Venue: Dinamo Stadium, Chisinau
Referee: Ken Lambrechts (Belgium)
This match is being previewed as much for the politics as for the rugby. The politics is of course the conflict between Ukraine and Russia over the Crimea, the resulting military build up, the fallout between the superpowers and the world-wide media coverage.
Thankfully this match will proceed despite the awkward circumstances for the Ukraine. If the match was due to be played in the Ukraine it may well have been cancelled.
As far as the rugby is concerned, Moldova is unlikely to catch the dominant team Germany in this competition. However they do have a mathematical chance but a lot depends on what other teams do. Moldova would need to win their remaining games with bonus points. Their heavy loss to Sweden early in the competition has come back to haunt the Moldovans. Since then they have certainly looked like they could cope if promoted to ENC 1A.
The Ukraine, relegated from ENC 1A in 2012 will remain in ENC 1B for 2014-2016. The lost 18-38 to Moldova this time last year.
‘Moldova has tried to play this match on the much larger and more modern Zimbru Stadium in the city but the football club has asked a very high rent price.
It's interesting that the Arhip brothers are listed in the Moldovan squad even if they are supposed to be injured. Prop Vadim Cobilas will make it to the match after playing for Sale tonight, according to the Moldovan Federation. However, an article on frr.ro claims that he will not play for Moldova’.
From Dragos03 at http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4543
GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table: Moldova 13th, Ukraine 16th
IRB Ranking Points
Moldova 55.11, Ukraine 52.17
Prediction: Moldova will be weakened if the Arhip brothers do not play but I’d expect them to just do enough to outlast Ukraine. Moldova by 4 points
Cobîlaş Maxim (Krasnîi Iar, Russia)
Leon Victor (CSM Bucureşti, România)
Cobîlaş Vadim (Sale Sharks, Aviva Premiership)
Titica Veaceslav (Krasnîi-Iar, Russia)
Dorogan Ruslan (Dinamo, România)
Orghianu Igor (Steaua, România)
Dascăl Ion (Lupii Albi-USEFS)
Vasilachi Dumitru (Lupii Albi – USEFS)
Dumitru Arhip (Ospreys, Pro 12)
Romanov Andrei (Krasnîi-Iar, Russia)
Mahu Andrei (RCM Timişoara, România)
Gargalîc Maxim (Enisei-STM, Russia)
Prepeliţă Oleg (Krasnîi-Iar, Russia)
Castraveţ Sergiu (Lupii Albi – USEFS)
Buşilă Ion (Lupii Albi- USEFS)
Rotundu Roman (Dinamo, România)
Purcel Nicolae (ŞSSRAR-USPEE)
Victor Arhip (Enisei-STM, Russia)
Chirilă Nicolae (Lupii Albi-USEFS)
Caburgan Nicolae (Lupii Albi – USEFS)
Murzac Victor (Sporting-ASEM)
Manoli Octavian (Lupii Albi – USEFS)
Felston Craig (UK)
Baltag Andrian (Lupii Albi-USEFS)
Cavcaliuc Ion (Dinamo, România)
Olari Andrei (Toulouse Olympique XIII, France)
Leca Ştefan (Lupii Albi-USEFS)
Bulgac Alexandru (Lupii Albi-USEFS)
Cebotari Andrei (Dinamo, România)
Toderică Eduard (Olimp-Electromaş, Transnistria)
Lotcă Ilie (Lupii Albi-USEFS)
Golubenco Mihai (Steaua, România)
Petrache Dorin (Lupii Albi–USEFS)
Artîc Mihai (Lupii Albi-USEFS)
I could only find their team list written in Ukranian here http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4543