Pingvin deservedly win at home 29 – 18
With six minutes to go Exiles were leading 18 – 15 with six penalties to two tries but Pingvin finished strongly with a further two tries and a try count of 4 – 0. So for the third year in a row Exiles will have to pull back a deficit when Pingvin come up to Stockholm in August if they want to have the last final game at home. I´m told with two minutes to go an Exiles line-out 5m. from the Pingvin line at 22 – 18 was not straight and on the final whistle a fancy passing move on halfway broke down allowing Pingvin to kick through, chase and score. But if you want to win tight games you don´t do that sort of thing.
For the record, both Exiles and Pingvin started with six Swedes and five Georgians. Not maybe the proportions one would like to see in a Swedish Championship decider. The Pingvin Georgians gave a much greater stability to their scrum, perhaps edging the Exiles in that respect. Exiles in retrospect were perhaps missing too many key players, but they still had a strong team and you turn up on the day with what you´ve got, so no complaints.
Didn´t see the game but hope to write a fuller report when Pingvin get the match up on the web. God that the union got up a match report quickly, more pf this please.
Good day for the ladies
An impressive performance so far by the Swedish ladies on day 1 of the Europatrophy. They started off by completely outplaying the relatively weak Israeli team, finally winning 50 – 0. Norway, meantime pulled something out the bag to beat Rumania on the final whistle 19 – 17, but against Sweden they had little to offer, going down 29 – 0. The third game was, as expected, a tougher one but Rumänien were their own worst enemies. With a series of high tackles they were down to 4 players and Sweden took the opportunity to run in three tries during this period. They added another and Rumänien scored twice in the last minute to make it 22 – 10.
Sweden played at a much higher level than last year with speed, precision and off-loading which were seldom seen in 2018. Kicking is still shaky, however. Rebecca Kearney controls the game as usual and Carina Trinh is always looking for work both backwards and forwards.
The other outstanding team are Portugal, who seem in a hurry to get back to the Grand Prix as soon as possible. They are technically the best team on show but we´ll see how they get on against the powerful and hard-tackling Swedes.
Germany were perhaps a little weaker than expected but still managed to win all their games. When they get it all together they have a number of powerful runners. The three best teams all scored over 100 points in their three games and the two Olympic qualifiers will no doubt come from that group.
Germany – Turkey
Portugal – Rumänien
Sverige – Tjeckien
Finland – Norge
It will probably be Germany, Portugal and Sweden who go to the semis. Finland possibly slight favourites in the fourth quarter. The bad news is that Sweden will then meet Portugal in the semi. Defeat there and they cannot be better than third. There will of course be a second round to come at a later date.