Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rugby Europe Championship Round 1 by Ciarán Duffy



The Rugby Europe Championship kicked off over the weekend.  The tournament is also part of the European World Cup Qualifiers.  Georgias results are not factored into the qualifying, as they have already qualified.  The best placed team out of the other 5 teams will qualify as Europe 1, the next best will progress to the Europe/Oceania play-off as Europe 2.  If a team completes a grandslam they will be awarded an extra point in the Rugby Europe Championship, this point will not be counted in World Cup qualifying.  

Georgia 47 – 0 Belgium
Georgia destroyed Belgium in their bid to win back the trophy they lost to Romania last year.  First half tries from Levan Chilachava, Shalva Mamukashvili, Zurab Zhvania, and Beka Tsiklauri secured the bonus point, all the tries were converted by Beka Tsikalauri.  Giorgi Pruidze touched down in the seond half.  Georgia got two more tries in the last ten minutes, from Alexander Todua and Anzor Sitchinava, both were converted by Tsiklauri.  

Russia 13 – 20 Spain
Russia took the lead with a try from Dmitri Gerasimov, converted by Yuri Kushnarev.  Guillaume Rouet got the first of his two tries for Spain on the 25th minute.  Kushnarev got a penalty for Russia to keep them ahead, before Rouet got over the line, Bradley Linklater kicked the conversion.  Linklater kicked a penalty to give Spain a 5-point lead at half time.  Kushnarev cut the lead down with a penalty, but Spain wouldn’t be denied as Pierre Barthère got over the line.  A big win for Spain to ensure they stay in pole position for a World Cup play-off place.  The game was reffed by the Irish Frank Murphy.  

Romania 85 – 6 Germany
I honestly thought this would be a tight game, and a difficult test for Germany.  Romania however, didn’t give Germany a sniff.  Tries from Sione Fakaosilea and Mihăiţă Lazăr, both converted by Flrin Vlaicu, had Romania in front early on.  Tim Menzel kicked two penalties in the first half, but Romania continued to storm ahead, Tangimana Fonovai touched down twice, the second of which was converted by Vlaicu, and Valentin Ursache got over to put put Romania in control at halftime.  Romania started the scoring early in the 2nd half, with two a try from Stelian Burcea, converted by Vlaicu.  Two from Paula Kinikinlau, one from Ionut Dumitru, and a second from Fakosilea ensured Germany had no chance of an unlikely losing bonus point, all four tries were converted y Vlaicu.  Romania would get two more tries, scored by Alin Coste and Stephen Shennan, both were converted by Valentin Calafeteanu.  This was not Romanias biggest ever win, that took place in 1976, when they beat Bulgaria 0 – 100.  

Rugby Europe Championship Table


Pts
PD +/-
1
Romania
5
+79
2
Georgia
5
+47
3
Spain
4
+7
4
Russia
1
-7
5
Belgium
0
-47
6
Germany
0
-79


World Cup Qualifying Table


Pts
PD +/-
1
Romania
20
+122
2
Spain
17
+54
3
Russia
10
-3
4
Germany
8
-115
5
Belgium
2
-58


Other Result
Rugby Europe Trophy
Portugal 36 – 12 Netherlands

Ciarán Duffy (@TheVoiceDepth) is a Leinster supporter and self-proclaimed ‘big cheese’ of Post To Post (@PostToPostSport).   He’ll write about anything rugby under the condition he gets to take it too seriously.
*****

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