European Nations Cup Preview : Cyprus v Latvia

cyprus rugby

When the Cyprus Moufflons take the field against Latvia on Saturday at the Paphiacos Stadium in Paphos they will have a serious point to make according to Laurence Vasilliades, president of the Cyprus Rugby Federation, when he stated ‘Latvia was the first country to beat us after six years of continuous winning games in our European Cup campaign—Latvia 39–Cyprus 20— I knew that we could not continue to be promoted every season and  remain undefeated, but it came as a blow and a real wake-up call. It made us aware that when we were joined division 2B the opposition would be much stronger, better organised and financially sound.

But we have played four, lost two, won two and now are in second place under the leaders, Lithuania, and if you saw us play against them at the end of last season when we narrowly lost 20–26 after spending the second half in their territory you will recall the confidence and skill we displayed— he didn’t mention the disallowed Moufflon tries—and when Lithuania beat Latvia by 35 points, I think on balance, we enter this game with quiet confidence of winning, but more importantly we guarantee our supporters, a first rate game’.

Apart from Lithuania and Latvia, European Nations Cup division 2B also hosts Hungary and Andorra, both beaten by the Moufflons in the first half of the season that will be completed by May 2016. Lithuania heads the division with 20 points, followed by Cyprus, Andorra, Latvia on 9 points, with Hungary last on 4.

cyp_latvia3The euphoria following the World Cup has created an interest in Cyprus not previously encountered. Rick Wadmore, the team manager and development officer, said ” Quite frankly, I am staggered at the number of supporters coming forward wanting information about the leagues, academies, TAG competitions—-non contact rugby for 6-12 year olds—-and of course, the Moufflons. I think it’s a combination of the excitement surrounding the Rugby World Cup and the disenchantment many sports supporters in the country have with the scandals surounding FIFA and local football. Rugby Union has a deserved reputation for decency and honesty, as well as the standards it sets for sportsmanship: have you ever seen a rugby player challenge a referee? I think it’s these examples that are attracting parents and their children to the game’.

In June Cyprus competed in the European Nations Sevens Cup in Gdansk and with a depleted squad won through to the final narrowly losing to the hosts, Poland.

A number of the fans are questioning what is happening with the coaching staff. Last season Phil Llewellyn who made few appearances on the island announced he was taking an appointment with the RFU, which came as a surprise to some of the Federation executive. This left a serious chasm in a team recovering from their first defeat in six years; but who came to the rescue? none other than the old Welsh fox himself, the master of strategy, the author of Moufflon success: Paul Shanks. Covering the interregnum, until Andrew Binnicos takes over, he has emerged from retirement to oversee matters till the replacement arrives. Who could be better than the coach that took the national side through six years of victories. When asked what the tactics would be to cope with the Latvians, he replied: ‘Basics; everything stems from the set pieces; the scrums and the lines. Get these right and you control the game’: a man of few words. It was believed that it was weakness in these areas that cost the Cypriots the game against Latvia. The team will be captained for the third time by Marco Mladanovic one of the home-grown stars.

The game will kick-off at 2-30 on Saturday 7th November entry is 10Euros and includes a program.

Next international for the Moufflons will be on 28th November against Andorra.

Story by :


cyp_lat_engThe Mouflons for Saturday are:

15. Marcus Holden
14. Steve Awah
13. Alex Zavallis-Roebuck
12. George Agathocleous
11. Phillip Tsangari
10. Michael Asprou
9. Burhan Torgut

1. Stylianos Theoklitou-Panagiotou
2. Marios Zakakiotis
3. Christos Kasabi
4. Frank Stavrou
5. Alexandros Philiotis
6. Jack Bilton
7. Marko Mladenovic (c)
8. Demetris Christopher

16. Demetris Gregoriou
17. Alexandros Ioannou
18. Solomone Tuipulotu
19. Dan McFarlane
20. Constantinos Constantinides
21. George Shaouna
22. Panagiotis Nikolaidis
23. Costas Pavlou

LITHUANIA 6 6 0 0 230 107 123 6 30
LATVIA 5 3 0 4 110 105 5 2 14
CYPRUS 4 2 0 2 87 90 -3 1 9
ANDORRA 5 2 0 3 79 136 -57 0 8
HUNGARY 6 0 0 6 101 170 -69 4 4

Still To Play
07.11.2015 Cyprus v Latvia in Paphos
28.11.2015 Andorra v Cyprus in Andorra La Vela
26.03.2016 Andorra v Latvia in Andorra La Vela
09.04.2016 Cyprus v Hungary in Paphos
16.04.2016 Latvia v Lithuania in Riga
23.04.2016 Lithuania v Cyprus in Vilnius
14.05.2016 Hungary v Andorra in Hungary

POSSIBLE RR World Rankings outcome on Result

CYP (on 46.26 points) at home -vs- LTV (on 42.76 points)

Possible Outcome Rating Point
Will LTV
overtake CYP?
If CYP win by 1-15 points 0.350 46.61 42.41 No
If CYP win by more than 15 0.525 46.78 42.23 No
If result is a draw 0.650 45.61 43.41 No
If LTV win by 1-15 points 1.650 44.61 44.41 No
If LTV win by more than 15 2.475 43.78 45.23 Yes





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