When Sweden Ladies lost a pool game 10 – 12 to Romania it was likely that they would have to meet the Netherlands in the semi, while Ukraine would face the easier Romania in their semi. And that´s the way it worked out. Sweden had a bit of a struggle to overcome Finland in the Quarter, 20 – 5, but they really raised their game against Netherlands. It was still touch and go with only three minutes left but the Netherlands managed to raise their game and win 26 – 7, a result which didn´t really reflect the passage of play. Ukraine looked good in their Semi, taking 50 points off Romania. In the match for third place Sweden showed a much better passing game and this time saw off Romania 19 – 7. The Netherlands had probably their hardest game in the final against Ukraine and there was only one try in it, 19 – 12. So these two teams are now promoted while Sweden will remain at Trophy level. A bit of a disappointment, but we lost tight games in both Rounds and need to improve our game to establish a place at GP-level. Full marks to Tova and Carina who were outstanding in attack and defence throughout
The Men were always going to have a hard time of it in Exeter. We are level against good teams and then suddenly a couple of small errors and we´re 14 points down. We led 7 – 5 against Spain after about ten minutes but by the end had conceded four more soft tries. We had the ball in our hands for at least 11 minutes against Poland, 47 passes to three at one stage, yet still found ourselves 14 – 0 down at half time and finally lost 26 – 12. Most of our British imports played most of the game, passing the ball aimlessly back and forward with no-one having the speed or guile to break through. I presume Dustin and Neill were injured and it was only when Robin and Tobias came on at a late stage that we looked dangerous.
After the first two GP-rounds the three clear bottom teams were Sweden, Poland and Georgia. But Georgia raised their game this week and came sixth while it is confirmed that Poland cannot be relegated because they are arranging the final Round in Lodz in September. Presumeably why they made the offer. In short, we would have to do really well in Lodz to keep our GP-place. We can but hope, but it will be very tough.