First the Ladies: The Ladies 7s were quite entertaining with the four semifinalists all giving it it hammer and tongs in close-fought matches. The final order was Pingvin, Malmö, Exiles and Vänersborg with only one or two players making the national team. A disgrace of course, but what´s new?
Malmö seemed to be much weaker at 15s and they combine with Lugi to form Skåne Ladies. The West Coast also combines to form West Göta and that leaves only four club sides. Uppsala withdrew at a fairly late stage and some of their players have now strengthened Exiles.
The expectation was that the three remaining 7´s semifinalists would battle over the medals and by chance the first round of the 15s pitted these three against the others. The matches were played over three days as many Swedish players were down in Copenhagen last week for the Scandinavian Sevens.
A start was made by Vänersborg against West Göta and the 2018 holders won 50 – 10. I don´t know if this was some kind of joke but Lisa Nilsson was on the score sheet as scoring all eight tries for Vänersborg. No doubt a record if true. Then on Saturday Pingvin easily disposed of Skåne Ladies by 37 – 0. They are in the process of recruiting a couple of players from abroad and will only get better. Last night Exiles were in action against Enköping who were put to the sword by 63 – 0. Star of the show was Minna Leijonhufvud, 16 in a few day´s time, who ran in four tries on the wing with an honourable mention for Jennifer Sundquist who got a hat-trick. Minna is the daughter of Stina Leijonhufvud, former chairperson of the Union and one of the most powerful runners in the history of the game. If Minna develops in her mother´s image we have a lot to look forward to.
The league is played as a single series which does not make for a level playing field. The luck of the draw has meant that of the three strongest teams Vänersborg has home games against Exiles and Pingvin, Exiles has one home and one away against the other two, while Pingvin has to travel long distances to play against the other two.
The winner of the series will then play at home to the team placed 4th, which should give an easy win in this single semi. They will then have the further advantage of having a single home final as well.
This is not a particularly well thought-out league structure which could perhaps leave Vänersborg in the driving seat throughout. We´ll see, however, there´s plenty of rugby to be played before we get to the finals.
I wrote last week about the situation in the Men´s Allsvenska. With three rounds to go the semifinalists were more or less determined and the only real questions were who would be first or second and who would be third or fourth. These question marks remained after round 8. Enköping are making progress, but they´re still no match for Exiles who were not at their best but still pulled away to win 55 – 0. Södertälje struggled once again to get 15 players on a long away trip and were comfortably dispatched by Göteborg, 34 – 7.
Disaster of the week was Hammarby, due to travel to Pingvin, who stated on their own webpage that they were close to giving a walkover. They finally played with 13 men including 2 borrowed from Pingvin. Result: 96 – 7 to the home team. With two of the six Allsvenska teams only just surviving and the main contender for promotion conceding 70 points to Exiles B, the situation is getting more desperate by the week.