Saturday, April 30, 2011


Asia 5 Nations logo




UAE shut Kazakhstan down for its maiden win 



Reiner Els makes a break against Kazakhstan

[Hong Kong, April 30, 2011]: The United Arab Emirates has taken its first win as an international rugby union after a 24-10 upset of Kazakhstan tonight in the HSBC Asian Five Nations match played in Abu Dhabi. The crucial win in the desert moves them one step closer towards their goal of retaining their HSBC A5N Top 5 spot in 2012.

The UAE, formed from the recently disbanded Arabian Gulf RFU, secured a historic win tonight in the first HSBC Asian 5 Nations match ever played in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital. Playing to the strengths of their forward pack and relying on the canny boot of flyhalf Jonathon Grady, Asia’s newest rugby union took the lead in the 16th minute and never relinquished it.

“It feels fantastic,” said UAE coach Bruce Birtwistle, “it is great to get our first win in at home under the UAE banner. I’m extremely proud of the effort of the entire team.”

UAE captain and Lock Mike Cox-Hill and his men were facing a daunting challenge in having Asia’s 2010 runners-up Kazakhstan as one of their two home matches - the other being undefeated champions Japan.

Adding to the considerable pressure was the fact that the visitors were stinging from both a home loss to Hong Kong and red cards to two key members of their forward pack last weekend in Almaty.

But a depleted Kazakhstan was further weakened by the absence of key starting prop Vladimir Chernyk who failed to secure his travel visa. That and the fact that Kazakhstan was playing on a short week, contributed to a perfect sandstorm for the visitors as the Kazakhstan pack struggled against the UAE’s veteran cadre for most of the match.

“Our forwards blazed the way for us tonight, but I thought we were really strong throughout the park,” said Birtwistle.

Flyhalf Grady, in particular, was on song, punishing Kazakhstan with four penalties and a conversion for 14 points on the night. Grady’s first tallies came through penalties in the 16th and 19th minutes, which edged the hometown heroes to an early 6-nil lead.

Kazakhstan got on the board with a try through winger Sergey Konev in the 27th minute to pull within one point at 6-5. But four minutes later specialty tight-head prop Munib Haddad, who did not travel to Colombo last week, celebrated the pack’s dominance with a try that pulled the UAE back out in front 11-5. Grady slotted his third penalty of the first half at the 39-minute marker to take the halftime score to 14-5 in favour of the hosts.

Kazakhstan’s hopes of a comeback were further quashed when the second half opened much the way the first had, with Grady slotting his fourth penalty of the match in the 45th minute increasing the UAE’s lead 17-5.

The score remained that way for most of the second half before a flurry of activity in the waning moments.

Unfortunately for Kazakhstan, the flurries were all sand and no snow as the UAE scored its second try of the match through reserve Andrew Millar to bring them ahead 24-5 after Grady’s successful conversion.

But true to their never-say-die spirit, Kazakhstan quickly struck again with its second try of the match this time through flyhalf Daulet Akymbekov. The tally brought the match to 24-10 after a missed conversion with five minutes remaining, but it was too little too late as Kazakhstan fell to its second straight defeat – seriously jeopardizing their 2012 Top 5 chances.

Kazakhstan captain Timur Mashurov rued another missed opportunity saying, “It was a tough loss and a direct result of a very difficult build-up for us this week with our red carded players and then one of our top players not getting his travel visa in time. The loss of another player to heat exhaustion this week meant that it really was the perfect preparation for a loss.”

Kazakhstan next travel to Bangkok where they will face the might of Japan, who open their campaign in Hong Kong tomorrow (16.00 Hong Kong time, live throughout Asia on ESPN STAR Sports).

“It will be tough next week at this rate against Japan, but Kazakhstan always start slow. We get better the more we are together, and by the third and fourth games we start to show we can really play,” said Mashurov, who remains upbeat of staying in the Top 5 next season.

“By our fourth match we begin to play like we know we can and that will be perfect timing to play Sri Lanka at home,” added the Kazakhstan No. 8.

That will be disturbing news for Sri Lanka, who will now be ruing the missed opportunity to take a first home win last weekend against the UAE. Sri Lanka host Hong Kong at home next weekend before travelling to Almaty in week 4. To have any hope of staying in the Top 5 next season, Kazakhstan will be relying on Hong Kong to upend the hosts next week in Colombo.

