Saturday, April 6, 2013

LATVIA v ISRAEL: World Cup Qualifying, Europe R2 ENC 2B




Venue: Wingate Institute, Netanya

Referee: Mario Jelavic (Croatia)

This is the third feature test rugby match for this Saturday.

’The team relegated v the team promoted’.This could be the bill for this rugby test match to be played in Israel. You could also say ‘Clash of the Leading Contenders’. Latvia were relegated from ENC 2A in 2012 whilst Israel were promoted from ENC 2C at the same time.

For Israel this represents a dramatic rise in their rugby fortunes over the last three or four years. In that time they played above their level in the 2011 Rugby World Cup qualifying race, losing 3-19 to Lithuania a team that was also on the rise at that time. In addition Israel has progressed two divisions in four years, playing in the then ENC 3C 2008-09. It would certainly be extraordinary for this nation to progress a third level in that time but at the moment they lead the points table.

ISRAEL 2 2 0 0 74 27 47 2 0 10
LATVIA 3 2 0 1 70 65 5 1 0 9
SERBIA 3 1 0 2 84 95 -11 1 1 6
ANDORRA 4 1 1 2 48 77 -29 0 0 6
DENMARK 2 0 1 1 21 33 -12 0 0 2

The Latvian team stayed together this week travelling on from Andorra to Israel. It is not often that teams playing at this level of international test rugby are able to spend time together like this. This will certainly be to their advantage. On the other hand the amount of time spent travelling would be considerable, at least two flights, but certainly less if the team travelled back to Latvia after last weekend’s game.

The Latvians sit just underneath Israel. The presence of their two outstanding Russian-based players has made a huge difference in this teams fortunes.

For Israel this is the first of double-headers this month. Next weekend they are due to play Denmark also in Israel.

Previous Encounter
17.03.2001 Latvia 21-3 in Herzliya (WCQ Europe R1; FIRA Pool 3)

Israel Last Five P 5, W 5
27.10.2012 v Andorra W 26-5 in Andorra La Vela (WCQ Euro. R2; ENC 2B)
13.10.2012 v Serbia W 48-22 in Netanya (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 2B)02.06.2012 v Denmark W 15-0 in Netanya (ENC 2C)
21.04.2012 v Hungary W 44-5 in Ezstegom (ENC 2C)
22.10.2011 v Austria W 28-26 in Vienna (ENC 2C)

Israel has won its last seven rugby test matches.

Latvia Last Five P 5, W 2, L 43
30.03.2013 v Andorra W 22-11 in Andorra La Vela (WCQ Euro. R2; ENC 2B)03.11.2012 v Denmark W 27-15 in Riga (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 2B)
27.10.2012 v Serbia L 21-39 in Belgrade (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 2B)
05.05.2012 v Sweden L 3-31 in Enkoping (ENC 2A)
8.04.2012 v Lithuania L 8-48 in Riga (ENC 2A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table: Latvia 24th, Israel 27th

IRB Ranking Points
Israel 41.06, Latvia 41.56

Prediction: Israel by 3 points



Latvia Squad

Āris Andersons (RK “Miesnieki”)

Emīls Balodis (RK “Miesnieki”)

Jurijs Baranovs (Krasnoyarsk “Enisei STM”, Russia)

Nauris Bērziņš (Kazaņ Agrouniversitet, Russia)

Andrejs Borisovs (SK “Ovāls”)

Leno Bramanis (RK “Miesnieki”)

Edgars Cīrulis (RK “Miesnieki”)

Vitālijs Haleckis (SK “Ovāls”)

Elmārs Imbrass (RK 1964)

Sandris Jauntēvs (RK 1964)

Ruslans Kotļevs (LMT RK “Eži”)

Mareks Larionovs (LMT RK “Eži”)

Edijs Libers (RFC “Livonia”)

Jānis Priede (RK “Miesnieki”)

Mārtiņš Provizors (Skerries RFC, Ireland)

Valters Raņķis (RK “Miesnieki”)

Māris Robežnieks (RK “Miesnieki”)

Uldis Saulīte (Krasnoyarsk “Enisei STM”, Russia)

Viktors Silvoniks (RK “Miesnieki”)

Jānis Skuja (RK “Miesnieki”) Captain

Māris Streikišs (LMT RK “Eži”)

Mihails Tumins (SK “Ovāls”)

Dāvis Zagorskis (RK Baldone)

Matīss Zalcmanis (RK RT)

Head Coach: Sergejs Lisko


Israel Squad

1) Daniel Palma

2) Nathan Amos

3) Matan Brosh

4) Oren Brodhurst

5) Yonatan Kaplan (c)

6) Yonatan Shaki

7) Guy Matisis

8) Michael Eli

9) Eitan Humphreys

10) Nimrod Kaplan

11) Adrian Rainstein

12) Gilad Goldstein

13) Vitalii Pryimak

14) Yonatan Radashkovich

15) Mordechay Radashkovich

16) Oren Alt

17) Adam Rozenberg

18) Julien Maffi

19) Nessi Abravanel

20) Shay Hacohen

21) Amit Kakoun

22) Stav Gurtovoy

23) Omri Lotan

Head Coach: Penh

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