Wednesday, April 22, 2015

TEST RUGBY THIS WEEKEND Part 1: European Rugby

Switzerland v Malta in Valetta (REC 2A)
Israel v Czech Republic in Prague (REC 2A)
Latvia v Lithuania in Siaulai or Vilnius (REC 2B)
Serbia v Denmark in Odense (REC 2C)
Slovenia v Austria in Vienna (REC 2C)
Bosnia Herzegovina v Finland in Zenica (REC 2D)
Turkey v Bulgaria TBC

A big weekend in European test rugby as the European Rugby Championship continues. For many teams this is the final competition game of the season. Competition points will carry over to next season being the final round.

Of the two games in Division 2A the Swiss v Malta game is between the No.2 and No.3 teams on the points table. Both have one loss each and sit below undefeated Czech Republic. The challenge to Czech Republic next season could well be one of these two teams.

The Division 2B games is a local derby between two Baltic nations. Last season Lithuania were relegated and for the first time in a while these two neighbours find them selves in the same league. Both share top spot on the table and both are undefeated.It will be an interesting clash.

Top team Czech Republic plays bottom placed Israel who are finding this competition very tough.

There are two games in Division 2C. Serbia’s turn around performance last week against Austria could well mean they keep Denmark at the bottom of the table. But how well will Serbia travel and can they travel with their best team. Two important factors at this level of competition.

The Slovenia-Austria test rugby match has some significance about it. Slovenia is tucked in behind competition leaders Luxembourg with one loss. Austria’s surprise loss to Serbia last weekend will be a cause for concern in Vienna.

In 2D Division Bosnia Herzegovina are the two undefeated sides and they clash in Zenica. Again it’s a case of what sort of team has Finland been able to pick and how well will they travel. Bosnia Herzegovina are a tough team to play on their home soil. A mouth watering clash. I’d love to be there!

I cannot confirm that the Bulgaria-Turkey match is scheduled for today. If it does we have the unusual situation in that they have already played each other this season and this would be a round two fixture. Very strange!

A fantastic weekend of test rugby in Europe will soon be upon us.

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