Having accomplished their initial goal of remaining in the Top 5, a buoyant UAE are already setting their sights higher. The UAE have a bye next weekend before hosting Japan in Dubai in Week 4.

“We won’t back away from it, we will field our strongest team against Japan,” said Birtwistle. “I think we have done enough to stay up with a draw and a win from our opening two matches. Our goal is now an away win in Hong Kong and securing second place in Asia.”

From not existing at this time last season, UAE now top the table of the HSBC Asian Five Nations and Asian rugby with 8 points from two matches. Hong Kong is next on 5 points, followed by Sri Lanka on 3. For more information, visit


For more information on:

HSBC Asian 5 Nations/ARFU – Sean Moore, Tournament Operations Manager, Mob: +852 9095-8889, Email:

INTERNATIONAL TEST RUGBY: Emirates Defeat Kazakhstan

United Arab Emirates 24, Kazakhstan 10 in Abu Dhabi (Asia5Nations)

Halftime 14-5


RUGBY TEST MATCH: Japan Plays First Test Match

Japan v Hong Kong in Hong Kong (Asia5Nations)

Venue: Hong Kong Football Club



Hong Kong’s 2011 team photo. Image thanks to

This game has already been reviewed in earlier posts. Japan has never lost a game in the Asi5Nations and looks to continue despite playing away and giving away two rugby matches in game time to Hong Kong.

Last week’s 23-10 win over Kazakhstan will have given the locals much needed confidence going into this match. The thing is they just do not have the professional set up that Japan has. It’s really the pros v amateurs. Japan’s coach has called for the inclusion of Hong Kong and Korean franchise sides to participate in the Japaneses top league as a way of raising these nations to a more professional level.

Japan’s only real weakness is that they will be rusty. They also have an inexperienced middle row but look at the bench if things go wrong!

Japan’s coach is former All Black and coach of Italy John Kirwan. Kirwan has called for Korean and Hong Kong franchise sides to participate in the Japanese top league. Image thanks to

Last Five Encounters
22.05.2010 Japan 94-5 in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
02.05.2009 Japan 59-6 in Hong Kong (Asia5Nations)
18.05.2008 Japan 75-29 in Niigata (Asia5Nations)
29.04.2007 Japan 73-3 in Tokyo (Asia Nations, Div.2)
18.11.2006 Japan 52-3 in Hong Kong

Hong Kong last defeated Japan in 1998, winning 17-16 in Tokyo.

Hong Kong Last Five
23.04.2011 v Kazakhstan W 23-10 in Almaty (Asia5Nations)
16.04.2011 v Philippines W 70-10 in Manilla (Friendly)
15.12.2010 v Norway W 59-17 in Oslo (Europe Tour)
11.12.2010 v Germany L 13-34 in heidelberg (Europe Tour)
22.05.2010 v Japan L 5-94 in Tokyo (Asia5Nations)

Japan Last Five
08.11.2010 v Russia W 75-3 in Tokyo (Friendly)
30.10.2010 v Samoa L 10-13 in Tokyo (Friendly)
26.06.2010 v Tonga W 26-23 in Apia (Pacific Nations)
19.06.2010 v Samoa W 31-23 in Apia (Pacific Nations)
12.06.2010 v Fiji L 8-22 in Lautoka (Pacific Nations)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Japan 13th, Hong Kong 27th
Asia Table-Japan 1st, Hong Kong 2nd

IRB Ranking Points
Japan 71.45, Hong Kong 53.23

Prediction: Japan by 28 points



Hong Kong

15. Ross Armour (Valley)
14. Yiu, Kam Shing, Salom (Valley)
13. Thomas McColl, Capt.
12. Lee Jones (Valley)
11. Rowan Varty (DeA)
10. Keith Robertson (DeA)
9. Peter McKee (HKFC)
8. Pale Tauti (DeA)
7. Mark Goosen (Kowloon)
6. Nick Hewson (Valley)
5. Michael Waller (DeA)
4. Renaud Chavanis (Valley)
3. Ng, Wai Shing, Alex (Valley)
2. Alex Harris (Kowloon)
1. Andrew Li (Kowloon)
16. Chik, Man Hon, Alvin (Valley)
17. Pete Spizziri (HKFC)
18. Matthew Nuttall (DeA)
19. Terence Montgomery (Valley)
20. Timothy Alexander (Valley)
21. James Hood (HKFC)
21. Alex McQueen (HKCC)
Head Coach: Dai Rees



