Saturday, September 12, 2015



Venue: Enkoping, Sweden


BELGIUM 5 5 0 0 189 75 114 2 22
MOLDOVA 5 3 0 2 155 83 72 4 16
UKRAINE 5 3 0 2 108 81 27 1 13
NETHERLANDS 5 2 0 3 81 74 3 2 10
POLAND 5 2 0 3 103 146 -43 2 10
SWEDEN 5 0 0 5 49 226 -177 0 0

This rugby tests kicks off the second part of the Rugby Europe Championship. This second part determines who is promoted and who is relegated. The championship is contested each season.

Both teams languish at the bottom of the points table in Division 1B. Poland’s position looks reasonably safe but with a full squad of players Sweden will be desperate to avoid relegation. A loss today for the Swedes would virtually seal their fate.

’This looks to be as strong a sides as the Swedes could put out. The disharmony between players and the union that led to players from lower level clubs having to be picked instead of Exile players seems to be over. The Swedes have also been able to bring in Andrew Daish who plays in England and stood up well in their match against the Netherlands in May. The only notable exceptions would be the Exiles pair of Daniel Chamberlain at lock (unavailable) and back row Chris Bradley (injured).’

‘The flanker Aleksander Nowicki and lock/back row Tomasz Hebda have not been released by their Federal 1 clubs. The union web site also mentioned that neither has Thomas Pretkowski which is interesting given that he is one of the grandfather rule French players brought in during the Putra regime. The current coach has turned his back on the French nurtured players in favour of those domestically raised, however the dearth of top quality props in Poland may have required a U-turn on this policy. I remember Pretkowski playing a few games for the national side, and although unspectacular he did a solid job and that fact that he seems to start at tight head for Federal 1 Lille most weeks seems to be enough to try and get him back in the set up.

Other omissions include the injured lock Kruzycki and the number 8 Zeszutek. An interesting inclusion is Grabowski, the Lodz centre, who's brother plays in the back row for the Ukraine. He has Polish roots and also qualifies on residency and looks to be called in as Poland try to beef themselves up in the midfield as well as prop.

I travelled to Enkoping 4 years ago to watch this fixture when Poland were still chasing promotion and a bonus point win. Instead of kicking easy points they fell prey to a disciplined Swedish performance and came away with nothing which effectively led to the end of the Putra regime and the selection of French bred players. Since then Poland has slipped down the rankings. They have improved enormously off the pitch promoting the game, the international matches are held in I would say the best stadiums for the division, trainers from South Africa have also been brought in but the wins are just not coming. Poland seem to be able to score tries and have a good kicker, but defence has been a big issue. Let's see what they can do on Saturday. One key match up will be Bartoszek against Daish in the battle of the back rows.’

Thanks to ‘Polter’ at

Last Five Encounters
06.09.2014 Poland 29-17 in Warsaw (REC 1B)
07.09.2013 Poland 30-9 in Warsaw (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 1B)
01.06.2013 Sweden 19-11 in Stockholm (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 1B)
11.10.2003 Poland 36-0 in Gdansk (ENC 2A)
05.10.2002 Poland 14-7 in Lund (ENC 2A)

Sweden Last Five P 5, L 5
30.05.2015 v Netherlands L 14-24 in Amsterdam (REC 1B)
28.03.2015 v Belgium L 10-71 in Brussels (REC 1B)
22.11.2014 v Moldova L 8-57 in Chisinau (REC 1B)
18.10.2014 v Ukraine L 0-45 in Enkoping (REC 1B)
26.09.2014 v Poland L 17-29 in Warsaw (REC 1B)

Poland Last Five P 5, W 2, L 3
09.05.2015 v Ukraine L 17-20 in Warsaw (REC 1B)
18.04.2015 v Belgium L 23-53 in Brussels (REC 1B)
15.11.2014 v Moldova L 25-48 in Chisinau (REC 1B)
18.10.2014 v Netherlands W 9-8 in Warsaw (REC 1B)
06.09.2014 v Sweden W 29-17 in Warsaw (REC 1B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table: Poland 19th, Sweden 20th

IRB Ranking Points
Poland 49.84, Sweden 46.05

Prediction: Poland by 4 points. Score 21-17




15   Patryk Reksulak Budowlani Łódź 
14   Radoslaw Rakowski Arka Gdynia
13   Tomasz Gasik Orkan Sochaczew
12   Marek Grabowski  Budowlani Łódź 
11   Tomasz Rokicki Lechia Gdańsk
10   Dawid Banaszek  Arka Gdynia
9   Łukasz Szostek  Arka Gdynia
8   Paweł Dąbrowski  Arka Gdynia
7   Mateusz Bartoszek SMRC Saint Médard, France
6   Marek Płonka jnr  Lechia Gdańsk
5   Paweł Poniatowski  Skra Warszawa
4   Stanisław Powala-Niedźwiecki Ogniwo Sopot
3   Radosław Bysewski  Arka Gdynia
2   Kamil Bobryk (Capt.) SC Vienne, France
1   Mariusz Wilczuk Ogniwo Sopot
16   Adrian Chróściel  Pogoń Siedlce
17   Grzegorz Janiec USRP Romans, France
18   Cyprian Majcher  Budowlani Łódź 
19   Piotr Karpiński II Budowlani Łódź 
20   Dawid Plichta  Orkan Sochaczew
21   Rafał Szrejber  Arka Gdynia
22   Sebastian Gruszczyński  Posnania Posnania Poznań
23   Grzegorz Buczek  Lechia Gdańsk
    HEAD COACH: Marek Plonka


Sweden Squad

Alexander Rappestad Norrköping RK Trojan
Alexander Johansson Vänersborg RK
André Eriksson Pingvin RC (Trelleborg)
Andrew Daish Old Albanian RFC (England)
Dustin Eaton Stockholm Exiles RFC
Erik Arvidsson Pingvin RC (Trelleborg)
Grant Duffy Stockholm Exiles RFC
Henrik Ek Norrköping RK Trojan
Ian Gowland (Capt.) Stockholm Exiles RFC
James Darbyshire Stockholm Exiles RFC
Jonas Zengler Norrköping RK Trojan
Karl Linderoth Stockholm Exiles RFC
Mark Beveridge Stockholm Exiles RFC
Matt Mitchell Stockholm Exiles RFC
Måns Derk Södertälje RK
Neil Erasmus Stockholm Exiles RFC
Oliver Callaghan Amstelveense RC (Holland)
Rikus van Niekerk Stockholm Exiles RFC
Robin Fransson Stockholm Exiles RFC
Sean Burke Stockholm Exiles RFC
Tim Karl Johansson Stockholm Exiles RFC
Tobias Röstam Pingvin RC (Trelleborg)
Mak Jelek Dozo Stockholm Exiles RFC

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