The young pretenders from Finland encountered a Surrey side simply too strong for them at Warlingham on Easter Sunday. There’s always a danger of scratch sides simply not gelling together on the day, but that was not true for this Surrey team. They had trained together for a couple of hours on Wednesday evening and hit the ground running, scoring no less than 10 tries in an entertaining display of running rugby.
Armand Roux from Dorking led the Surrey charge from the front inspiring his forwards to produce a pretty much endless supply of ball for the competent three-quarters. By half-time they had racked up 36 points without reply, and the contest was all but over.
Fair play to the Finns however; they battled through all that was thrown at them, tackled bravely when asked, and deservedly got themselves onto the scoresheet with 5 minutes left.
The Finland team were here on a brief tour over the Easter weekend which saw them play in a 4-way tournament at Haslemere on Good Friday, and spending Saturday with the Harlequins coaching team preparing for the Surrey game. They are currently ranked 95th (out of 95) in the IRB rankings, and so this tour was the first step towards formulating a cohesive game structure in Finland. It is hoped that certain Surrey clubs will now sponsor/partner with clubs in Finland to enhance their progress.
Try scorers from the Surrey side included Dominic Lespierre (Warlingham) 3, John Phillips (Streatham-Croydon) 3, Simon Love (Dorking) 2, Tom Lloyd-Evans (Old Whitgiftians), Martyn Floodgate (Chipstead) and Tom Street (Warlingham) with Jamie O’Brien (Dorking) doing the kicking honours.