15. Taihei Ueda (Honda) Age 29, New cap
14. Alisi Tupuailai (Canon) 30, 11
13. Koji Taira (Suntory) 28, 24
12. Ryan Nicholas (Suntory) 31, 24
11. Hirotoki Onozawa (Suntory) 33, 58
10. Shaun Webb (Coca-cola) 29, 22
9. Atsushi Hiwasa (Suntory) 23, New cap
8 Ryukoliniasi Holani (Panasonic) 29, 14
7. Michael Leitch (Toshiba) 22, 13
6. Takashi Kikutani, Capt. (Toyota) 31, 35
5. Toshizumi Kitagawa (Toyota) 30, 33
4. Justin Ives (Panasonic) 26, New cap
3. Nozomu Fujita (Honda) 26, 4
2. Hiroki Yuhara (Toshiba) 27, 5
1. Naoki Kawamata (Panasonic) 25, 11
16. Takeshi Kizu (Kobe Steel) 22, 2
17. Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory) 25, 15
18. Luke Thompson (Kintetsu) 30, 27
19. Toetuu Taufa (Kintetsu) 30, 17
20. Fumiaki Tanaka (Panasonic) 26, 22
21. James Arlidge (Nottingham, England) 31, 25
22. Yuta Imamura (Kobe Steel) 26, 28
Head Coach: John Kirwan


Netherlands v Moldova in Chisinau (ENC 1B)

Venue: Dinamo Stadium

Referee: U. Narimanidze (Georgia)

BELGIUM 5 4 0 1 123 88 35 1 1 18
MOLDOVA 4 3 0 1 93 76 17 2 0 14
POLAND 5 3 0 2 122 112 10 0 1 13
CZECH R. 5 3 0 2 102 99 3 0 0 12
GERMANY 5 1 0 4 109 117 -8 0 3 7
NETH. 4 0 0 4 59 116 -57 0 0 0

Moldova needs to win with a bonus point if they are to overtake Belgium on the points table. In the event of both Belgium and Moldova being on the same number of points, then Belgium would take the title as they scored a 2-5 win over Moldova in February.

Moldova are without three of their top players including the Cobîlaş brothers, one not released by sale, the other injured. Although this will weaken the local side I can’t see the Netherlands, on form, defeating them. If anything the Moldovans may not reach 4 tries.

Previous Encounters
17.11.2007 Moldova 15-13 in Amsterdam (ENC 2A)
25.11.2006 Moldova 43-7 in Chisinau (ENC 2A)
12.11.2005 Moldova 30-27 in Chisinau (WCQ Europe Rnd 3, Pool A)
2001 Netherlands 43-12 in Amsterdam (Friendly)

Netherlands Last Five
23.04.2011 v Belgium L 18-30 in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)
16.04.2011 v Poland L 18-32 in Cracovie (ENC 1B)
27.11.2010 v Germany L 10-29 in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)
20.11.2010 v Czech Republic L 13-25 in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)
24.04.2010 v Croatia L 14-16 in Split (ENC 2B)

Moldova Last Five
02.04.2011 v Germany W 28-15 in Chisinau
19.03.2011 v Czech Republic W 24-16 in Chisinau (ENC 1B)
12.02.2011 v Belgium L 5-20 in Brussels (ENC 1B)
13.11.2010 v Poland W 36-25 in Gdansk (ENC 1B)
24.04.2010 v Ukraine W 28-19 in Anenii-Na (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 2A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Moldova 14th, Netherlands 21st

IRB Ranking Points
Moldova 54.02, Netherlands 47.49

Prediction: Moldova by 17 points, a bonus point and wins ENC 1B first round, 2011.


