Two delayed matches played in the last few days has now all teams having played 7 games and a chance to make proper comparisons. Hammarby seem to have just about got a full team together but went down 39 – 14 away to Göteborg who had more of a bench. No cards handed out. Last night in Södertälje the home team also a bit short of reserves lost 36 – 13 to Enköping who have assembled a stronger team than at the beginning of the season. The score was a little bit harsh on Södertäjje who pressed hard for long periods in the first half and had a good last ten minutes. They pushed Enköping all over the place in the scrums, thanks mainly to prop Nilserius, and were also much better in the lineouts. But Enköping were much smarter in taking their chances, had a much smoother backline, however, and deserved to win.
At home to Exiles in the first half of the season both these teams lost by around 100 points and they now meet Exiles away in the next two weeks. Let`s hope they can put up a better show next time around.
Another large question mark over the refereeing. I thought the game was played in a good spirit and yet there were three red cards and four yellows, two of which to the same person giving yet another red card. This is terrible refereeing, especially when most passages of play end in a penalty or free kick as well.
As things stand with three rounds to go Enköping and Göteborg are both on six points and fighting for third place. They have already played each other twice a and Enköping have the internal points advantage. Without going into detail, they could both end up on ten points, with Enköping just getting third place. Whom they will meet in the semis will depend on whether or not Exiles can catch up 11 points on Pingvin in just over two week´s time.
The Ladies have also seen the start of their 15´s season with holder´s Vänersborg meeting West Göta. A 50 – 10 win for the champions but a bit worrying that they can only get 14 players for a home game.
The 27th edition of the Tens was played on a much lower key than previously. Allan Mabon who had been in charge from the start retired after 25 years but stayed on to help with transference of all the details last year, but this year the new organiser was on her own. Perhaps in retrospect this was too much for her and there were far fewer teams than previously. The tournaments went well, however, although few of the normal facilities were available and the social events were also a success. Both Exiles´ men and ladies were happy to have a runaround and ended winning both tournaments.
There are a number of question marks to be resolved now. Can we get Skarpnäck the first week in August next year, do we know when we can move to our new rugby ground in Gubbängen, can we get together a new organising team and, not least, can we attract more Swedish and foreign teams to participate? Competition is tough and British teams seem to have disappeared from all over Europe.
Exiles will keep everyone informed about how we are going to proceed.