Belgium 30, Netherlands 18 in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)
Hong Kong 23, Kazakhstan 10 in Almaty (Asia5Nations)
Sri Lanka 13, United Arab Emirates 13 in Colombo (Asia5Nations)
Belgium added to Netherland’s woes as they prevented the home side from gaining any bonus points. Belgium gained maximum points by scoring 4 tries. Next weekend Moldova has to defeat Netherlands by 19 or more points or win with a bonus point to overtake Belgium on the points table.
Hong Kong began it’s Asia5Nations campaign with a very valuable away win against Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan were without two of their star Russian-based players plus a number of new faces who were replacing retired players. Two red cards in the second half did not help their cause.
Kazakhstan’s situation again raises the issue of player availability outside the June-November test windows. Kazakhstan were obviously affected and may well continue to be affected during this competition.
Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates slugged out a draw on a water logged and muddy Colombo rugby ground. It’s a result that neither side were after but later in the tournament the three points gained could be a crucial factor in deciding relegation for 2012.
Next weekend will see eight test matches around the world.
On Friday the 29th Kazakhstan flies into Abu Dhabi to play the Emirates whilst on Saturday 30th Japan wings into Hong Kong for their first Asia5Nations game.
Saturday will see four ENC games. The Netherlands travel to Moldova (ENC 1B), whilst Lithuania hosts neighbours Latvia and Malta hosts Croatia (both ENC 2A), and Slovenia hosts Switzerland (ENC 2B).
The NACRA Caribbean Championship continues with British Virgin Islands taking on Barbados at home, whilst Bermuda hosts The Bahamas.
It will be a huge weekend of international test rugby.