Moldova Squad


Eugen Ghicu (USEFS Blumarine)
Alexandru Matveev (USEFS Blumarine)

Mihai Gheorghieş (UTM Chişinău)
Veaceslav Lozinschi (USEFS Blumarine)
Alexandru Bulgac (USEFS Blumarine)

Andrian Baltag (RC Lokomotiv “Spartak’’ Russia)
Roman Cobjîlă (CSM Arad, Romania)
Gheorghe Voloşciuc (USEFS,Moldova)

Vitalie Baleca (USEFS Blumarine)
Alexandru Gagăuz (RC Lokomotiv “Spartak’’ Russia)

Nicolae Chirilă (Imperia Penza, Russia)
Eduard Toderică (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk, Russia)

3rd Row:
Victor Arhip ((Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk, Russia)
Sergiu Castraveţ (RC Lokomotiv “Spartak’’ Russia)
Veaceslav Titica (Krasny Yar, Russia)
Sergiu Muntean (Olimp-Electromaş,Tiraspol)

2nd Row:
Andrei Romanov (VVA-Podmoskovje, Russia)
Maxim Gargalîc (ASEM Chişinău)
Andrei Mahu (ASEM Chişinău)

Gheorghe Gajion (UTM Chişinău)
Igor Orghianu (ASEM Chişinău )
Anaton Bajutin (Olimp-Electromaş,Tiraspol)
Alexandru Colţ (Olimp-Electromaş,Tiraspol)
Dumitru Arhip (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk, Russia)

Dumitru Vasilachi (RC Kredo 63, Ukraine)
Ion Dascal (USEFS Blumarine)

Vadim Cobîlaş (Sale Sharks, England)
Maxim Cobîlaş (VVA-Podmoskovje, Russia)
Oleg Prepeliţă (RC Lokomotiv “Spartak’’ Russia)


Netherlands squad not available

Game shown live, I understand.

RUGBY TEST MATCH: ENC 2A Baltic Local Derby

Latvia v Lithuania in Kaunus (ENC 2A, Baltic Cup)

Venue: S.Dariaus ir S.Girėno stadione

Referee: Breburza (Czech Republic)



SWEDEN 2 2 0 0 58 35 23 1 0 9
LATVIA 2 1 0 1 45 40 5 1 1 6
LITHUANIA 2 1 0 1 31 32 -1 0 1 5
CROATIA 2 1 0 1 27 44 -17 0 0 4
MALTA 2 0 0 2 32 42 -10 1 2 3

This is a very important test match for both teams. Together with Croatia, both teams are huddled in the middle of the competition table, tucked in behind undefeated leader Sweden. A loss could propel either side toward the rear of the table. A win could push them up towards the leader.

Lithuania was promoted at the end of last season. They squeaked past Malta and then lost to Sweden last year with a side missing their foreign contingent. On Saturday they will field a stronger side with their England-based and Sweden-based players available.

Latvia has suffered heavy defeats against their neighbour over the past few years (many non-test matches) and will not find Lithuania any easier this year. They are also missing two of their best players Jurijs Baranovs and Uldis Saulīte, both presumably tied up with their Russian club.

‘Game will be broadcasted live on national TV, foreigners will have a chance to see it live, and here is the link
Before, during and after the game there will be different activities for the fans, several Lithuanian pop singers will perform, Latvian anthem will be performed by opera singer, this year’s Lithuanian nominee for the Eurovision song contest, and Lithuanian one – by TV show winner choir from Kaunas.
After the game old boys will step on to the pitch and have a friendly game.
This game will be the first event dedicated for the 50th anniversary of Lithuanian rugby, second will be held in the end of May (friendly game, banquet, etc.) the third will correspond with the U20 Euro champ in Lithuania.
Kaunas is in a very good geographical position, in the center of Lithuania, so fans form all over the country will arrive easily.
Game is promoted on national TV + local TV + facebook + posters in the street + posters in schools and sports schools
Expected attendance +5000.
…this game will be the first event to mark the 50th anniversary of Lithuanian rugby. We will pay credit for the players of the first rugby match played in Lithuania in 1961 in Kaunas. We’ve managed to find at least 9 alive men that played in that game, majority of them will be in the stadium and will be honored before the game. Sadly, bigger part of Lithuanian rugby pioneers are no longer with us.
Second event will be held on the 28th of May in Vilnius. (Friendly game against Latvia or Malta; concert for the spectators and guests from abroad; banquet near the stadium; cultural program for the guests, etc.)
All our players from England and Sweden are already with the team, training and preparing for the match. Hopefully fans will see a strong Lithuanian side. We have a couple of key players missing, but it shouldn’t be a major problem.
This game will be a debut for the new manager of Lithuanian team Irmantas Kukulskis. He took over last December. Previous manager Anatolijus Smirnovas is also with the team as a second coach.’  Special thanks to ‘Ignas’

