Nine matches again this weekend even though the Exiles´ men have had their games rearranged. They were supposed to play in the European Clubs´ 7s Championship in St Petersburg, but the trip was not recommended by the Swedish Consulate, for Covid reasons. You can watch it via Rugby Europe´s TV. Now Enköping will get the chance next year.
Enköping – Troján
Göteborg – Vänersborg
Pingvin – Spartacus
Malmö – Lugi
Erikslund – Uppsala
Kalmar Södra – Berserkers
Hamarby – Exiles
Karlstad – Uppsala Berserkers
Göteborg – Skåne Ladies
Match of the day as usual will be the return game between Enköping and Troján. The visitor´s position is precarious. A loss will probably mean no place in the semis, although their best scenario could still mean a place if they beat Exiles by more than 13 points in their final game. If Exiles beat Enköping next week then a loss for Troján this week will mean it´s all over. If Exiles beat Enköping by more than 3 points next week, they will have to win their last game against Troján to take first place in the North and probably avoid a long trip down to Pingvin.
If Troján win at the weekend the situation becomes more complicated. We could even have a situation where all three clubs have four wins each. I´ll return to these scenarios.
So who will win on Saturday? The last game was played at a snail´s pace, which was probably to Enköping´s advantage. They had a strong second half, however, and got over near the end to clinch it. Troján´ s pack was definitely stronger last week against Exiles, as was the team as a whole. I would guess they were devastated to find that Exiles were stronger as well.
Enköping had a number of players “indisposed” last week against Hammarby but still won easily. The standard of both teams was pretty poor in the second half however and the Enköping reserves would not have got very far against the other two competitive teams. Enköping are short of at least one good back, it’s a pity Oscar Proos has been out for a while. They´re experimenting with Tim at standoff and Nylén at fullback which is not a given success. I don´t feel their pack is that strong either. Troján could have the advantage in the forwards but they seem, however, to be without their star attacker, Alexander Melander. I think Enköping´s skills in broken play will just see then through. But there´s still space for a surprise.
We now see a structural problem in Allsvenskan Syd for men where undefeated LUGI will soon have to face fellow undefeated team Pingvin. The betting is on Pingvin winning both games and allowing Pinvin, already beaten by LUGI, to speak past them for the semis. There are of course other scenarios, I can´t say I´ve been terribly impressed by any of the teams so far, but I´ll let TK sort that one out.
In the meantime Spartacus travel to Pingvin to give them their first real competition of the season. I´ll take Pingvin to win at home but don´t be surprised if their Georgians who make up half the team find Swedish rugby a little bit tougher than they´ve confronted so far. Otherwise Göteborg and LUGI should have little difficulty in putting away Vänersborg and Malmö.
Div 1 sees Erikslund due to face Uppsala while Kalmar Södra meet Berserkers. Uppsala have a powerful pack but I don´t know if their backs are strong enough to see them to victory. Kalmar Södra is expected to win comfortably at home.
Finally , Ladies in the North. Hammarby did well to win last week, but are unlikely to repeat that against a powerful Exiles. If Uppsala Berserkers get a reasonable team together they should have no problem away to Karlstad. In the South, Göteborg conceded 50 points to Skåne Ladies with a very poor away team. We´ll see what happens when the boot is on the other foot up the coast.
Plenty of games being streamed for those who like to follow matches elsewhere.