Friday, May 8, 2009

Test Match: Big Clash of the East Europeans

Lithuania v Armenia in Abovian (WCQ Euro.R2; ENC 3A)

Lithuania and Armenia clash in what is effectively the final in this division. Lithuania only needs to draw to qualify for the next round of World Cup 2011 qualification. Armenia must win to proceed. The winner will play the winner of the Slovenia-Israel clash, also on today.

In their latest match in this tournament Armenia lost to Andorra 10-36 in one of the biggest upsets in European rugby. Up to that match Armenia had virtually swept all before it including big wins over Serbia and Switzerland.

Lithuania's rise in European rugby has been nothing short of staggering. Firstly they were only promoted to ENC 3A at the beginning of this season. Since then thay have swept all the teams away. Their 50-9 win last weekend over Serbia was their 13th win on the trot since October 2006. In fact their last loss was against Armenia when they lost 3-18 in June 2006. Armenia were promoted to 3A only to find the Lithuanians in turn promoted.

The winning streak includes two big wins over neighbour Latvia who box in a division ABOVE Lithuania. What is remarkable is that the team can only draw on a small number of local clubs plus a few Lithuanians playing overseas.

Previous Encounter
04.06.2006 Armenia 18-3 in Siauliai (ENC 3B)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Europe Table-Lithuania 21st, Armenia 27th

Prediction: Lithuania by 8


Lithuania Squad
Tomas Astrauskas (RC Salda Siauliai)
Dainius Baltrukenas (RC Klevas Panevezys)
Ernestas Bartkevicius (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Aleksandras Čiuchlejus (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Ignas Darkintius (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Mindaugas Grigas (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Kestutis Marcisauskas (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Andrius Martinskas (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Darius Nosys (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Žygimantąs Radžiųs (RC Salda Siauliai)
Kestutis Ryskus (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Edmundas Scavinskas (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Paulius Šertvitis (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Richardas Stankus (RC Salda Siauliai)
Evaldas Štitilis (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Tomas Stungį (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Andrius Sutkus (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Gediminas Svoba (RC Salda Siauliai)
Adrius Tatorius (RC Klevas Panevezys)
Laurynas Tipelis (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Justinas Vasiliauskas (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Edvardas Žilius (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Head coach - Anatolijus Smirnovas

Armenia Squad not available


  1. Armenia have no ranking - cannot qualify. Lithuania are already qualified for the play off.

  2. Your prediction is almost perfect! This time Lithuania won by 5 points - 19:24 (10:12). Lithuanian point makers: Aleksandras Čiuchlejus - 10, Mindaugas Grigas - 5 Evaldas Štitilis - 5, Kęstutis Marcišauskas - 4. (via

  3. That's certainly been the rumor, but other than one guy on a message board quoting an IRB official, I haven't seen any verification of that.

    It's all moot now anyway. Lithuania made sure of that.