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Elks to move on from disappointing group stage PDF Utskrift

The first stage of the International Cup has been played and all of the teams have been ranked according to their results from their three matches. The Swedish Elks finished with one win and two losses and a percentage of 29.74, qualifying in the top position of division two after placing thirteenth overall.

A goal was set by the team before the tournament to have a top ten finish in 2014, one position better than the previous IC in 2011, but after suffering their second scoreless defeat against Canada on Saturday, the Elks saw that dream sleep through their fingers, leaving a taste of dissatisfaction in their mouths.

The Elks are now left to evaluate their performance and revaluate their goals heading into their final two matches of the cup.

“It is a disappointment, we were all hoping for a top ten spot at least this tournament,” said co-captain Chris Mårtensson.

“Even though we played against good opposition we did not expect to get thrashed the way we were.”

The heavy loss against Canada proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Elks ambitions of a division one finish, and their inability to stress the score keepers in the match was the catalyst. The teams percentage was affected so drastically, that what could have been potentially been a top 10 finish, with all teams from tenth to fifteenth finishing with a 1 win, 2 loss record, resulted in 13th position and a relegation to division 2.

“I don’t think all of us were really switched on, especially in the Canada game.”

“In the New Zealand game everyone really tried but they were so much better than us, but Canada weren’t. That was the big difference, everyone wasn’t switched on.

“We didn’t have that whole team effort like we had against New Zealand and that is what lost us that game.”

After a few late updates to the semi-final structure to the tournament, the Elks will now face two predetermined opponents, Indonesia and China, which rectified the likelihood of Finland and China playing each other in 3 of their 5 IC14 matches.

“I understand why they did the changes first of all, Finland and China shouldn’t play each other three times.”

“For me personally, I haven’t played against Indonesia or China so I would love to play them both.”

The Elks leadership group has now set the goal of taking home the division two silverware back to Sweden, which is the best possible outcome for the Elks in this International Cup.

“I really think we can win these last two games, and to win division two title would still mean something for us,” exclaimed Mårtensson.

“We are a young team, who knows, maybe the next IC or the IC after that we could be fighting amongst New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, I really believe that.

“For now let’s take the division two win and move on from that.”

The Elks will now have to regain their focus and wipe away the disappointment of finishing outside of the top division and make sure that they switch back on heading into the final week of the tournament.

“The hard part is to make sure that we are mentally ready.”

“To be switched on and be motivated to play at one hundred percent against opposition that we know that we should beat.

“Hopefully we can give four good quarters instead of just two or three.

Everybody is looking forward to the games,” finished Mårtensson.

Olsson and Elks hoping for quick recovery PDF Utskrift

The Elks have made it through the first two rounds of IC14 fairly unscathed if you compare them to many of the teams within the men’s draw, losing just two players. Although, the quantity of injuries is manageable, the quality of the two losses has been a hurdle that Sweden has had to overcome, especially after losing co-captain, Hampus Olsson.

At the age of 21, Olsson has already become a marquee player for the Elks, exuding experience far beyond his years and has developed into the backbone of the Elks half-back line.

Olsson hyper-extended his elbow in the second quarter against New Zealand, courageous playing out the rest of the game, to incidentally take another knock to the same right arm.

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Rd 2 Elks Injury Ward PDF Utskrift

The beating against New Zealand has the Elks battered and bruised heading into the important rival match against Finland, where they will look to drag themselves off the bottom of the IC14 ladder.

Back-pocket Julius Nicklasson dislocated his middle finger in an inspirational effort, blocking one of New Zealand’s many shots at goal. Nicklasson dived in desperation during the third quarter of the match getting a touch on a certain goal nullifying the kick to a one-point score.

The 20 year-old, is a certainty to miss the match against the Finns and will be reassessed prior to the Elks match against Canada on Saturday.

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Elks to grow from New Zealand whopping PDF Utskrift

It was always going to be a tough task for the Elks, when they took on number 3 ranked New Zealand in their first match of the 2014 International Cup, and the Kiwis certainly showed why they are expected to be fighting for the top prize at the MCG on the 23rd of August.

New Zealand dominated the play from the first centre bounce, pinning the Swedes back in their own half, clearly showing that they were a class above. The Elks could not contain the Kiwis’ ability to move the ball away from the ruck, finding it virtually impossible to shut down the continuous options that the New Zealand players offered to the ball carrier.

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Sweden selects leadership group for IC14 PDF Utskrift

Together with an inofficial jumper presentation thursday night the Swedish Elks selected a 6 man leadership group to propel them through the IC14 competition.

The group is led by co-captains Chris Mårtensson (Malmö) and Hampus Olsson (Helsingborg) and backed by Dan Koinberg (Årsta), Mattis Kvarnström (Årsta), Max Skärlén (Norrtälje) and Anton Tellström (Helsingborg).

'It is a great honour to be selected by our team mates to be captains, it shows that they have the confidence in us to lead the group forward,' explained Olsson.

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