I wrote in my blog before this week´s games that a lot of teams were troubled by injury. I didn´t say that having one league game in the middle of a nine week holiday period was not a good idea, though this seems to have been at least as important. Many of the players in the Super Series on Saturday didn´t seem fit, motivated or involved and their performance was thereafter. Having watched both the games I would say the worst four teams of the season were on show. I said earlier that Exiles had the best in depth squad in the tournament but you wouldn´t have thought that if you´d seen them this weekend. This was the worst Exiles´ team I have seen in decades. They dropped scoring passes, dropping scoring tries over the line, kicked the ball straight out all three times when kicking for the corner, failed to take more than the odd lineouts (although the referee failed to react to the ball being knocked out of their hands) and only just held their own against a pack which they had running backwards previously. They moved slowly towards their many penalties, kicked aimlessly to touch and lost much of the lineouts, had no set penalty moves and failed to challenge the line despite having two of the most powerful runners in the business. They got to 14 – 21 in their deficit but continued with very poor play and finally lost 14 – 24. They won the penalty count 14 – 5 against a team whose backs were offside the whole game and didn´t attempt to kick penalties from any of the eight which were in the opposition 22.
Enköping are a pretty modest team this year, although they had a decent half-back combination and they strode through several times against a minimal defence. They had at least a semblance of a team, which was more than Exiles had on offer. Full marks to Dustin though for his efforts. The streaming functioned well until the last ten minutes and the clock seemed to miss out five of the last ten minutes to cut the game short. You win some you lose some.
The game in the South was not much better. I don´t think Troján reported their team in advance and one could easily understand why. Nockmar, Zelmer and Sami Paulsson were all missing from the pack and the backs were very weak. Despite this they still lead at half time and it was only when the Georgian bench came on for Pingvin that they managed to pull away. Pretty desperate stuff.
A good day for Pingvin and Enköping, the points are now Pingvin 17, Exiles 13, Enköping 9 and Troján 1. Best if we all forget this weekend and concentrate on the hopefully eight tough games in the autumn.
To all our rugby-playing Georgian friends in Sweden, congratulations on the national team win today against Italy by 28 – 19. Three tries to one in a wonderful new stadium in Tbilisi.