Hammarby received Exiles at Skarpnäck this afternoon with both teams having won their opening league games a couple of weeks ago. Playing into a strong wind Exiles started once again at 100 m p h and within a couple of minutes Kyle was over from far out with Jack newly returning from Italy converting. Hammarby attempted a penalty from far out and kicked once to the corner but failed to get on the board. Exiles continued to dominate and were obviously much stronger in the scrum. The pressure continued after a five-metre scrum and Ian came into the line from fullback to cruise over for another score. On 21” combinations among the backs and forwards gave prop Loxvi a chance to score against his old club from 25 m. out. Jack put the kick over and it was 0 – 19. Then for almost quarter of an hour Hammarby defended bravely but a gap finally appeared on the left wing and Ash sprinted over. Jack put this kick over as well and just on halftime Sean who was full of running sprinted away and ran round to give Jack a final easy conversion. It was 0 – 33 at the break and looking ominous for Hammarby who just didn´t have the strength to withstand the Exiles powerhouse. Tim, who at centre was giving the defence a lot of problems, had a burst which almost took him to the line. From the ensuing lineout Jack chipped neatly over the defence and Darbs in the centre sprinted over to retrieve and score. Another conversion and Exiles were beginning to cut loose with some lovely interpassing among backs and forwards. Finally Joandré who had looked dangerous all afternoon was sent in on the blindside right wing to score. Then it was Jack who seized the chance to sprint away for a try. The kicks kept going over and on 52” it was 0 – 54. Exiles brought on more or less all their bench but the tries kept coming. Ian burst through once again in the centre to sprint half the length of the field for his second try. Not bad for someone only 13 months away from his 40th birthday.
After four penalties in quick succession Hammarby had a slight respite on 65” when they got over for a consolation try against the run of play. But then it was back to one-way traffic again with Exiles going over for four more tries in the final 15”. First Gianandrea showed his power in the centre, then Sean from far out, Glendon the powerful No 8 with a strong run, and finally Sean got his hattrick with another dazzling burst. Ushangi put over a couple of conversions at the end to make it 7 – 85.
Exiles played well against Göteborg a couple of weeks ago but were better this week as the team approaches full strength. I´m not sure the other teams in Allsvenskan will be able to cope with them, but we´ll see as the season progresses.
The Exiles pack made mincemeat of Hammarby, helped by further waves of menacing Georgians, while Sean jumped beautifully in the lineout. Man of the match for me was Sean who looked back to his outstanding form of a few years ago. The backs as a whole looked pretty good to me and we still have 4 – 5 internationals on the sideline. Rami handed out 11 – 12 penalties to each side, a bit too many, but otherwise allowed the game to flow.
The other Allsvenska match saw Göteborg for the second year in a row beat Enköping by a single point, this time 25 – 24. Enköping stronger this week than in their first game, but so were perhaps Göteborg as well. With Södertälje giving a walkover, the first in Allsvenskan for many years, it looks like the top league is back to five teams again.