Sunday, March 31, 2013


Kazakhstan v Thailand in Colombo (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)
Sri Lanka v China Taipei in Colombo (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)

This is a vital tournament which will decide who is promoted to the Asia 5 Nations elite division for 2014. The 2015 Rugby World Cup finalists will come from the elite division in 2014.

Kazakhstan was the team relegated from the Asia 5 Nations in 2012 whilst Thailand was promoted from Division 2.


Sri Lanka-The only one I can get!

1 Yoshitha Rajapaksa (Captain), 3rd Row, SL Navy SC

2 Fazil Marija (Vice Captain), Fly Half , Kandy SC

3 Henry Terence , Prop Forward, Havelock SC

4 Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Prop Forward, Havelock SC

5 Kishore Jehan, Prop Forward , Kandy SC

6 Sathya Ranathunaga , Prop Forward , SL Navy SC

7 Namal Rajapaksa , Hooker , SL Navy SC

8 Anuranga Walpola , Hooker , Kandy SC

9 Dinesh Sanjeewa , Lock Forward , Kandy SC

10 Shenal Dias , 2nd Row , Havelock SC

11 Hasitha Perera , Lock Forward , Upcountry Lions

12 Sajith Saranga , Lock Forward , Upcountry Lions

13 Sayuru Anthony , 3rd Row , SL Navy SC

14 Sharo Fernando , 3rd Row , Upcountry Lions

15 Sumedha Malewana , 3rd Row , SL Navy SC

16 Roshan Weeraratne , Scrum Half , Kandy SC

17 Rehan Weerakoon , Fly Half , SL Navy SC

18 Dinusha Chathuranga , Center , SL Navy SC

19 Chula Susantha , Center , SL Navy SC

20 Gayan Weeraratne , Center , Kandy SC

21 Pradeep Liyanage , Center , Kandy SC

22 Chamara Dabare , Winger , Havelock SC

23 Sandun Herath , Winger , Havelock SC

24 Mohamed Sheriff , Full Back , Havelock SC

25 Riza Mubarak , Full Back , SL Navy SC


Stand By :

1 Jason Dissanayake , Lock Forward , Vidyaratha College

2 Uchitha Jayasooriya , Hooker , Upcountry Lions

3 Ishan Noor , 2nd Row , CR & FC

4 Niroshan Fernando , Fly Half , Havelock SC

5 Saliya Handapangoda , Winger , SL Navy SC

6 Eranga Swarnathilake , Prop Forward , SL Navy SC

7 Achala Perera , Hooker , Kandy SC

8 Charith Senaviratne , Center , Air Force

Logoimage005  19[1]  94[1]

Kazakhstan              Thailand       China Taipei

Kazakhstan v Thailand in Colombo (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)

In this encounter a lot will depend upon the strength of the Kazak side. I’d expect them to be vigorous and strong in the forwards. Thailand, in the past, has been a very good attacking side. Chalk and cheese? I would expect the Kazakhstan side to be too strong up front.

Previous Encounters
03.11.2007 Kazakhstan 69-21 in Colombo (Asiad Cup)
28.10.2004 Thailand 37-36 in Hong Kong (19th Asia Championship)
12.10.2003 Kazakhstan 56-17 in Kazakhstan (Asia Tournament)
20.11.2002 Thailand 31-24 in Bangkok (18th Asia Championship)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Kazakhstan 5th, Thailand 10th

IRB Ranking Points
Kazakhstan 51.28, Thailand 42.90

Prediction: Kazakhstan by 19 points.

Sri Lanka v China Taipei in Colombo (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)

Two of the original members of the Asia Rugby Union clash in this important encounter. In recent years Sri Lanka has dominated the Chinese side and I can’t see that situation changing for this game.

Previous Encounters
15.04.2012 Sri Lanka 36-8 in Manilla (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)
14.04.2010 Sri Lanka 37-7 in Singapore (Asia Nations Div.1)
08.04.2009 China Taipei 36-24 in Dubai (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)
15.11.2008 China Taipei 35-23 in Tainan (Asia Nations Div.1)
13.10.2002 China Taipei 56-18 in Pusan (Asia Games)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Sri Lanka 7th, China Taipei 8th

IRB Ranking Points
Sri Lanka 47.60, China Taipei 43.19

Prediction: Sri Lanka by 18 points

TEST RUGBY RESULTS: Saturday 30 March

Poland 13, Ukraine 12 in Gdansk (WCQ Europe R4, ENC 1B)
Latvia 22, Andorra 11 in Andorra La Vela (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 2B)
Finland 13, Greece 11 in Athens (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 2C)

Poland scraped a narrow one point win over Ukraine in a spiteful game which saw four red cards issued. This appeared to favour the free running Poles who came from 3-12 to win in the last ten minutes of the match.

