Saturday, May 23, 2009

World Cup Rugby: Israel takes on Lithuania

Lithuania v Israel in Netanya (WCQ Euro.R4 Playoff)

As I said in an earlier post this is the biggest game yet in the history of the game in Israel.

Israel defeated Slovenia 26-19 here last weekend in a surprise result. The Slovenes were expected to win but the locals played their hearts out to win. Lithuania is a very different prospect. A hardened team of veterens with plenty of experience playing in ENC 3A which is two levels above what Israel has been playing this season.

Still, you can never tell in this game of rugby. Anything can happen. Lithuania has arrived with a squad of only twenty players. It's not known why. Perhaps they are cutting costs. Perhaps they are very confident. Perhaps they only have twenty fits players who could travel. For whatever reason that puts them at a slight disadvantage although in the end I predict it will not matter. Lithuania will be just too experienced and tough for Israel.

Previous Encounters
23.10.2004 Lithuania 60-7 in Vilnius (WCQ Euro.R1)
16.10.2004 Lithuania 53-0 in Ranaana (WCQ Euro. R1)
18.05.2002 Lithuania 33-24 in Klaipeda (FIRA B, Pool B)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Europe Table-Lithuania 21st, Israel 28th

Prediction: Lithuania by 19 points


Lithuania Squad

Dainius Baltrukenas (RC Klevas Panevezys)
Ernestas Bartkevicius (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Aleksandras Čiuchlejus (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Ignas Darkintius (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Kestutis Marcisauskas (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Mindaugas Misevicius (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Darius Nosys (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Egidijus Petronis (RC Kursiai Klaipeda)
Žygimantąs Radžiųs (RC Salda Siauliai)
Audrius Ramancionis (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Edmundas Scavinskas (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Paulius Šertvitis (RC BaltRex Siauliai)
Richardas Stankus (RC Salda Siauliai)
Evaldas Štitilis (RC Vairas Siauliai)
Tomas Stungįs (RC Vairas 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

15 Stav Gurtovoy
14 Alon Akon
13 Nimrod Kaplan
12 Adrian Rainstein
11 Jonathan Radashkovich
10 Amir Beutler
9 Nir Bar-Or
8 Guy Dotan
7 Michael Eli
6 Gilad Goldstein
5 Oren Brodhurst
4 Shai Dekel
3 Matan Brosh
2 Tomer Bracha
1 Nathan Amos
16 Hanan Gamburg
17 Ofer Hamburger
18 Alon Geller
19 Omri Lotan
20 Sean Kantor
21 Nestor Rainstein
22 Omer Mendelsohn Chafli
Coach Raanan Penn

Thanks to Julian Shapiro, Israeli team manager.

From the lineup that faced Slovenia last weekend…
Michael Eli moves from the bench to the side of the scrum, for Nesi Abravanel.
Guy Dotan moves in to No.8 replacing Nimrod Kaplan who moves to centre for Sean Kantor to move to the bench.

Scrum half Nir Bar-Or moves from the bench for Stav Gurtovoy who moves to fullback.
Adrain Rainstein moves from the wing to centre replacing Mordechay Radashkovich.
Alon Akon comes into the wing position.
Omri Lotan and Nestor Rainstein are new players who are on the bench.

Updated 25.05.2009