Revenge is a dish best served cold, but while the weather gods played their part in the second leg of Danish rugby league’s inaugural Danish ‘Origin’ series on Saturday, Jylland RLFC were unable to fulfil their side of the bargain, losing 10-32 to the Black Swans of Copenhagen RLFC at Speed Rugby Club’s ground in Amager.
Persistent rain made the conditions chilly and slippery, and with home advantage on their side – albeit at a venue that was a last-minute replacement – the city side started confident they could continue the dominance shown in their 44-12 demolition of the Jutlanders in June.
However, the first 15 minutes showed this would be no procession, as the two teams remained deadlocked. For those still new to the sport, this was their first taste of the muddy side of the game.
Halfway through the half, the Jutland defence was finally breached by Silas Mubanda, who charged 50 metres for the opener. And then moments later, a well-worked move released Cameron Woods to add to the score.
With Richard Naylor converting both tries, 12-0 failed to reflect what had been a tight game, and the Jutlanders duly responded when their talisman, Viiga Lima, the 2012 Denmark play of the year, hit back with a try of his own to make it 12-6 at half time.
The intensity continued in the second half, as the play flowed up and down, back and forth. Copenhagen went further ahead through a second Mubanda try, before Jutland pegged them back through Casper Espersen. But the hosts were not to be denied as Naylor, Woods and then Naylor again all went over to seal a dominant win.
Still, they weren’t the only winners. Orveh Melchior demonstrated that Jutland have a true ox at the heart of their defence, and it was another great day for the Danish Cystic Fibrosis Society (www.cff.dk), whose presence at the game, contrary to the wise words of Bill Shankley, served as a solemn reminder that some things in life are even more important than the sport on the pitch.