Spartacus recorded a comprehensive victory over VRK in Sunday's Division 1 Väst clash in a match that showcased the hard work that the team has put in over the pre-season. Vänersborg has not often been a happy hunting ground for Spartacus, with the club only racking up one win here over the past 10 years, making today's win one to remember.
Former Vänersborg player Emil Sandeman was captain for the day, as Spartacus' usual skipper Alex Eliasson picked up an injury during the week and was forced to watch the game from the sidelines. Indeed, with Alex out and Janne Johansson and Peter Wiklund away on international duty, Spartacus were without an All-International front row. However, the squad showed its strength in depth by fielding George Birchenough, Ruaidhri O'Brien and Finland international Christian Skogholm at the scrum coal-face.
The visitors started well with Elias Pettifor testing the home defense with some hard runs from deep. Before long, Mullar Qalibau broke through the defense and crashed over for a try after 10 minutes. Spartacus added a second from a 5 meter penalty on the 20 minute mark. Quick thinking and an even quicker tap from Emil Sandeman caught the defense napping. Robert Tabell, who has a fantastic game in the center with Mullar, converted to give Spartacus a 0-12 lead.
Vänersborg got back into the game shortly after, when they struck from deep and showed how dangerous they could be from quick turnover ball. With the score at 7-12, Rober Tabell took the opportunity to kick a penalty to give the visitors a 7-15 half-time lead.
The second half started well for Spartacus with an early try from Emil Sandeman followed by another from Erik Rudenstam to see Spartacus sitting pretty at 7-27. However, VRK again showed their class with another strike from deep to bring it back to 14-27. It should be pointed out that Vänersborg we missing a number of players who were on internation duty for both the U18 and senior team.
In the final quarter of the game, Spartacus put the result beyond doubt with tries from Robert Maun, Robert Tabell, Josh Woolfe and Stephane Del Gallo.
All in all, a perfect start for Spartacus with several players making their debuts. Great to see the team playing with confidence and skill.