Latvia secured a vital away win over Andorra. This sets up a cracker of a game next weekend when Latvia travel to Israel to play the leading side in ENC 2B. Latvia was relegated into this division whilst Israel was promoted at the end of the 2011-12 season.

Review in Latvian

Finland gained its first win since 2011 defeating the home side in Athens. This win lifts Finland off the bottom of the ENC 2C division table.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


World Cup Qualifying, Europe R4. ENC 1B




Venue: National Rugby Stadium, Gydnia

Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland)

GERMANY 4 3 0 1 118 72 46 3 0 15
UKRAINE 3 2 0 1 92 71 19 2 0 10
SWEDEN 3 2 0 1 86 46 40 1 0 9
POLAND 2 2 0 0 51 16 35 0 0 8
MOLDOVA 3 1 0 2 57 98 -41 1 0 5
CZECH REP. 5 0 0 5 56 157 -101 0 1 1

In this level of competition only Czech Republic look to be out of their depth. All the other teams are still in with a chance to lead this division at season’s end.

Poland is the only side undefeated in this division so far this season. They have a large contingent of France-based players. Coupled with the fact they are playing at home gives them two advantages over the Ukrainians.

The Ukraine were relegated from ENC 1A in 2012. They lost heavily to Germany in their first game at this level. They could not field their strongest side. But against the Czech Republic we saw them as a stronger unit and again against the promising Swedish side.

I expect this to be a tight hard-fought rugby test match between two sides who could either take out this championship. I favour the Poles to win narrowly.

Ukraine head coach Oleh Zalizny
Image thanks to

Last Five Encounters
12.09.2009 Ukraine 19-12 in Kiev (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 2A)
04.10.2008 Ukraine 13-12 in Lodz (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 2A)
25.10.2003 Ukraine 24-13 in Lodz (ENC 2A)
19.10.2002 Poland 20-11 in Kiev (ENC 2A)
19.05.2001 Ukraine 9-3 in ? (FIRA B)

Poland Last Five P 5, W 4, L 1
03.11.2012 v Germany W 22-13 in Gdansk (WCQ Europe R 4; ENC 1B)
06.10.2012 v Czech Republic W 29-3 in Prague (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 1B)
21.04.2012 v Netherlands W 32-19 in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)
07.04.2012 v Belgium L 13-20 in Brussels (ENC 1B)
19.11.2011 v Germany W 34-8 in Gdansk (ENC 1B)

Ukraine Last Five P 5, W 3, L 2
27.10.2012 v Germany L 28-46 in Berlin (WCQ Europe R 4; ENC 1B)
17.11.2012 v Czech Rep. W 42-15 in Dnepropetrovsk (WCQ Euro.R4; ENC 1B
20.10.2012 v Sweden W 22-10 in Stockholm (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 1B)
31.03.2012 v Romania L 0-71 in Bucharest (ENC 1A)
17.03.2012 v Portugal W 35-33 in Odessa (ENC 1A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Poland 9th, Ukraine 11th

IRB Ranking Points
Poland 56.91, Ukraine 53.80

Prediction: Poland by 5 points



Poland squad


Mateusz Bartoszek (Givors, FRA),

Kamil Bobryk (CS Vienne, FRA),
Jean Boutes (CS Vienne, FRA),
Maciej Brażuk (Orkan Sochaczew),

Adrian Chróściel (Pogoń Siedlce),

Merab Gabunia (Budowlani S.A. Łódź),

Tomasz Hebda (Lechia Gdańsk),
Grzegorz Janiec (Romans, FRA),

Tom Jankowski (Bahrain RFC, UAE)

Thomas Kordzielewski (Castanet, FRA),

Michał Krużycki (Lechia Gdańsk),
Kacper Ławski (CS Vienne, FRA),

Eric Piorkowski (Rodez, FRA),

Thomas Pretkowski (Lille, FRA),



Alexandre Beccuau (Beziers, FRA),

Romuald Berthe (Rouen, FRA),

Leandre Billaud (Beziers, FRA),
David Chartier (St Suplice, FRA).