Last Five Encounters
04.04.2009 Lithuania 55-12 in Carnikava (Baltic Trophy)
13.04.2008 Lithuania 43-17 in Klaipedia (Friendly)
30.04.2005 Latvia 19-12 in Riga (WCQ Europe R2, Pool C)
08.05.1999 Latvia 30-10 in Vilnius (FIRA A)
25.10.1997 Lithuania 24-23 in Vilnius (FIRA Silver)

Latvia Last Five
06.11.2010 v Malta W 33-26 in La Valette (ENC 2A)
30.10.2010 v Croatia L 12-14 in Riga (ENC 2A)
24.04.2010 v Malta L 10-27 in Paola (ENC 2B)
17.04.2010 v Sweden W 31-27 in Riga (ENC 2B)
07.11.2009 v Netherlands L 3-57 in Amsterdam (ENC 2B)

Lithuania Last Five
06.11.2010 v Sweden L 22-26 in Trelleborg (ENC 2A)
30.10.2010 v Malta W 9-6 in Siauliai (ENC 2A)
08.05.2010 v Ukraine L 16-27 in Siauliai (WCQ Europe R4, Final)
24.04.2010 v Serbia W 77-5 in Pancevo (ENC 3A)
10.10.2009 v Andorra W 40-12 in Vilnius (ENC 3A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Lithuania 19th, Latvia 22nd

IRB Ranking Points
Lithuania 49.83, Latvia 43.85

Prediction: Lithuania by 20 points



Lithuania Squad
Marius Andrijauskas (Peterborough Lions RUFC, England)
Tomas Astrauskas (RK Šiauliai)
Aleksandras Čiuchlėjus (Peterborough Lions RUFC, England)
Ignas Darkintis (Thanet Wanderers RUFC, England)
Mantas Eimantas (Kaunas "Ąžuolas")
Evaldas Gaubys (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Mindaugas Grigas (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Maksim Guseinov (Peterborough Lions RUFC, England)
Mantas Kazlauskas (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Gediminas Liutkus (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Gediminas Marcišauskas (Peterborough Lions RUFC, England)
Kęstutis Marcišauskas (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Andrius Martinskas (Enköpings RK, Sweden)
Mindaugas Misevičius, Capt., (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Artūras Rachimovas (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Evaldas Štitilis (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Richardas Stankus (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Audrius Stonys (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Laurynas Tipelis (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Marius Vaikėnas (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Tomas Zibolis (Šiauliai "BaltRex")
Edvardas Žilius (Šiauliai "Vairas")
Manager: Irmantas Kukulskis
Coaches: Anatolijus Smirnovas and Vidmantas Valys


Latvia Squad
1. Jānis Skuja (RK Miesnieki)
2. Edgars Cīrulis (RK Miesnieki)
3. Romāns Odnokurcevs (RK LMT Eži)
4. Santis Podāns (Jelgavas “Alnis”)
5. Māris Streikišs (RK LMT Eži)
6. Māris Čeksters (SK “Ovāls”)
7. Aigars Muzikants (RK LMT Eži)
8. Leno Bramanis (RK Miesnieki)
9. Sergejs Avdejevs (SK “Ovāls”)
10. Jānis Priede (RK Miesnieki)
11. Kristaps Bērziņš (RK LMT Eži)
12. Nauris Bērziņš (SK “Ovāls”)
13. Reinis Pepa (RK LMT Eži)
14. Valters Raņķis (RK Miesnieki)
15. Ruslans Kotļevs (RK LMT Eži)
16. Andris Andersons (RK Miesnieki)
17. Āris Andersons (RK Miesnieki)
18. Sandris Jauntēvs (RK 1964)
19. Mareks Larionovs (RK LMT Eži)
20. Raimonds Krūmiņš (RK LMT Eži)
21. Viktors Silvoniks (RK Miesnieki)
22. Ingus Aivars (RK LMT Eži)
23. Jānis Riekstiņš (SK “Ovāls”)
24. Mikus Ozols (RK Miesnieki)
25. Vigo Valdavs jun. (“Livonia/Garkalne”)
Head Coach: Juris Straume

