The Baldiri Aleu de Sant Boi will show off its best clothes this Sunday (12:00 p.m.) to host the final of the Honor Division League, that will face Unió Esportiva Santboiana and AMPO ORDIZIA. An unprecedented definition in a competition that, for the first time since it was played with the playoff format to elucidate the title (2011-12), will not feature a team from Valladolid. In fact, whether they are the Catalans or the Gipuzkoans, the new champion of the DH will put an end to nine campaigns of Pucelana dictatorship, since the VRAC Quesos Entrepinares, on eight occasions, and the SilverStorm El Salvador, on one, have distributed all the last league crowns.
The Barcelona squad will seek its eighth title in the highest category of national rugby sixteen years after its last coronation, while the Goierritarra hosts will set foot on the mythical fiefdom that bears the name of the founder of the dean of national rugby with the firm intention of making history with an entity that has not yet released its record as king of the Spanish oval. To date, two cup titles (2012 and 2013) adorn the trophy room of the Basques, who hope that the third time will be the charm after reaching the DH runner-up position on a couple of occasions, also consecutively (2011 and 2012). .
Santboi, for its part, will chase its first trophy in five years with the support of its fans. The 2017 Copa de Rey, won against El Salvador in the Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid, in front of 23,000 spectators, is the last great success achieved by a club that, like the entire town of Sant Boi de Llobregat, longed to reach the final stage of the Division of Honor in the current campaign and to be able to fight for a title that puts a golden culmination to this 2022 in which it has been celebrating its hundred years of existence. The VRAC was, by the way, their particular executioner in the last presence of the Catalans as finalists in the league. That was seven years ago.
Curiously, the last time the hosts of this very final won the crown of kings of national rugby (2005-06 season), even under the regular double-round tournament format, they had to certify such status at the Baldiri against precisely the Ordizia. That April 9, 2006, the men then led by Tomás García, Tommy, beat the Gipuzkoans by a resounding 37-0, a result that allowed them to retain the title they won a year ago. In that Santboiana that sealed the two-time championship against its rival this Sunday, the current coach of the Catalan team, Sergi Guerrero, played.
What Baldiri has no doubts about is the difficulty of the challenge ahead. And AMPO Ordizia is considered to be the particular ‘black beast’ of Santboi in recent times. So much so that the Catalans have bent the knee in the last six duels in which they have crossed paths with those of Iñigo Marotias. The most recent, on April 24, on the final day of the regular tournament. That morning the Goierri XV deprived their rival of finishing the championship at the top of the standings after beating them 34-32 in Altamira. This result allowed the Basques to secure fourth place and secure the field factor at the start of the playoffs, which put them face to face with Ciencias Enerside. We would have to go back to October 2017 to find Santboiana’s last victory over the men in red: it was at Baldiri and the score was 29-22.
The challenge for the Ordiziarras is also high if they want to sing the alirón for the first time. Those from Altamira know that the squad prepared by Sergi Guerrero has cemented his great campaign, in which he has 14 victories (the most in DH), in an extraordinary strength at home, based on the ten victories signed in the heat of their fans, that is, all the duels they have played at the Baldiri during the current year. VRAC was, in February of last year, the last rival that was able to assault the dean’s fortress, with a tight 25-29. As if that were not enough, the Santboiana has the best balance in the league between converted poses (63) and points with the foot (169).
The presence of Ordizia in the clash that will define the new DH champion will make the name of Kawa Leauma hover inexorably over the packed stands of the Baldiri Aleu, in the same way that happened just a month and a half ago in Altamira, when both squads posed under a giant portrait of the New Zealand second lineman who died in a fatal accident last December in Amsterdam. The ill-fated player from the Guipuzcoan team and the XV del León continues to be very present in the day-to-day life of the squad led by Iñigo Marotias, who offers each victory to the deceased warrior of Samoan origin by showing his shirt with the number 5, which accompanies them to everywhere. Likewise, locals Afa Tauli and Jordi Jorba, Kawa’s teammates on the national team, will also have him in mind during those 80 minutes in which they will try to be crowned for the first time, in their individual capacity, as kings of the Spanish League. rugby.