Sunday, May 10, 2009

International Test Rugby Results This Weekend 8-9 May

Argentina 'A' 67, Namibia 8 in Buenos Aires

Ukraine 32, Moldova 0 in Kiev (WCQ Euro. R4; ENC 2A)
Korea 36, Hong Kong 34 in Seoul (Asia 5 Nations)
Kazakhstan 22, Singapore 19 in Singapore (Asia 5 Nations)
Lithuania 24, Armenia 19 in Abovian (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 3A)
Israel 26, Slovenia 19 in Netanya (WCQ Euro.R1 Playoff)

I was disappointed in the Namibian result. I didn't check the team list but I wonder if key players were not available. Not to take anything away from the Argentinians. Their depth of players is amazing. This team will be a major player in this year's Churchill Cup.

Ukraine's win over Moldova was expected but not by that margin. The FIRA-AER forum posts did suggest that a number of Moldovans who ply their trade in Russia would be missing. Two of the Russian clubs would need their players for either a crucial club match, or that they would be in a club training camp in England. I commented prior on the importance of this game, or even the first round of 2A results. Thanks to 'Mouton' I have been corrected and both ENC 1 and ENC 2A play into 2010 until qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup 2011 are found.

Some of the major eyebrow-raising results this weekend, though, came from Asia. Korea were leading HK 31-3 at one stage before the boys from the Sevens City staged the mother of all comebacks. They only just failed.

In Singapore the locals gave the giant-killers from last week Kazakhstan, a huge fright. Whilst not including a few of last weeks key players, the Kazahks were still expected to win comfortably. I don't think that japan faces any real threat from the other teams in this competition but certainly Korea has being drawn back into the pack. The results are very encouraging for Asian rugby.

Back to rugby in Europe, Lithuania continued its stretch of wins to fourteen in a row with this win over Armenia. They also take out the World Cup honours in ENC 3A and now face Israel.

Israel defeated Slovenia 26-19 at home in another big upset. The Israelies continue their rise in European rugby and now face the mighty Lithuanians in what should be a great game.


  1. Namibia were unable to travel with some of their first choice players - "The 18 players that have gone to Argentina are not all first-choice players. Those playing top rugby in South Africa were not available. " (rugby365) I was also disappointed at their performance, doesn't bode well for Africa 1 in

  2. Thanks Mark. I thought as much. With a full strength squad Namibia should be able to push Argentina 'A'.

    Whilst disappointing, I guess the Namibian coaching staff will have a good look at their 'seconds' playing under pressure.

  3. One really has to ask whether Namibia are the best in Africa at the moment. They were very lucky to make it through the group stage against Senegal and Zimbabwe. I think they will do well to beat Cote d'Ivoire in the Africa Cup semis in June.