A rather halting start to the season with 14 matches played so far and a fair number postponed for various reasons. Allsvenskan has played five matches so far and there still appears to be some doubt as to whether Södertälje are now excluded after giving a w.o. to Pingvin last week. They would not have been playing this week anyway as they are travelling to St Petersburg to play in the European Club 7s tournament. Enköping, Swedish champions in 2018, must have said no to the invitation. Difficult to decide what to do here: we don´t want to kill off a club which has done quite well in recent years, but we don´t want clubs chopping and changing fixtures at the last minute, especially when their opponents lose considerable income. Personally, I would give Södertälje a second chance, but including some form of sanction. This weekend sees Hammarby receiving Pingvin and Exiles travelling to Enköping.
Hammarby received something of a beating last week against Exiles (7 – 85) with several players carted off the field. Their lock who played for Sweden last week will I expect be returning, but so will three players from Pingvin. Pingvin won comfortably first time out against Enköping but they only started scoring freely in the second half when their opponents were down to 14 men for 20 minutes. Much has been made of Pingvin´s foreign signings but only one Georgian and one Kiwi made the starting lineup. I don´t think the opposition has much to fear from the new Kiwi stand-off. He skipped over for a try early on but thereafter scrupulously avoided any form of contact whatsoever.
I doubt, however, whether Pingvin will have any problems against a slightly demoralized and injured Hammarby.
Exiles with perhaps their strongest team for some time have got off to a good start scoring 20 tries and conceding a couple late on in the two games. Enköping put up a decent show against Pingvin and lost by a single point away to Göteborg. They have also recorded quite a few injuries and are unlikely to last the full 80” against Exiles who, hopefully will have Giga and Theo back from Swedish duty.
Div. 1 North have managed four games so far with Erikslund losing twice to Uppsala but winning a tight game against Karlstad. After their first two wins Uppsala then received Exiles B. They were a different kettle of fish, however; with their backs especially playing well it was 54 – 0 to the visitors at halvtime. To their credit, Uppsala got their act together in the second half with both teams creating lots of chances. Exiles brought their subs on and suddenly scoring passes seemed to go astray. Uppsala persevered and on 77” went over for the second half “winner“. 7 – 54 to Exiles B, however, in a classic “game of two halves”.
This weekend (Sunday) Uppsala face Troján, who make a very late start to the season. They should have their strongest team, including internationals, and I would expect them to be a little bit too strong for Uppsala.
The other game this weekend should have been Karlstad – Exiles B, but it has been rearranged as no referee was available.
Only two games so far in Div. 1 South with Malmö due to play Spartacus on Sunday . Both teams well beaten in their first, away games.
Finally, Div. 2 with three games played. Attila, probably a bit stronger than the others, has won their only game easily, Berserkers and Griffins have one won – lost one, while the Hammers have lost both. This week it´s Attila versus the Berserkers and the Griffins versus the Hammers. Two home wins expected.
Another round of the Ladies´ 7s, hopefully with all of the best players present. This will probably be the first chance to see how the two best teams, Exiles and Vänersborg, fare against each other.