15.09.2011 United States v Russia in New Plymouth (World Cup, Pool C)
Venue: Stadium Taranaki, New Plymouth
Referee: David Pearson (England)
Preview Russia will be making their World Cup debut today, the last team to start the 2011 Rugby World Cup Finals.They are a team with huge amounts of pride and commitment.
The Russians qualified for the Finals by being second in the European Nations Cup first round after a 25-25 all draw with Romania.
Russia finished last in the 2011 Churchill Cup after losing to todays opponent the USA. Since then their performances, against English and Welsh top club sides, have been less than impressive and it has been felt that of all the teams in this tournament they will struggle the most.
The USA has a strong record against Russia winning all four encounters to date.The Americans also has an advantage in that they have already played a match, a solid performance against the Irish.
I expect the USA to win but watch out for a good Russian showing. They will not be a pushover.
Previous Encounters Encounters 18.06.2011 USA 32-25 in Gloucester (Churchill Cup, Pool B)
05.06.2010 USA 36-22 in Glendale (Churchill Cup, Pool B)
30.05.2004 USA 41-14 in Tokyo (Superpowers Cup, Playoff 3rd-4th)
23.09.1998 USA 31-16 in Moscow (Soviet Sports Trophy)
GWC Rugby Rankings World Table-USA 17th, Russia 20th
IRB Ranking Points USA 65.00, Russia 61.93
Prediction: USA by 13 points
Russia 15 Igor Klyuchnikov, 14 Vladimir Ostroushko, 13 Konstantin Rachkov, 12 Alexey Makovetskiy, 11 Vasily Artemyev, 10 Yury Kushnarev, 9 Alexander Shakirov, 8 Vyacheslav Grachev, 7 Artem Fatakhov, 6 Andrey Garbuzov, 5 Denis Antonov, 4 Alexander Voytov, 3 Ivan Prishchepenko, 2 Vladislav Korshunov, Capt. 1 Sergey Popov.
16 Valery Tsnobiladze, 17 Alexander Khrokin, 18 Vladmimir Botvinnikov, 19 Adam Byrnes, 20 Victor Gresev, 21 Alexander Yanyushkin, 22 Andrey Kuzin
Head Coach: Nik Nerush
United States 15 Christopher Wyles, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 James Paterson, 10 Roland Suniula, 9 Michael Petri, 8 Nicholas Johnson, 7 Todd Clever, Capt. 6 Louis Stanfill, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 John van der Giessen, 3 Matekitonga Moeakiola, 2 Christopher Biller, 1 Michael MacDonald.
16 Philip Thiel, 17 Shawn Pittman, 18 Scott LaValla, 19 Patrick Danahy,
20 Timothy Usasz, 21 Nese Malifa, 22 Blaine Scully
Head Coach: Eddie O’Sullivan