Warriors claim last-minute win in derby thriller
By Timothy Gilbert
Warriors Rugby Club beat local rivals HRC 14-10 in Championship semi-final.
Set in Myllypuro, Helsinki on a dark and drizzly day, defending champions Warriors Rugby Club played local rivals Helsinki Rugby Club in the semi-final of the Men's Championship.
From the kick-off, the game quickly became a stalemate with neither side able to find a breakthrough amidst some stern tackling.
We had to wait until deep in the first half for the first points of the game. Following a good period of possession from Warriors, fly-half Tumppi Finell found full-back Kasperi Korhonen with a flat pass who made a clean line break to cross the whitewash after breaking one final tackle. Korhonen converted his own try to give Warriors a 7-0 lead.
Helsinki responded not long thereafter with a converted penalty kick, taking the score to 7-3 at half-time.
Again, both teams exchanged blows tit for tat, coming just mere centimetres away from scoring before ultimately conceding a penalty or turnover to keep the scoreline at 7-3. Late in the second half, following a nifty kick, HRC managed to dot the ball down in the last few minutes of the game to put the scoreline at 7-10.
Unpanicked, Warriors cooly kept making tackles until they were gifted a chance with the ball, before then turning the screw and advancing down towards the opposition's 22. In the last play of the game, Number 8 John Wuatai-Tariau bulldozes his way over the line from 5 metres out to seal the game, and Korhonen adds the 2 points to give Warriors a 14-10 win.
Commiserations to Helsinki Rugby Club for what was a brilliant display of rugby and an extremely nail-biting game.
Warriors Rugby Club now advance the Men's Championship Final in Hämeenlinna on Saturday, 28th September 2019 where they will play Jyväskylä Rugby Club.