Saturday, April 28, 2012


Malta v Croatia in Zagreb (ENC 2A)

Venue: Stadion NK Zagreb, Kranjčevićeva

Referee: K.Lambrechts (Belgium)

SWEDEN 7 5 1 1 204 147 57 2 0 24
MALTA 7 4 0 3 130 104 26 2 2 20
LITHUANIA 6 3 1 2 157 91 66 2 3 19
CROATIA 6 2 0 4 105 126 -21 1 2 11
LATVIA 6 1 0 5 85 213 -128 2 1 7

This is the second of the crucial division 2A rugby test matches this weekend. Only one team will be eligible for the promotion playoff against last in ENC 1B. At this stage that team is likely to be the Netherlands.

Malta is a team on the rise. They began the second stage of this competition last weekend with a good win against competition leaders and previously undefeated Sweden at home. Playing away is usually a different story for teams at this level of international test rugby.A good win could take them into first spot a position they will want to hold. This could lead to a playoff against last in Division 1B.

Harry Collins defends possession against Sweden at the Hibs Stadium, yesterday. Photo: Jason Borg
Thanks to and also a good review of the Malta v Sweden game below

Image thanks to

Croatia has not fared well at this level. They did win convincingly against Latvia at home in November. They need to win with a bonus point in their last two games and hope that Lithuania stumbles in its last two games. A scenario that seems unlikely.

Last Five Encounters
30.04.2011 Malta 21-14 in La Valette (ENC 2A)
31.10.2009 Croatia 34-14 in Split (ENC 2B)
25.10.2008 Croatia 18-16 in Marsa (WCQ Europe R3; ENC 2B)
10.11.2007 Croatia 24-9 in Makarska (ENC 2B)
04.11.2006 Croatia 40-18 in Marsa (ENC 2B)

Malta Last Five
21.04.2012 v Sweden W 22-14 in La Valette (ENC 2A)
05.11.2011 v Lithuania W 14-10 in La Valette (ENC 2A)
29.10.2011 v Latvia W 28-0 in Riga (ENC 2A)
07.05.2011 v Sweden L 13-24 in Stockholm (ENC 2A)
30.04.2011 v Croatia W 21-14 in La Valette (ENC 2A)

Croatia Last Five
05.11.2011 v Latvia W 34-8 in Split (ENC 2A)
29.10.2011 v Sweden L 18-24 in Enkoping (ENC 2A)
07.05.2011 v Lithuania L 12-29 in Split (ENC 2A)
30.04.2011 v Malta L 14-21 in La Valette (ENC 2A)
20.10.2010 v Latvia W 14-12 in Riga (ENC 2A)

Croatia lost 12-31 to Belgium (Oct.22) in a friendly, non test match

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Malta 19th, Croatia 22nd

IRB Ranking Points
Malta 47.93, Croatia 45.84

Prediction: Malta by 6 points



Croatia Squad
Richard Pervan, Vinko Udovičić, Mike Jasko, Goran Čulić, Denis Brečić, Carl Banks, Dominik Draženović, Luka Jureško, Frane Marčić, Filip Ujaković, Tvrtko Dumančić, Jakša Lovreta, Mario Ozich, Tonči Buzov, Saša Sekovanec, Marko Bunić, Jai Ayoub, Shane Venec, Tomislav Burazin, Nik Jurišić, Ivan Šuta, Filip Mijić, Damir Draganić.

Malta squad as yet not available

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