Saturday, November 6, 2010

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Big Test for Lithuania

Lithuania v Sweden in Trelleborg (ENC 2A)

Venue: Pilevallen,

Referee: Frank Himmer (Germany)


This could well be the rugby test match to keep an eye on this weekend. Although stronger better known teams are playing on the world international rugby stage, this match is up there for sheer drama.

Last year Lithuania played well above their weight when they defeated the Netherlands to progress to the next round of Rugby World Cup 2011 qualifying rounds. They eventually lost to Ukraine but set a new world record, eighteen, for most successive international rugby test victories. Lithuania was being mentioned in rugby circles around the world. Fame descended upon them.

This fame lead to a number of top Lithuanian players being contracted to English clubs. This was good news for Lithuania. More exposure on the world rugby scene. Well perhaps not. For now the Lithuanian national team is struggling to acquire their England-based players, despite November being the international window of play. Injuries are being cited as the difficulty. Lithuania just does not have the player depth to replace these great players.

Last weekend Lithuania, with a below strength side, just held out the visiting Maltese 9-6. This weekend they meet the powerful Swedes away in what will be a major test for Lithuania. They are going to find this a tough game to win.

Sweden burst out of the blocks for an unexpected 32-13 win over the fancied Croatians away last month. In that game they displayed all the requirements of a team set to dominate this competition. I would love to be in Stockholm for this game. It'll be a cracker!

Last Five Encounters
30.10.2004 Sweden 32-20 in Helsinborg (WCQ Europe R2, Pool C)
27.05.2000 Sweden by default (FIRA Pool A)
12.06.1999 Sweden by default (FIRA Pool A)
03.05.1997 Sweden 84-17 in Plunge (WCQ Europe Pool3, Rnd A)
29.08.1993 Sweden 68-5 in Olofstrom (Friendly)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Lithuania 18th, Sweden 19th

IRB Ranking Points
Lithuania 50.72, Sweden 48.82

Prediction: Lithuania to pull a dramatic magical rabbit out of the hat and win by 2 points



Lithuania Squad
Mantas Kazlauskas (Šiaulių Vairas)
Richardas Stankus (Šiaulių Vairas)
Artūras Rachimovas (Šiaulių Vairas)
Darius Nosys (Šiaulių Vairas)
Audrius Ramančionis (Šiaulių Vairas)
Mindaugas Grigas (Šiaulių Vairas)
Mindaugas Misevičius (Šiaulių Vairas)
Kęstutis Marcišauskas (Šiaulių Vairas)
Edvardas Žilius (Šiaulių Vairas)
Evaldas Štitilis (Šiaulių Vairas)
Edvinas Macas (Šiaulių Vairas)
Evaldas Gaubys (Šiaulių Vairas)
Tomas Zibolis (Šiaulių BaltRex)
Laurynas Tipelis (Šiaulių BaltRex)
Gediminas Švoba (Šiaulių BaltRex)
Edmundas Ščavinskas (Šiaulių BaltRex)
Gediminas Liutkus (Šiaulių BaltRex)
Vytaras Bloškys (Šiaulių BaltRex)
Egidijus Petronis (Kauno Ąžuolas)
Tomas Bieliauskas (Kauno Ąžuolas)
Tomas Astrauskas (RK Šiauliai)
Andrius Martinskas (Enkopings RK, Sweden).
Head Coach:

“Out from last week: Viliaus Kucinas, Igno Darkintis and Mariaus Vaikėnas. In come: Andrius Martinskas, Edvinas Macas and Evaldas Gaubys.” Thanks to ‘Quentin’ at


Sweden Squad
Mathias Thorehard , Hammarby IF
Magnus Karlsson , Hammarby IF
Peter Wiklund , Vänersborgs RK
Stefan Obradovic´ , IF Attila
Jan-Olof Johansson , Spartacus RC
Mathew Youngman , Enköpings RK
Ivar Bengtsson , Hammarby IF
Vicktor Petersson , Enköpings RK
Mattias Björkebäck , Hammarby IF
Johnny Pettersson , Enköpings RK
Sebastian Taylor , Old Haberdashers RFC - ENG
Andrew Daish , Old Albanians RFC - ENG
Lee Sandberg , North Walsham RFC - ENG
Jim Wetterström , Enköpings RK
Tim Johansson , Enköpings RK
Thomas Arvidsson , Fredriksberg - DEN
Paul Sullivan , Stockholm Exiles RFC
Alex Taylor , Nuneaton RFC - ENG
Bobby Nave , Enköpings RK
Ian Gowland , Stockholm Exiles RFC
Tobias Borg , Enköpings RK
Andrew Saunders , Richmond RFC – ENG
Head Coach: Mike Tatu ... x?id=23937

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