Saturday, November 1, 2008

Test Rugby: Netherlands v Croatia

Netherlands v Croatia in Amsterdam (WCQ Euro.R3, ENC 2B)
Venue: National Rugby Centre

Croatia come into this match well prepared. A wake-up trip to Prague 18 October saw the Croatians lose to Czech Republic 0-47 in a test friendly. The Croatians were without a few of their stars but this is only one level above ENC 2B on the European rugby scene. Next it was down to Malta for the first competition game and a last minute win 18-16. A win away is a highly prized treasure in this competition.

The Dutch were in the top storey of European rugby from the mid-nineties through to the start of the European Nations Cup in 2001. Suddenly they found the going tough. They also quickly crashed out of the 2003 Rugby World Cup qualifying stages and found themselves in ENC 2A 2002-03. They held on for two competitions at that level but fell to relegation again at the end of last season. European rugby at the top level was leaving the Dutch behind. Now they find themselves in ENC 2B and hopefully the start to gain promotion again. The crunch comes on Saturday against Croatia exactly ten years since these two team last met. I wonder how much has changed?

Previous Encounter
01.11.1998 Netherlands 29-7 in Amsterdam (Friendly)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Europe Table-Netherlands 18th, Croatia 21st

Prediction: Netherlands by 10 points.


Croatia Squad
Vedran Antić (RK Nada)
Ante Blažević-Bandov (RK Nada)
Mate Borozan (?)
Tomislav Burazin (RK Nada)
Tonči Buzov (RK Nada)
Goran Čulić (RK Nada)
Josip Dedić (RK Makarska Rivijera)
Tomislav Gomuzak (RK Zagreb)
Dušan Hakaraia (Waitemata RFC, New Zealand)
Većeslav Holjevac (RK Zagreb)
Nik Jurišić (RK Mladost)
Filip Mijić (?)
Ivan Nola (Waitemata RFC, New Zealand)
Michael Nola (Waitemata RFC, New Zealand)
Ante Olujić (?)
Alek Osmanović (RK Makarska Rivijera)
Vedran Pomper (RK Nada)
Ivan Rešetar (RK Nada)
Ivica Rubelj (?)
Ivica Šimić (?)
Saša Sekovanec (RK Nada)
Saša Sljepčević (RK Nada)
Head Coach: Jakša Lovreta ... &Itemid=30
For a list of all Croatia's rugby tests go to

Team not available-Not a good publicity start!

For a list of all Netherlands rugby tests go to

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