Ukraine 13, Belgium 11 in Kiev (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 2A)
Lithuania 40, Andorra 12 in Šiauliai (ENC 3A)
Hungary 17, Slovenia 11 in Pecs (ENC 3B)
Bosnia Herzegovina v Monaco in Zenica
(Match abandonned due to brawl. BH were leading 23-8 at the time)
The Ukraine's win puts them well into the lead in European Nations 2A, some 5 points ahead of Poland. Poland has a game in hand but lost to Ukraine 12-19 last month. The Ukraine's position looks secure as really only the Czech Republic can threaten. The Ukraine would need to drop a game (they still have to play the Czech Republic and Moldova) to have their lead cut. The close result continues this trend between the two sides.
Belgium led 8-6 at halftime. The Ukraine put the pressure on in the second half with most of the play in the 'Black Devils'' half. The Ukraine had most of the possession, especially in the last 10 minutes, but handling errors by them and good defence by the Belgians keep the visitors in the game. A converted try in injury time by Ukraine, won them the game.
Lithuania scored their 15th win in a row by easily accounting for Andorra. Andorra were missing a number of regulars ("Injuries to Marc Abelló, Tchelidze and the Taurinyà brothers"), with up to 6 players possibly making their test debuts. Lithuania were never going to lose this game but under the circumstances Andorra did well to hold the score down, especially after being down 23-0 at halftime. It would appear Lithuania took the foot off the pedal! Thanks to 'Quentin' at http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3221&start=0
The win places Lithuania firmly at the top of ENC 3A. Andorra are just as firmly at the bottom of the table, given that Armenia, Serbia and Switzerland all have a game in hand. That end of the table looks very even although only Switzerland looks like the other contender for relegation. At this stage it doesn't look for the men from the Pyrenees.
Hungary turned the tables against the visiting Slovenians by winning 17-11 in Pecs. The win places Hungary at the top of ENC 3B table on points difference, and ended Slovenia's remarkable winning run in their new division. The outcome will now depend on how these two teams fare against their rivals for the remainder of the competition, and upon the results of other games. "This makes it 43-43 [on aggregate] after the two matches between Hungary and Slovenia. If they tie, which is quite possible now, then Hungary will top the division on tries scored in the matches between the two sides: 7-5." Thanks to 'Natal' at http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3220
I finish on a worrying note. The match between Bosnia Herzegovina and the visiting Monegasquian team ended due to an on-field brawl. "Bosnia was leading 23-8, and game was abonded due mass pitch fight of ALL players. Monaco had only 16 players. Informed also, that during [the] game, prior [to the] fight, Monaco player had leg broken into 2 places in a just ordinary tackle. Wish him well and speedy recovery". from 'rugbylife' (located in Bosnia Herzegovina) at http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3223. The situation is not clear to me as to what happensto the points table in this case. I will keep you informed.