Saturday, November 29, 2008

Test Rugby: Cyprus v Azerbaijan

Cyprus v Azerbaijan in Baku (ENC 3D)

ENC 3D is the last/newest division formed by FIRA-AER. Previously a single venue played host in a tournament format. For the first time this division, for 2008-10, is played out as the other divisions. Although the teams do not qualify for Rugby World Cup 2011 qualifying tests the competition is fierce. The aim is, after two seasons, to win the division and automatically qualify for promotion to Division 3C.

Azerbaijan tavelled last weekend to Zenica to face the Bosnians with an undermanned side, having to leave ten front-line players behind due to injuries or work committments. The lost 7-18, putting up a garnd fight in a game many, including myself, thought they would lose by an avalanche.

Cyprus will play their second game of the season. In September they travelled to Israel to play for a place in the next division up. Unfortunately for them, they lost 14-23. This meant they stayed in ENC 3D whilst Israel went up to ENC 3C. The Cypriates could field a very strong side providing their top players can travel.

Azerbaijan will be working on improving from their loss last week and may be just a little too strong for the visitors.

Previous Encounter
28.10.2007 Cyprus 29-0 in Paphos (ENC 3D)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Europe Table-Cyprus 39th, Azerbaijan 42nd.

Prediction: Cyprus by 7 points

Teams not available

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