Krzysztof Hotowski (Vichy, FRA),

Robert Pawelec (Pogoń Siedlce),

Dawid Popławski (Gaillac, FRA),
Cedric Vaissiere (Gaillac, FRA),
Tomasz Stepień (Arka Gdynia),

Łukasz Szostek (Arka Gdynia)


Non travelling reserves
Robert Andrzejczuk (Ark), Peter Zeszutek (cell Sopot), Mark Plonka (Lechia), Daniel Trybus (Posnania).

Head Coach: Tomas Putra


Ukraine Squad

Sergey Cerkovny (RC Olymp Kharkov)
Ievgen Chaika (VVA Podmoskovye, Russia)
Nikolay Deliergiev (RC Kredo-63)
Vladislav Grabowski (Arka Gdynia, Poland)

Oleg Kosarev (RC Olymp Kharkov)
Nikolay Kirsanov (RC Olymp Kharkov)
Vitaly Kramarenko (RC Kredo-63)
Vlaceslav Krasilnik (VVA Podmoskovye, Russia)

Vitaly Krasnodemsky (Agro-Strela Kazan, Russia)

Maxim Kravchenko (RC Olymp Kharkov)
Alexander Lomakin (RC Olymp Kharkov)
Taras Marchenko (RC Kredo-63)
Denis Masjukov (RC Kredo-63)
Pavel Masjukov (RC Kredo-63)
Dimitry Mokretsov (Falcon Lviv)

Sergey Nikitin (RC Kredo-63)
Alexey Novokreschenov (?)

Vitaly Orlov (Enisey-STM, Russia)

Alexander Polyansky (RC Kredo-63)
Vyacheslav Ponomarenko (RC Olymp Kharkov)

Ruslan Radchuk (Agro-Strela Kazan, Russia)
Miroslav Shulyak (Obolon University)

Igor Sisnarenko (Agro-Strela Kazan, Russia)
Alexander Tsapenko (RC Olymp Kharkov)
Eduard Vertiletsky (RC Kredo-63)
Vitaly Volyanchuk (IV Circolo Benevento, Italy)

Sergey Yanchy (Bulava Taganrog)


Head Coach: Oleh Zalizny


World Cup Qualifier, Europe Round 2; ENC 2B


ISRAEL 2 2 0 0 74 27 47 2 0 10
SERBIA 3 1 0 2 84 95 -11 1 1 6
ANDORRA 3 1 1 1 37 55 -18 0 0 6
LATVIA 2 1 0 1 48 54 -6 0 0 4
DENMARK 2 0 1 1 21 33 -12 0 0 2

Venue: Andorra La Vela

Referee: Hrvoje Bartolic (Czech Republic)

Previous Encounters
24.11.2007 Latvia 20-9 in Riga (ENC 2B)
04.11.2006 Latvia 34-21 in Andorra La vela (ENC 2B)

Andorra Last Five P 5, W 2, D 1, L 2
03.11.2012 v Serbia W 26-23 in Belgrade (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 2B)
27.10.2012 v Israel L 5-26 in Andorra La Vela (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 2B)
13.10.2012 v Denmark D 6-6 in Odense (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 2B)
26.05.2012 v Croatia L 8-44 in Andorra la Vela (ENC 2A Playoff)
14.04.2012 v Serbia W 9-7 in Belgrade (ENC 2B)

Latvia Last Five P 5, W 1, L 4
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)
05.11.2011 v Croatia L 8-34 in Split (ENC 2A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Andorra 24th, Latvia 26th

IRB Ranking Points
Andorra 42.15, Latvia 40.05

Prediction: Andorra by 5 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

Thanks to Janis Erenbergs, Latvia Rugby Federation


Andorra Logo


Andorra Squad
No replies to my request for team details


World Cup Qualifying Europe Round 1; ENC 2D


NORWAY 3 2 0 1 51 27 24 1 1 10
LUXEMBRG 2 2 0 0 31 22 9 0 4 8
GREECE 1 1 0 0 22 17 5 0 0 4
BOSNIA H. 2 0 0 2 26 33 -7 0 2 2
FINLAND 2 0 0 2 17 48 -31 0 1 1

Venue: Athens

Referee: C.Priskin (Hungary)

