Saturday, April 28, 2012

EUROPEAN NATIONS CUP: Cyprus and Bulgaria Clash

Cyprus v Bulgaria in Pernik (ENC 2D)

Venue: Dimova Makhala

Referee: Poplavskiy (Ukraine)

CYPRUS 5 5 0 0 256 38 218 5 0 25
GREECE 6 3 0 3 135 100 35 2 2 16
BULGARIA 6 4 0 2 89 158 -69 0 0 16
LUXEMB. 7 2 0 5 93 178 -85 0 1 9
FINLAND 6 1 0 5 50 149 -99 0 1 5

Cyprus played its first test match in 2007. They have won their last 12 rugby test matches. They last lost a test back in 2008 when they lost 14-23 to Israel in a ENC 3C-3D playoff.

There is probably little doubt as to the outcome of this competition. Cyprus is so far out in front they will certainly be in the playoff between 1st in 2D and last in 2C. At this stage that is likely to be against Norway.

They will find the Bulgarians tough at home.Bulgaria has a new coach and hopefully a new direction after some recent disappointments. All we know about their squad is that it is composed entirely of local club players.

These two teams have met only once before in a rugby test match
12.03.2011 Cyprus 55-8 in Paphos (ENC 2D)

Cyprus Last Five
08.10.2011 v Luxembourg W 48-7 in Paphos (ENC 2D)
07.05.2011 v Luxembourg W 50-0 in Luxembourg (ENC 2D)
26.03.2011 v Finland W 70-10 in Paphos (ENC 2D)
12.03.2011 v Bulgaria W 55-8 in Paphos (ENC 2D)
20.11.2010 v Greece W 33-13 in Athens (ENC 2D)

Bulgaria Last Five
05.11.2011 v Greece L 7-47 in Thesalonica (ENC 2D)
22.10.2011 v Luxembourg W 19-16 in Pernik (ENC 2D)
14.05.2011 v Finland W 12-10 in Pernik (ENC 2D)
12.03.2011 v Cyprus L 8-55 in Paphos (ENC 2D)
13.11.2010 v Luxembourg W 18-8 in Luxembourg (ENC 2D)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table- Cyprus 34th, Bulgaria 36th

IRB Ranking Points do not apply.

Prediction: Although the Bulgarians are usually very competitive at home I expect Cyprus to have too much pace and finish by the final whistle.
Cyprus by 21 points



Cyprus Squad
George Agathocleous, Pafos Tigers
George Antoniades, Manchester ENG
Kyri Antoniades*, Old Whitgiftians ENG
Andrew Binikos, Currie SCO
Constantinos Constantinides, Limassol Crusuaders
Dervis Devron, Ayios Nikolaos Stags
Fidias Efthymiou, UWE and Dings Crusuaders ENG
Luke Frixou*, Derby ENG
Marcus Holden, DIOK NL
Reno Ioannides, Mountlucon FRA
Christo Kasabi, Enfield Ignatians ENG
Matt King, Wilmslow Wolves ENG
Tom Loizides, Esher ENG
Lawrence Macrides, Chingford ENG
Marko Mladenovic, Stratford Upon Avon ENG
Colm O'Cléirigh, Bective Rangers IRE
Stylianos Theoklitou-Panagiotou*, Doncaster ENG
Chris Thoma, Pafos Tigers
Tony Thoma (C), Pafos Tigers
Dan Thrasivoulou, Derby ENG
Burhan Torgut, UWIC WAL
Kiki Vatikiotis, Manchester ENG
* = new cap ... –announced


Bulgaria squad as yet not known.

We do know they have a new coach in Trifon Kostadinov

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