. Enligt matchrapporterna har Ek spelat två ganger som andraledare under säsongen. Lite oklart hur mycket han har startat, står nästan alltid som nr 17. Tredje ledet OK, men “Neex” har spelat ut Erik S. på sistone.

När det gäller backarna platsar bara två som spelar i Sverige och dessa i Div. 1. Avspeglar den fantasivärld som landslagsledningen lever i. Inget fel på våra fem “utlänningar”, men jag tror inte att någon av dem skulle få plats i en Exiles/Pingvin kombination.

De två dominerande klubbarna i Sverige har fått tre spelare med i startuppsättningen och totalt 5 bland de 23 i truppen. Kan det vara någon sorts masspsykos som har drabbat ledningen?

  1. Giga Khanishvili – Exiles
  2. Jonas Grillfors – Enköping
  3. Christopher Nilserius – Södertälje
  4. Arthur Marini – Paris Universitet
  5. Henrik Ek – Troján
  6. Erik Sjöbäck – Pingvin
  7. Sami Paulsson – Exiles
  8. Anders Nilsson – Blackheath
  9. Philip Axelsson – Södertälje
  10. Conor Murphy – Landsdowne
  11. Nils Murphy – Landsdowne
  12. Tom Milner – Ilkley
  13. Axel Kalling Smith – Sussex Universitet
  14. Fredrik Enstad – Södertälje
  15. Philip Murphy – Dublin Universitet

 

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