Saturday, April 30, 2011

RUGBY TEST MATCH: ENC 2A Baltic Local Derby

Latvia v Lithuania in Kaunus (ENC 2A, Baltic Cup)

Venue: S.Dariaus ir S.Girėno stadione

Referee: Breburza (Czech Republic)



SWEDEN 2 2 0 0 58 35 23 1 0 9
LATVIA 2 1 0 1 45 40 5 1 1 6
LITHUANIA 2 1 0 1 31 32 -1 0 1 5
CROATIA 2 1 0 1 27 44 -17 0 0 4
MALTA 2 0 0 2 32 42 -10 1 2 3

This is a very important test match for both teams. Together with Croatia, both teams are huddled in the middle of the competition table, tucked in behind undefeated leader Sweden. A loss could propel either side toward the rear of the table. A win could push them up towards the leader.

Lithuania was promoted at the end of last season. They squeaked past Malta and then lost to Sweden last year with a side missing their foreign contingent. On Saturday they will field a stronger side with their England-based and Sweden-based players available.

Latvia has suffered heavy defeats against their neighbour over the past few years (many non-test matches) and will not find Lithuania any easier this year. They are also missing two of their best players Jurijs Baranovs and Uldis Saulīte, both presumably tied up with their Russian club.

‘Game will be broadcasted live on national TV, foreigners will have a chance to see it live, and here is the link
Before, during and after the game there will be different activities for the fans, several Lithuanian pop singers will perform, Latvian anthem will be performed by opera singer, this year’s Lithuanian nominee for the Eurovision song contest, and Lithuanian one – by TV show winner choir from Kaunas.
After the game old boys will step on to the pitch and have a friendly game.
This game will be the first event dedicated for the 50th anniversary of Lithuanian rugby, second will be held in the end of May (friendly game, banquet, etc.) the third will correspond with the U20 Euro champ in Lithuania.
Kaunas is in a very good geographical position, in the center of Lithuania, so fans form all over the country will arrive easily.
Game is promoted on national TV + local TV + facebook + posters in the street + posters in schools and sports schools
Expected attendance +5000.
…this game will be the first event to mark the 50th anniversary of Lithuanian rugby. We will pay credit for the players of the first rugby match played in Lithuania in 1961 in Kaunas. We’ve managed to find at least 9 alive men that played in that game, majority of them will be in the stadium and will be honored before the game. Sadly, bigger part of Lithuanian rugby pioneers are no longer with us.
Second event will be held on the 28th of May in Vilnius. (Friendly game against Latvia or Malta; concert for the spectators and guests from abroad; banquet near the stadium; cultural program for the guests, etc.)
All our players from England and Sweden are already with the team, training and preparing for the match. Hopefully fans will see a strong Lithuanian side. We have a couple of key players missing, but it shouldn’t be a major problem.
This game will be a debut for the new manager of Lithuanian team Irmantas Kukulskis. He took over last December. Previous manager Anatolijus Smirnovas is also with the team as a second coach.’  Special thanks to ‘Ignas’

Last Five Encounters
04.04.2009 Lithuania 55-12 in Carnikava (Baltic Trophy)
13.04.2008 Lithuania 43-17 in Klaipedia (Friendly)
30.04.2005 Latvia 19-12 in Riga (WCQ Europe R2, Pool C)
08.05.1999 Latvia 30-10 in Vilnius (FIRA A)
25.10.1997 Lithuania 24-23 in Vilnius (FIRA Silver)

Latvia Last Five
06.11.2010 v Malta W 33-26 in La Valette (ENC 2A)
30.10.2010 v Croatia L 12-14 in Riga (ENC 2A)
24.04.2010 v Malta L 10-27 in Paola (ENC 2B)
17.04.2010 v Sweden W 31-27 in Riga (ENC 2B)
07.11.2009 v Netherlands L 3-57 in Amsterdam (ENC 2B)

Lithuania Last Five
06.11.2010 v Sweden L 22-26 in Trelleborg (ENC 2A)
30.10.2010 v Malta W 9-6 in Siauliai (ENC 2A)
08.05.2010 v Ukraine L 16-27 in Siauliai (WCQ Europe R4, Final)
24.04.2010 v Serbia W 77-5 in Pancevo (ENC 3A)
10.10.2009 v Andorra W 40-12 in Vilnius (ENC 3A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Lithuania 19th, Latvia 22nd

IRB Ranking Points
Lithuania 49.83, Latvia 43.85

Prediction: Lithuania by 20 points



Lithuania Squad
Marius Andrijauskas (Peterborough Lions RUFC, England)
Tomas Astrauskas (RK Šiauliai)
Aleksandras Čiuchlėjus (Peterborough Lions RUFC, England)
Ignas Darkintis (Thanet Wanderers RUFC, England)
Mantas Eimantas (Kaunas "Ąžuolas")
Evaldas Gaubys (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Mindaugas Grigas (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Maksim Guseinov (Peterborough Lions RUFC, England)
Mantas Kazlauskas (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Gediminas Liutkus (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Gediminas Marcišauskas (Peterborough Lions RUFC, England)
Kęstutis Marcišauskas (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Andrius Martinskas (Enköpings RK, Sweden)
Mindaugas Misevičius, Capt., (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Artūras Rachimovas (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Evaldas Štitilis (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Richardas Stankus (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Audrius Stonys (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Laurynas Tipelis (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Marius Vaikėnas (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Tomas Zibolis (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Edvardas Žilius (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Manager: Irmantas Kukulskis
Coaches: Anatolijus Smirnovas and Vidmantas Valys


Latvia Squad
1. Jānis Skuja (RK Miesnieki)
2. Edgars Cīrulis (RK Miesnieki)
3. Romāns Odnokurcevs (RK LMT Eži)
4. Santis Podāns (Jelgavas “Alnis”)
5. Māris Streikišs (RK LMT Eži)
6. Māris Čeksters (SK “Ovāls”)
7. Aigars Muzikants (RK LMT Eži)
8. Leno Bramanis (RK Miesnieki)
9. Sergejs Avdejevs (SK “Ovāls”)
10. Jānis Priede (RK Miesnieki)
11. Kristaps Bērziņš (RK LMT Eži)
12. Nauris Bērziņš (SK “Ovāls”)
13. Reinis Pepa (RK LMT Eži)
14. Valters Raņķis (RK Miesnieki)
15. Ruslans Kotļevs (RK LMT Eži)
16. Andris Andersons (RK Miesnieki)
17. Āris Andersons (RK Miesnieki)
18. Sandris Jauntēvs (RK 1964)
19. Mareks Larionovs (RK LMT Eži)
20. Raimonds Krūmiņš (RK LMT Eži)
21. Viktors Silvoniks (RK Miesnieki)
22. Ingus Aivars (RK LMT Eži)
23. Jānis Riekstiņš (SK “Ovāls”)
24. Mikus Ozols (RK Miesnieki)
25. Vigo Valdavs jun. (“Livonia/Garkalne”)
Head Coach: Juris Straume

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