TEST RUGBY: ENC 2A Croatia in Malta

Croatia v Malta in La Valette (ENC 2A)

Venue: Hibernians Stadium, Paola

Referee: F.Villegas (Spain)

Image thanks to

This is the second ENC 2A match of the weekend.

Croatia has a good record against Malta, winning twice in Malta in recent years. They have an impressive build up to this games with a 73-18 win against Italian Club Udine (Series A), and a 31-12 win against Hungary last weekend in Hungary in a friendly international.

Malta is ready to put right a disappointing 2010 according to Maltasport. ‘A number of players are back in the squad after previously missing out due to injury or unavailability. Luke Watts, Oliver Sacco, Josef Zahra and Vince Stivala return to fight for a place in the final line-up, to be announced at the Shirt Presentation on 29th April. New faces include Dragan Cerketa, Darren Deguara and James Kirk. Damian Neill has also called upon Noel Thomas as a Forwards Coach.’

Malta is struggling at the bottom of this competition with two games for two losses. The article below indicates injury problems and the fact that against a team like Croatia, Malta needs to be at full strength.

Other Previews

Last Five Encounters
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)
15.04.2006 Malta 26-15 in Marsa (WCQ Europe R3, Pool B)

Malta Last Five
06.11.2010 v Latvia L 26-33 in La Valette (ENC 2A)
30.10.2010 v Lithuania L 6-9 in Siauliai (ENC 2A)
24.04.2010 v Latvia W 27-10 in Paola (ENC 2B)
17.04.2010 v Netherlands L 0-19 in Amsterdam (ENC 2B)
07.11.2009 v Sweden W 25-13 in Paola (ENC 2B)

Croatia Last Five
20.10.2010 v Latvia W 14-12 in Riga (ENC 2A)
23.10.2010 v Sweden L 13-32 in Split (ENC 2A)
01.05.2010 v Sweden L 14-17 in Enkoping (ENC 2B)
24.04.2010 v Netherlands W 16-14 in Split (ENC 2B)
31.10.2009 v Malta W 34-13 in Split (ENC 2B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Croatia 20th, Malta 23rd

IRB Ranking Points
Croatia 48.15, Malta 44.44

Prediction: Croatia by 7 points



Malta Squad
O. Sacco, J. Howland, D. Busuttil, C. Sammut, T. Holloway, R. Holloway, A. Livesey, J. O’Brien, D. Holliday, M. Davey, A. Dixon, H. Collins, K. Mason, N. Gatt, C. Cassar, J. Kirk, D. Deguara, M. Camilleri, L. Watts, I. Borda, S. Borg, P. Calgaro, M. Galea, D. Cerketa, V. Stivala, C. Vassallo, J. Zahra, T. Pace Moore.

Overseas-based players
‘Among the new players in the squad are Darren Deguara, of English club Barry RFC, James Kirk (Hull RFC), Dragan Cerketa (Stompers) and Chris Vassallo who plies his trade for new Malta champions Kavallieri.’



Mate Borozan (RK Nada)
Caleb Brown (Foreign club)
Tomislav Burazin (RK Nada)
Tonći Buzov (RK Nada)
Goran Čulić (RK Nada)
Dominik Draženović (RK Mladost)
Ante Drazina (Olympic Club Rugby, USA)
Tomislav Gomuzak (RK Zagreb)
Duje Grubisic (RK Nada)
Dušan Hakaria (Foreign club)
Luka Jureško (RK Zagreb)
Nik Jurišić (RK Mladost)
Francis Marcic (RK Nada)
Andrej Mihalj (RK Mladost)
Filip Mijić (RK Zagreb)
Mislav Milanović (RK Nada)
Miroslav Mandic (RK Nada)
Simon Rezo (Foreign club)
Sasha Sekovanec (RK Nada)
Vinko Udovičić (RK Zagreb)
Filip Ujaković (RK Mladost)
Ivan Zelic (RK Zagreb)
Head Coach: Dennis Puljiz