12.11.2011 Greece 16-6 in Athens (ENC 2D)
11.06.2011 Finland 11-7 in Helsinki (ENC 2D)
27.02.2010 Greece 31-10 in Patras (ENC 3C)
11.10.2008 Greece 12-10 in Helsinki (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 3C)
27.05.2006 Finland 27-0 in Helsinki (ENC 3D)

These two teams first met in 2006, Finland winning 17-12 in Athens

Finland Last Five P 5, L 5
20.10.2012 v Norway L 3-32 in Oslo (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 2D)
06.10.2012 v Luxembourg L 14-16 in Helsinki (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 2D)
09.06.2012 v Cyprus L 5-52 in Helsinki (ENC 2D)
26.05.2012 v Bulgaria L 24-26 in Turku (ENC 2D)
21.04.2012 v Luxembourg L 3-26 in Luxembourg (ENC 2D)

Finland has lost its last six test matches. They last won, against Greece 11-7, back in June 2011.

Greece Last Five P 5, W 3, L 2
17.11.2012 v Bosnia H. W 22-17 in Thessalonika (WCQ Euro.R1; ENC 2D)
26.05.2012 v Cyprus L 5-72 in Paphos (ENC 2D)
05.05.2012 v Luxembourg L 8-15 in Luxembourg (ENC 2D)
12.11.2011 v Finland W 15-6 in Athens (ENC 2D)
05.11.2011 v Bulgaria W 47-7 in Thesalonika (ENC 2D)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Greece 36th, Finland 37th

IRB Ranking Points
Greece 30.00, Finland 26.29

Prediction: Greece by 6 points


Amost recent logo

Finland Squad

 Janne Heinänen

 Juha Rainvuori

 Tatu Rantakokko

 Riku Ryynänen

 Semu Salmivalli

 Mikael Ahola

 Andras Devenyi

 Aaro Katainen

 Mauno Konttila

 Petri Virrankoski

 Isaac Visser

 Dawie van de Walt

 Stephen Whittaker

 Thomas Finell

 Joakim Grader

 Elias Korhonen

 Antti Lammi

 Mikko Luopio

 Crispin Mäenpää

 Drew Myrie (Capt.)

 Lasse Sariola

 Jussi Viljänen


No news from Greece despite an email sent.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Ukraine v Poland in Gdansk (WCQ Europe R4, ENC 1B)
Latvia v Andorra in Andorra La Vela (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 2B)
Finland v Greece in Athens (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 2C)

Kazakhstan v Thailand in Colombo (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)
Sri Lanka v China Taipei in Colombo (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)

Now that the European Nations Cup big league has been decided (for 2013), it’s now down to the minor divisions to continue their quest to reach the top of their division by mid 2014. That will qualify them for playoffs to determine two European places in the Rugby World Cup finals (in 2015) and a repechage place.

None of the teams playing this Saturday has a realistic chance of making those positions. Nevertheless they will be out to do their best and climb as high as they can.

The Asia Nations Division 1 competition starts on Sunday. Played in Sri Lanka, the winner will be promoted to Asia 5 Nations in 2014, the other three will be eliminated from World Cup qualifying. Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan have both experienced just how tough that top level of Asian rugby is.

Friday, March 22, 2013


The Longest Duration Between Test Matches

Just recently I have been updating the test data for Russia. I came across a player who had a number of years between test matches.

Andrey Sorokin played v Italy ‘A’ in Bucharest 11 June 2008. I noticed his previous test match was v France Military 19 November 1995! I got my date calculator out and discovered there had been 12 years, 6 months and 23 days between those two test matches. Was it a record? Nearly. Here is the list below.

Name Country First Test Second Test Y M D  
E.Hughes New Zealand 6-Jun-08 13-Aug-21 13 7 2  
G.M.Cooke Australia 12-Aug-33 28-Sep-46 13 1 16  
A. Sorakin Russia 19-Nov-95 11-Jun-08 12 6 23  
Geoff Ralf Canada 25-Oct-74 16-Nov-85 11 0 21  
P.Dizabo France 28-Jan-50 23-Jul-60 10 5 26  
Kevin Yates England 7-Jun-97 26-May-07 9 11 19  
Tommy Vile Wales 18-Jan-13 5-Feb-21 8 0 18  


Sorokin comes in third.
Sources: and ‘Test Rugby Lists’ by Clark, Mason and Samuelson