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Trelleborg Rugby Festival 2010

The Battle of Trelleborg 2010


If evolution has proven one, out of many things to me, there will always be a welcome place for conflict. Through conflict grows necessity. Necessity is the root of advancement in order to achieve our goals. This road has, and always will be a mine-field of success and failure. But this is what makes us better people. The ability to learn from both triumph and defeat. Both of these experiences can deliver poison and pleasure, and both at the same time. If we are to advance, then we must learn to cope with both of these in order to reach our never-ending desire for satisfaction. As an achiever, one should never accept second place, and at times, not even first place. Where-ever we finish, we must ask ourselves one question. Did I do my best? Before, during and after the conflict? And if the answer is yes or no, the facts remain that we may have made mistakes, matches won or lost are never cost free. So in order to achieve we must evolve. We must commit. Who dares, wins. To my mind we have two teams that cannot be beaten. But if you, as an individual, do not believe this, it is due to your lack of commitment, no-one else. To put faith in people around you is correct. But to rely on them, means that they must rely, trust and believe in you. I have witnessed this to a high degree, but in-order to achieve satisfaction, we must all make sacrifices and a higher and bigger commitment. Success costs, but the price of failure is all too often down to the individual and not the team. Knowing the fact that I am always there at training is a given, but I and this club are not here for just fun, nor just for your convenience. I am here to win, first and foremost. If you are not, then to my mind you have no honour and no reason to waste everyone-else’s  time. The SM is only days away, let us not throw away a great opportunity by selfishness.


Back to Trelleborg:

After only one week of intensive, full turn-out training, I felt less than confident about both P17 and P15. On the morning of Saturday the 21st of August certain irritating aspects of improving teams on the day was agreed on by all clubs. Only to be taken away by the fact that  certain clubs had already established questionable alliances. Not by the Danish nor by the Norwegians, but unfortunately by the Swedish and the English. Those of us who had not conspired to improve our teams before the event, happily and in a gentlemanly fashion took onboard and lent out players at both P17 and P15 levels. Lending out players is always a privilege knowing that they respect us, and having players wanting to join our team is equally a privilege and a benefit. Once again the cooperation of Trojan, lending us players to P17 was a welcome and grateful offer. The very fact that they would have liked to have over half of our team at P15 level was a huge compliment. Our own P15 achievers, and winners as they are, accepted the fact that I took in players from Wiexö and Lugi. Unfortunately the result of this led to some confusion to our pre-tournament training, and a less than satisfactory two draw one loss result on the first day. A totally unacceptable state of affairs for day one.


Our Red Saints P15 looked lost and devastated at the end of Saturday, and I as their coach bare all the responsibility for this so called cooperation and devastating result. I believe that if our ten man squad had been pushed into the usual corner of being outnumbered and not taking onboard inexperienced players we could have, and should have won this tournament without any problems. Let me start with a typical example: Viktor – who ran back to his own 22, fell on the ball perfectly and perfectly delivered a pop-pass to stop a try, and unfortunately was not rewarded after, despite charging two men and under great pressure did not make a try. But even better, went to ground, popped off a pass and created a try; Axel – who willingly stepped up to and thrived in the roll of loose forward, never missed a chance to gain ground for his team; Ivan – who has the roll of the ice-cold, do-what-it-takes Russian bear was always there when most needed; Erik – Erik again – solid in attack, defense, authority and leadership; BT – once again with corpses hanging over him proved what a huge rugby-player he is, his quiet demeanor only interrupted when some tube picked a fight, and BT being a gentleman (he always is) showed this tube where the hosrisontal-level of the earth is. Simon – on the wing, full-back, the man you want when under threat, tackles, receives, distributes, despite always under pressure that is a man; Kalle – as usual tackled everything and would not go down, kept his mouth shut, picked a few fights, and won, owned the distribution, and was the new silent,  but always violent man we admire; Micke – was tragically injured  in the first match while doing what Micke always does, words escape me when it comes to Micke. As anybody who has watched him play rugby will agree, his ability to always work through pain, his leadership and prowess on the field, his enormous physical strength combined with his ability to be the most humble forward I have ever seen, just makes me hate him even more for the fact that I am so happy that he is dating my daughter.


I feared that his demise from the tournament could have led to a lack of strength in belief through the team. But it was quite the opposite. When an elite squad like this lose a man, they come out fighting. This was not any man, this was Micke. And, as whatever god there is, would bare witness, Red Saints were now pissed off. At one point, or another I heard them all say, ”let`s do this for Micke!” A great gesture, but it only led to disarray. They seemed to lose direction through anger. The result being, two draws and one loss on the first day.  However, back to the rest of the squad, and the second day. 80-0 followed by 50-10. Our boys were back doing that which makes everyone fear us. We come, we see, we kick arse! Simon, a magician, speed, strength and can produce everything out of nothing. No wonder Trojan wanted to borrow him on more than one occasion. Pontus… as if it was not enough that these mails take me between 4 and 8 hours. Pontus, he is the man you always dream of, as a trainer. He was always there. Whenever we needed support, despite his aching back, pain-ridden knee, and the loss of his life-long friend, Micke, Pontus would not and could not give up. I saw the anger and passion in his eyes. This man, this friend, is an inspiration to us all. Sean is… being my son cannot be easy, we all hate and love him in many ways, but as the deserved captain of this team, I as his trainer admire him, as do all teams. His love for the game, his tenacity on the field, his leadership and  bravery, is second to none. If you ever needed a friend/man in your corner, he is the man.


Coming away from this tournament without medals, despite all of our hopes and expectations, I now know what to do, and how to do it. So why not join me? And together we can conquer any mountain. To  finish, despite the fact that I am a  very tough, hard trainer at tournaments and during matches, there is many an occasion when you fill me with pride or worry when you get injured. More often than you know I have to turn my back and swallow a huge lump in my throat and even wipe away a tear when I see you working so hard and producing positive results. I am this proud of you, but don’t let anybody else know this!





Uppdaterad: 07 JUN 2016 23:50 Skribent: Nigel Matthews

Red Saints RC - Rugby
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