Saturday, April 10, 2010

TEST RUGBY: Bulgarians Travel to Israel

Bulgaria v Israel in Netanya (ENC 3C)

Venue: Wingate Institute

Referee: F.Himmer (Germany)



The outcome of this game is crucial to this competition. Israel are the only side undefeated. They have a dream run as they will play their remaining games in a trot rather than the usual broken season. They also play this game at home, an advantage. They have a new, young captain in 24 year old Kaplan. He has wide experience playing in Sydney as well now in England.

Israel rode a high last May when they pushed their way to an unprecedented position in the 2011 Rugby World Cup qualifying stage. Having led their pool at the half way stage they won the right to play Slovenia, the winner of the division above them.To the astonishment of the rugby world they won. Next came Lithuania. 23 May 2008 was a grand day in Israeli rugby history. They hosted Lithuania, two divisions above them, to see who would proceed to the next stage. In fron of a record home crowd they lost bravely 3-19 to a team who were themselves to go on to defeat the Netherlands 6-3. It was a grand day indeed. Will Israel be able to match the standards they set that month? A huge crowd will surely turn out to see if the magic can continue.

Bulgaria are in a tight spot. Another loss would almost certainly rule them out of promotion prospects. They bring an experienced bunch who will test the home side fully. They are led by 40 year old Antonia Ivanov.

Previous Encounters
15.11.2008 Israel 11-8 in Pernik (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 3C)
08.06.2003 Bulgaria 25-23 in Ibisa, Spain (ENC 3C, Final)
21.05.2000 Israel 37-16 in Herzilya (FIRA D2)
24.04.1999 Israel 11-10 in Sofia (FIRA D)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table- Israel 28th, Bulgaria 35th

Prediction: Israel by 10 points.



Bulgaria Squad
Danail Andreev (RC National Sports Academy) Front row, born 1983, age 26
Krasimir Angelov (Valyatsite RC, Pernik) Flanker, born 1982, age 29
Asen Asenov (RC National Sports Academy) Flanker, born 1978, age 31
Brice Benelli (Lokomotiv RC) Lock, born 1985, age 24
Vasil Borisov (Valyatsite RC, Pernik) Fly half, born 1990, age 19
Radoslav Damyanov (Varna RC) Fly half born 1985, age 24
Yavor Dragnev (Varna RC) Lock, born 1977, age 32
Hristo Georgiev (Lokomotiv RC) Lock, born 1988, age 21
Simeon Georgiev (Valyatsite RC, Pernik) Hooker, born 1985, age 24
Plamen Iliev (Lokomotiv RC) Front row, born 1972, age 37
Antonio Ivanov (Varna RC) Number eight, born1969, age 40
Ivaylo Ivanov (RC National Sports Academy) Wing, born 1987, age 22
Ivo Lazov (Lokomotiv RC) Scrum half, born 1988, age 21
Petar Nikolov (RC National Sports Academy) Wing, born 1990, age 19
Svetoslav Odadzhiyski (RC National S.A.) Fullback, born 1984, age 25
Roman Para (RC National Sports Academy) Front row, born 1982, age 27
Vladislav Parizov (Lokomotiv RC) Hooker, born 1980, age 29
Daniel Simeonov (Valyatsite RC, Pernik) Centre, born 1983, age 26
Tihomir Simeonov (Lokomotiv RC) Front row, born 1974, age 35
Georgi Sotirov (Valyatsite RC, Pernik) Scrum half, born 1972, age 37
Martin Stoyanov (Varna RC) Centre, born 1989, age 20
Lyudmil Zlatkov (Valyatsite RC, Pernik) Wing, born1988, age 21

Head Coach: Lyudmil Stankov
Doctor: Vladimir Videnov
Referee: Dimitar Petrov
Coach and DTN: Dariel Yanev
Manager: Tzvetan Bouzovsky

Special thanks to Dariel Yanev, Bulgaria RFU


Israel Squad
Nessi Abarbanel (Raanana) born 1987, age 22
Oren Alt (ASA Tel Aviv) born 1971, age 38
Roi Alterlevi (Kibbutz Yizreel) born 1982, age 27
Nathan Amos (Rainey OBRFC, Northern Ireland) born 1978, age 31
Amir Beautler (Kibbutz Yizreel) born 1982, age 27
Oren Brodhurst (Kibbutz Yizreel) born 1984, age 25
Matan Brosh (Barnes RFC, England) born 1981, age 28
Michael Eli (Ashkelon RC) born 1989, age 20
Gilad Goldstein (Raanana) born 1985, age 24
Stav Gurtovoy, V.Capt.(ASATel Aviv) born 1981, age 28
Oz Hayman (ASA Tel Aviv) born 1985, age 24
Amit Kakoun (Kibbutz Yizreel) born 1990, age 19
Nimrod Kaplan, Capt. (London Scottish, England) born 1985, age 24
Omri Lotan (ASA Tel Aviv) born1984, age 25
Julien Maffi (ASA Tel Aviv) born 1982, age 27
Guy Matisis (ASA Tel Aviv) born 1987, age 22
Omer Halfi Mendelson (Raanana) born 1985, age 24
Alon Okon (ASA Tel Aviv) born 1985, age 24
Mordechai Radashkovich (ASA Tel Aviv) born 1984, age 25
Yonatan Radashkovich (ASA Tel Aviv) born 1988, age 21
Adrienne Rainstein (Haifa Technion) born 1989, age 20
Yonatan Shaki (Haifa Technion) born 1983, age 26
Miron Shtiglitz (ASA Tel Aviv) born 1977, age 32
Head Coach: Raanan Penn

Special thanks to Julian Shapiro, Israel RU, and to Matan Brosh.

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