Saturday, March 21, 2009

Test Match: Portugal v Romania Updated

Portugal v Romania in Bucharest (WCQ Euro. R1; ENC 1)

Arcul de Triumf

The breaking news this week has been the sacking of the Romanian rugby coach New Zealander Ellis Meachen. Losses to both Russia and Georgia, and not being placed first on the ENC 1 table first round were sighted as reasons by the Romanian President george Stratton. A replacement is yet to be named.

This is a most interesting match in this division. Romania has struggled against the top teams, losing to both Russia and Georgia. A further loss could place them further away from a Rugby World Cup place in 2011. The Romanian selectors have also persisted with a policy of mostly home-based players, ignoring a huge France-based squad of experienced players.

For this match the Romanians have recalled three of their France-based players; Manta, Mitu and Petre, emphasising the importance they are placing on this match. The Romanians must simply start winning matches otherwise they will be out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Portugal has lost to Russia by 4 points, drew with georgia 20-20 and then hammered the germans in Lisbon two weks ago. They seem to be guaging their run into the later World Cup qualifying stages and look to be going from strength to strength. Portugal were a most favoured team at the 2007 Rugby World Cup finals in France despite losing all their games.

Last Five Encounters
08.03.2008 Romania 21-15 in Bucharest (ENC 1)
25.09.2007 Romania 14-10 in Toulouse (World Cup, Pool C)
18.03.2006 Romania 27-3 in Lisbon (ENC 1)
11.06.2005 Romania 14-10 in Bucharest (ENC 1)
21.02.2004 Romania 36-6 in Constanta (ENC 1)

Portugal last defeated Romania in 2003 16-15 in Lisbon. Romania and Portugal first met in a test match in Lisbon in 1967 with the Romanians running out easy winners 46-6.

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-Portugal 16th, Romania 18th
Europe Table-Portugal 8th, Romania 10th

Prediction: Will the return of 3 France-bsed players make any difference to a dispirited side? Will Portugal keep going from strength to strength?
My view? Portugal to win by 7 points.


Portugal Squad

Eduardo Acosta (GD Direto)
Antonio Aguilar (GD Direto)
Julian Bardi (ASM Clermont, France)
Pedro Cabral (CR Madrid, Spain)
João Correia, Capt. (GD Direto)
Bernardo Duarte (AEIS Agronomia)
Aderito Esteves (GD Direto)
Gonçalo Foro (CD University Lisboa)
Diogo Gama (CRC Madrid, Spain)
Tiago Girão (CR Madrid, Spain)
João Junior (CD University Lisboa)
Pedro Leal (GD Direto)
David Mateus (OS Belenenses)
Diogo Mateus (OS Belenenses)
Juan Murre (Sporting Nazairien Rugby, France)
David Penalva (FC Auch, France)
Salvador Palha (GD Direto)
Jose Pinto (Rugby Roma Olimpia, Italy)
Juan Severino (AEIS Agronomia)
Pedro Silva (OS Belenenses)
Cristian Spachuck (FC Auch, France)
Gonçalo Uva (Montpellier RC, France)
João Uva (OS Belenenses)
Vasco Uva (GD Direto)
Head Coach: Tomaz Morais

Romania Squad

Mihai Adascalitei
Adrian Barbuliceanu
Catalin Beca
Ionut Botezatu
Stelian Burcea
Vali Calafeteanu
Daniel Carpo
Stefan Ciuntu
Florin Corodeanu
Alin Coste
Catalin Dascalu
Ionut Dimofte
Catalin Fercu
Csaba Gal
Daniel Ianus
Paulica Ion
Mihaita Lazar
Madalin Lemnaru
Mihai Macovei
Alexandru Manta
Petre Mitu
Nicolae Nere
Catalin Nicolae
Cristian Petre
Cosmin Ratiu
Razvan Stanca
Florin Tasca
Florin Vlaicu
Head Coach: ?

No comments:

Post a Comment