RUGBY TEST MATCH: ENC 2B Switzerland in Slovenia

Switzerland v Slovenia in Lubliana (ENC 2B)

Venue: Stanežičah Oval

Referee: T.Tuma (Czech Republic)

ANDORRA 4 2 0 2 85 68 17 1 1 10
SWITZ. 3 2 0 1 66 54 11 0 1 9
ARMENIA 2 1 0 1 52 42 10 0 1 5
SLOVENIA 2 1 0 1 40 25 15 0 0 4
SERBIA 3 1 0 2 46 90 -44 0 0 4

In this competition the teams are so even that every result is crucial. Both teams have played Serbia and Andorra, with both sides defeating one or the other.

Slovenia are without three of their foreign-based players, whilst Switzerland is missing one. Slovenia has the home advantage. The result should be close.

Previous Encounters
17.04.2004 Switzerland 21-18 in Geneva (ENC 2B)
10.05.2003 Drawn 23-23 in Ljubliana (ENC 2B)

Slovenia Last Five
23.11.2010 v Serbia W 33-3 in Ljubliana (ENC 2B)
09.10.2010 v Andorra L 7-22 in Andorra La Vela (ENC 2B)
23.05.2010 v Norway W 16-13 in Oslo (ENC 3B)
15.05.2010 v Denmark W 14-12 in Ljubliana (ENC 3B)
17.10.2009 v Austria L 13-15 in Ljubliana (ENC 3B)

Switzerland Last Five
19.03.2011 v Andorra W 21-9 in Nyon (ENC 2B)
20.11.2010 v Serbia L 15-18 in Belgrade (ENC 2B)
02.10.2010 v Armenia W 30-27 in Lausanne (ENC 2B)
08.05.2010 v Andorra L 0-10 in Andorra La Vela (ENC 3A)
22.11.2009 v Armenia W 18-0 in Yverdon (ENC 3A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Switzerland 24th, Slovenia 27th

IRB Ranking Points
Switzerland 42.30, Slovenia 42.12

Prediction: Switzerland by 2 points



Slovenia Squad
Damjan Ahačič (RK Ljubljana)
Luka Arko (RK Ljubljana)
Boris Brezar (RAK Olimpija)
David Cerar (RK Bežigrad)
Luka Cerar (RAK Olimpija)
David Duh (RAK Olimpija)
Peter Gobec (RK Ljubljana)
Simon Gombač (RK Bežigrad)
Blaž Habjanič (RK Ljubljana)
Andrew Harrison (Foreign Club)
Tit Hočevar (Oxford Harlequins RFC, England)
Iztok Javornik (RK Ljubljana)
Goran Jelenčič (Beverley RUFC, England)
Damjan Jovič (RK Ljubljana)
Peter Kavčič (RK Ljubljana)
Matej Kos (RK Ljubljana)
Grega Kosanovič (RK Bežigrad)
Zarko Krsmanovič (RK Ljubljana)
Urban Magušar (RAK Olimpija)
Luka Miklič (RAK Olimpija)
Teo Mozetič (RK Ljubljana)
Aljaž Kralj Podobnik (RK Ljubljana)
Luka Potnik (RAK Olimpija)
Lovro Sambol (RK Bežigrad)
Jaka Sajevic (RK Ljubljana)
Nejc Sitar (RK Maribor)
Klemen Slavec (RK Bežigrad)
Klemen Šobak (RK Ljubljana)
Andrej Šubic (RK Ljubljana)
Mirt Suljič (Foreign Club)
Anže Troppan (RK Ljubljana)
Marko Udovč (RK Ljubljana)
Borut Završan (RAK Olimpija)
Pavle Žle (RK Bežigrad)
Head Coach: Žige Dobnikarja

Foreign-based players not selected
Alejandro Hostnik (Pucara, Argentina)
Martin Hostnik (Pucara, Argentina)
Dali Suljič (Foreign Club)


