After over six years away, Sweden returned to test rugby today (2nd November) with a win against Finland in the European Trophy.
Today’s game was the second match in this year’s European Trophy. The first game, in Helsinki last month, saw Finland draw 5-5 with last year’s trophy winners, Czechia, but the team selected to travel to Malmö was very different with five changes to the starting line-up, plus one positional change, plus a completely different bench.
Finland started the game on cool, dizzily day that made handling tricky. They had most of the possession in the opening ten minutes, but could make little of it. On the other hand, when Sweden finally broke into the Finnish end they looked far more threatening, running some great lines with good handling and off-loading before a great break by Katie Childs set up the first try from Frida Nilsson right by the posts giving a straightforward conversion for Emma Skagerlind.
But Finland soon fought back, benefitting from Swedish mistakes. Scrum in the centre of the field set up Noora Plattonen to dance through the Swedish line to set up Ida Herrgård for a try, converred by Herrgård to tie the scores.
Just before the break Sweden regained the lead with a terrific run from Skagerlind, going into half time 14-7 ahead.
The deteriorating conditions were winner for most of the second half, but Sweden were able to add one more try, Pomme Corvellec setting up Emelie Hellgren to score under the posts.
The action moves to Brno in Czechia next week, as Switzerland open their campaign against the champions. Sweden play again the following week in Prague, also against Czechia.
20m Try Nilsson (S), Conv Skagerlind (S) 7-0; 29m Try Herrgård (F); Conv Herrgård (F) 7-7; 36m Try Skagerlind, Conv Peterson 14-7
78m Try Hellgren (S) 19-7.
Sweden: 1. Tove Viksten; 2. Sara Lennvall; 3. Karin Lindmark; 4. Maja Framming; 5. Anna Lennartsson; 6. Sanne Mossberg; 7. Elin Sterner; 8. Emma Skagerlind; 9. Frida Nilsson; 10. Katie Childs; 11. Felicia Melin; 12. Victoria Peterson; 13. Michelle Johansson; 14. Sara Jacobsson; 15. Emelie Hellgren
Replacements: 16. Jennifer Sundqvist; 17. Pomme Corvellec; 18. Marie Andersson; 19. Hanna Borgemyr; 20. Emma Hellsten Bjur; 21. Hanna Enehov; 22. Elizabeth Sonnenholzner; 0. Angela Woolley
Finland: 1. Sarianna Haavisto; 2. Teija Alasalmi; 3. Katri Nummelin; 4. Satu Heikkonen; 5. Camilla Garbutt-Uusilehto; 6. Kati Heikkonen; 7. Reetta Tenhu; 8. Ulla Tuomainen; 9. Salla Kutramoinen; 10. Noora Plattonen; 11. Asta Lehtola; 12. Ida Herrgård; 13. Ea Huhtala; 14. Johanna Eirola; 15. Eeva Pohjanheimo
Replacements: 17. Pauliina Petsola; 18 Kati Leskinen; 16. Jutta Litmanen; 19. Susanna Haavisto; 20. Sanni Honkanen; 21. Heidi Tuomisto; 22. Elisa Salonen; 23. Jasmi Latvala