Kings rule in Bucharest
With their win over Romania in Round 2 of the Nations Cup in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, the South African Kings of the Eastern Cape go to the top of the Nations Cup. They are the only unbeaten team in the competition.
In the first round they beat Georgia who in this round just beat the Argentina Jaguars. In the final round, the Kings play Portugal.
Results, Round 2
Georgia vs Argentina Jaguars, 14-13
SA Kings vs Romania, 27-23
Namibia vs Portugal, 29-23
Results, Round 1
Romania vs Namibia, 13-11
South African Kings vs Georgia, 31-17
Portugal vs Argentina Jaguars, 25-21
Fixtures, Round 3
South African Kings vs Portugal
Georgia vs Namibia
Romania vs Argentina Jaguars.
South African Kings vs Romania
In a fierce and dramatic encounter played with great intensity and passion in the dusk of a balmy Bucharest afternoon, the South Africans showed no inhibition in front of the World Cup-bound Oaks. The Romanians seemed to dominate the early exchanges and indeed it was their loosehead Mihaita Lazar who crashed over for the first try of the match.
But the Kings’ lively flyhalf Louis Strydom kept his side in contention with a couple of penalties, before a string of Romanian errors caused them squander a gilt-edged scoring chance for giant second rower Valentin Ursache and cough up the ball to the Kings, who found electric wing Siyanda Grey in space to outpace the Romanian defence and score his fourth try of the tournament.
In the second half the SA forwards shifted up a gear led by the indefatigable Luke Watson, who is making a remarkable recovery from injury, and when the talented Strydom went over on the left for a 21-14 lead.
Fanatically supported by the capacity crowd, the Romanians kept their cool and attacked with alacrity as both sides added points with the boot. The hosts’ reserve scrum half Valentin Calafateanu scored to bring the Romanians to within a score but with the clock ticking down outstanding wing Madalin Lemnaru failed to ground the bouncing ball in the Kings’ in-goal area.
Pens: Dumbrava 4, Calafeteanu 2
For SA Kings:
Tries Grey, Strydom
Pens: Strydom 4
Romania: 15 Florin Vlaicu, 14 Madalin Lemnaru, 13 Csaba Gal, 12 Ionut Dimofte, 11 Catalin Fercu, 10 Dan Dumbrava, 9 Lucian Sirbu, 8 Mihai Macovei, 7 Ovidiu Tonita, 6 Stelian Burcea, 5 Valentin Ursache, 4 Cristian Petre, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Marius Tincu (captain), Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Cezar Popescu, 17 Dragos Dima, 18 Marius Sirbe, 19 Cosmin Ratiu, 20 Valentin Calafeteanu, 21 Ionel Cazan, 22 Iulian Dumitras,
SA Kings: 15 Mzwandile Stick (captain), 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 Jaco Bekker, 12 Wayne Stevens, 11 SP Marais, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Danie Faasen, 8 Luke Watson, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Engelbrecht, 5 Ross Kennedy, 4 Barend Pieterse, 3 Clint Newland, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels
Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 André Schlechter, 18 Wayne van Heerden, 19 Darron Nell, 20 Boela Abrahams 21 Shane Gates 22 Jonathan McBean
Referee: Andrew Small (England)
Assistant referees: Andrew McMaster (Canada), Iñigo Atorrasagasti (Spain)
Georgia vs Argentina Jaguars
The second round of the 2011 IRB Nations Cup kicked off with a clash between two of the sides still looking for their opening win in the tournament and at the end of a dour contest Georgia prevailed narrowly 14-13 against the Jaguars.
The first try, scored by Georgia right wing Lekso Gugava, was an intercept off a sloppy pass and the only score in the first half. After the break, the Georgians controlled the game but contrived to let the Argentines back in, their No.8 Antonio Ahualli scoring a try. In the end, though, the Georgians managed to hold on to a slim one point lead to record their first win of the tournament.
Pens: Urjukashvili 3
For Argentins Jaguars:
Con: González Iglesias
Pens: Madero 2
Georgia: 15 Beka Urjukashvili, 14 Lexo Gugava, 13 Alexander Todua, 12 Revaz Gigauri, 11 Irakli Chkhikvadze, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Giorgi Begadze, 8 Dimitri Basilaia, 7 Viktor Kolelishvili, 6 Simon Maisuradze, 5 Giorgi Nemsadze, 4 Ilia Zedginidze (C), 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Vasil Kakovin
Replacements: 16 Akvsenti Giorgadze, 17 Goderdzi Shvelidze, 18 Vakhtang Maisuradze, 19 Givi Berishvili, 20 Bidzina Samkharadze 21 Irakli Giorgadze 22 Besiki Khamashuridze,
Jaguars: 15 Román Miralles, 14 Belisario Agulla, 13 Lisandro Gómez López, 12 Maximiliano Nannini, 11 Fernando Luna, 10 Benjamín Madero, 9 Santiago Mendez, 8 Antonio Ahualli, 7 Ignacio Pasman, 6 Tomás De La Vega (C), 5 Hugo Schierano, 4 Santiago Guzmán, 3 Germán Aráoz, 2 Andres Bordoy, 1 Francisco Piccinini
Replacements: 16 Mauricio Guidone, 17 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 18 Felipe Aranguren, 19 Tomás Leonardi, 20 Martín Landajo, 21 Santiago González Iglesias, 22 Joaquín Tuculet
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Horatiu Bargaunas (Romania), Iñigo Atorrasagasti (Spain)
Portugal vs Namibia
The elements can often be a great equaliser in rugby and tonight heavy rain enabled Namibia, who seemed more savvy and adept at changing tactics, to prevail against their gallant opponents Portugal in a hard and uncompromising battle, 29-23.
The light shower that greeted the end of the match between Romania and the South African Kings had turned into a tropical downpour by the time the day’s third and final match got underway and Portugal failed to adapt to the conditions for the majority of the match.
The fact that Portugal lost by less than a converted try illustrates how close the contest still was, as Namibia skipper Jacques Nieuwenhuis was only too happy to admit when he said: "We knew it was going to be a tough encounter and prepared accordingly. The rain threw us back a bit, because we did not expect it, but we had a chat and decided to change the plan. The ball was very slippery and we decided to keep it tight and let them run the ball. They kept running it and we defended it."
Portugal : 15 Francisco Serra, 14 Gonçalo Foro, 13 Carl Murray, 12 Francisco Mira, 11 António Aguilar, 10 Pedro Cabral, 9 Pedro Leal, 8 Jacques Le Roux, 7 Vasco Uva, 6 Laurent Balangue, 5 Eduardo Acosta, 4 Juan Severino, 3 Anthony Alves, 2 João Goncalves Correia (C), 1 Michael Dias
Replacements: 16 Bernardo Costa Duarte, 17 Juan Murre Peke, 18 Joao Pinheiro Paiva 19 Rui D'Orey, 20 Rui Rodrigues, 21 Pedro Silva, 22 Adérito Esteves,
Namibia: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Llewellyn Winkler, 13 Danie Van Wyk, 12 Darryl De La Harpe, 11 McGrath van Wyk, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Ryan De La Harpe, 8 PJ Van Lill, 7 Jacques Nieuwenhuis (C), 6 Tinus du Plessis, 5 Nico Esterhuizen, 4 Heinz Koll, 3 Jane du Toit, 2 Bertus O'Callaghan, 1 Johnny Redelinghuys
Replacements: 16 Shaun Esterhuizen, 17 Casper Viviers, 18 Morne Blom, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Eugene Jantjies, 21 David Philander, 22 Heini Bock
Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Andrew McMaster (Canada), Vlad Iordachescu (Romania)
From the IRB