Switzerland Squad

Bruni Barthelemy (RC Nyon)
Schelte Betten (GC Zürich)
Josh Bjornson (GC Zürich)
Cyril Coulot (RC Yverdon)
Andreas Dahinden (RC Stade Lausanne)
Jacky Dervey (RC Stade Lausanne)
Nicolas Dimitri (RC Lormont, France)
Benjamin Fardout (RC Nyon)
Gabriel Fox (RC Fribourg)
Mathieu Guyou-Kreis (RCA Cergy-Pontoise, France)
Hanno Kung (GC Zürich)
Cyril Lafuye (U.S. Oyonnax, France)
Ismael Meyer (RC Stade Lausanne)
Ghislain Montiel (Peyrehorade, France)
David Mossière (Union Sigean Port-la-Nouvelle, France)
Jesse Nicholas (GC Zürich)
Steve Pascucci (RC Genève
Simon Perrod (U.S. Oyonnax Espoirs, France)
Aymeric Pont (RC Avusy)
Bryan Seale (RC Nyon)
Mathieu Schnell (RC bern(
Lukas Steiger (RC Bern)
Head Coach: Philip Filiatre

France-based player not selected
Cyril Lin (Lannemezan, France)


Bahamas v Bermuda in Hamilton (NACRA Caribbean Champ., North, R3)

Venue: National Sports Centre

Referee: Joyce Henry


Joyce Henry is the first women referee appointed to a full IRB international rugby match.

These two teams begin round 3 in the Caribbean Championship which is a round-robin tournament involving the winner of the Cayman Islands-Mexico rugby test match scheduled for 14 May.

Honours have been even for the last two encounters between these two Caribbean rugby nations. Bermuda has the home ground advantage. The traveling team is usually weaker than when they field a side at home. At this level the teams are mostly amateur players some being unable to travel because of work commitments.

Other Previews

Last Five Encounters
20.04.2008 Bermuda 29-13 in Grand Cayman (WCQ NAWIRA B, Knockout Round)
08.06.2005 Bahamas 24-15 in Nassau (WCQ America R1; Caribbean North)
12.10.1998 Bermuda 43-5 in Freeport (Caribbean Championship)
22.03.1997 Bermuda 24-3 in Nassau (WCQ America, Rnd A)
1996 Bermuda 22-14

Bermuda Last Five
01.05.2010 v Cayman Islands W 26-15 in Grand Cayman (Friendly)
25.09.2009 v Trinidad Tobago L 19-32 in Port of Spain (Friendly)
22.09.2009 v Barbados W 47-5 in Bridgetown (Friendly)
26.04.2008 v Barbados W 17-6 in Grand Cayman (NAWIRA B, Plate Final)
23.04.2008 v Guyana L 13-25 in Grand Cayman (NAWIRA B Cup, Semi-final)

Bahamas Last Five
26.04.2008 v Mexico W 23-17 in Grand Cayman (NAWIRA B, Bowl Final)
23.04.2008 v Jamaica W 19-12 in Grand Cayman (NAWIRA B, Bowl semi-final)
20.04.2008 v Bermuda L 13-29 in Grand Cayman (NAWIRA B, Knockout round)
16.02.2008 v Turks and Caicos Islands W 25-17 in Cockburn Town (Flamingo Cup)
01.10.2005 v Barbados L 3-52 in Port of Spain (WCQ America R1, Caribbean Final)

GWC Rugby Rankings Do not apply

Prediction: Bermuda by 16 points



Head Coach: Garry Markham

Squad not available


Bermuda Training Squad
Paul Dobinson, Devrae Noel-Simmons, Allan Steynor, Nick Chilvers, Ed Barnes, Jahan Cedenio, Thomas Greenslade, Pieter Erasmus, Jonny Peacock, Scott Brown, Aldo Campbell, David Rourke, Andrew Hook, Bobby Hurdle, Peter Dunkerley, Pete Dunlop, Conor McGlynn, Gareth Williams, Darren Richardson, Kris Furbert, Tom Healy, Tony Stott, Tom Edwards, Lachie Armour, Andy Boyce, Greg Fraser, Jack Ellison, Mark Dymond, Soniko Thomas, John Jackson, Neville Zuill, Shauntino Simons, Alun Thomas.