Germany 22 v 46 Russia
ENC1A – Germany and Russia in 10-try spectacular
And they say the history does not repeat itself. Well, ask Germany coach Kobus Potgeiter and his players what they think about that after losing to Russia for the second consecutive time in less than a year in the closing stages of a match, having led at half time and for quite a while into the second half. Uncanny similarities between their first defeat in Hamburg last May, when they battled the Russians for the European slot in the RWC 2015 Repechage, when they lost in the last five minutes, and the second in Pfortzheim last weekend when they took their foot off the pedal too early (with some 20 minutes to go) watching incredulously as their 10 points lead, turned into a 20 point plus deficit. Chris Thau reports
It was noted in the match preview that one of Potgeiter’s concerns was to try to help his players rid themselves of the emotional burden of their last match against Russia, when with five minutes to go and the Germans leading 20-17, two quick tries sent Russia to finals of the RWC 2015 Repechage and Germany back to the drawing board. This time, it was fairly similar, though the time scale and the intensity of the Russian reaction were different, with the German team leading by 10 points into the second half, only for Pervukhin’s men to unleash a furious four-try onslaught in the last twenty minutes to turn a potential Russian embarrassment into a German near-disaster.
The other point of concern of the German coach were his front-five platform, roasted by Georgians in the first match, and here the inclusion in the front row of former captain Alex Widiker and Leeds Carnegie tight-head Damien Tussac and the return from injury of veteran lock forward Robert Mohr made a hell of a difference. Unfortunately the injury of Mohr, the impressive Kessen and Widiker exposed another German weakness, their shortage of players of quality, which exposed them to the Russian fight back.
Potgeiter, whose outstanding work is widely praised in German rugby did not hide his disappointment, but ever the realist, he explained that a combination of factors, from shortage of talent in depth, to match fitness have played a part in the debacle. “The defeat was a very bitter pill for us; as we fell apart in the last twenty minutes, got pinned down in our half and could not get out. Our goal was to bring down the error-count from the opening game against Georgia. It worked wonderfully well until the 60th minute. But that’s not enough in rugby unfortunately. We need to expand both the intensity and the quality to the full 80 minutes in our next match,” he said.
“The cause of all this? It is a mixture of factors: There is no doubt we have to improve our levels of match fitness to be able to compete for 80 minutes, but then our bench is not of the same quality as our starting 15 (especially the forwards) and lastly, we lost Mohr and Kessen in the first half and that hurt us as well, not to mention the fact that we also missed Sean Armstrong. Mentally we have to learn to use every chance and keep the pressure on. I think we played too many games in which everything was over after 40/50min, after which you are coasting, and have not experienced situations like this before. Sure we learn things all the time, but it’s tough to lose like that.”
“After the ten-point lead we started to believe in our victory, but after that we had to gather in our in-goal every five minutes after the Russians scored another try. It was very frustrating,” Germany Captain Clement of Grumbkow added
Having said all that, one should give credit to the Russian team, who overcome the sluggish start to pull themselves together for such a marvellous finish. It was their intensity and accuracy, that turned the match upside down, helped no doubt by Pervukhin’s inspired substitutions, of which Kurashov is a real gem. The Bears battled to contain the early German attacks and stayed in contention with two tries scored during the absence of yellow-carded centre Paul Bosch. But it was the replacement players who made the difference in a frantic finale, with new outside half Igor Kurashov and lock-forward Alexey Volkov, scoring two tries a piece. Among the regulars, it was the sensational form of former Northampton flyer Vasily Artemiev, who started and finished the seven-try Russian spree, that stood out in an overall improved performance.
Germany 22- Russia 46
Germany (1-15) Artur Zeiler, (Matthias Schösser 67th min), Alexander Widiker,(Mikail Tyumenev 21st min) Damien Tussac, Robert Mohr (Robert May 59thmin), Michael Poppmeir, Kehoma Brenner, Robert Hittel, Alan Kessen, (Falk Duwe 33rd min) Tim Menzel, Christopher Hillsenbeck (Jeremy Te Huya 71nd min), Hendrik van der Merve, (marten Bush Min 40), Paul Bosch, Clemens von Grumbkow (Captain), Mark Styndera, Steffen Liebig
Scorers: Tries: Poppenmaier, Brenner (2) Pens Hilsenbeck, Cons Hilsenbeck (2); YC Bosch
Russia: (1-15) Alexander Bezverkhov Stanislav Selskyi (Vladislav Korshunov 66th min), Innokenty Zykov (Sergey Sekisov 66 min),. Nicholay Serkov, (Alexey Volkov ( 17th min), Denis Antonov Andrey Temnov (Captain). Artem Fatahov (Dmitry Krotov 57th min), Viktor Gresev Alexey Shcherban (Rushan Yagudin, 71st min) Yuri Kushnarev ( Igor Kurashov 57 min) Andrey Otrokov , Vladimir Rudenko, Mikhail Babaev , Vasily Artemyev, Ramil Gaisin
Scorers: tries Selskyi, Artemyev (2) Kurashov (2), Volkov; (2) Cons – Gaisin (3) Kushnarev; Pens – Gaisin.
Referee Cedric Marchat (Fance)
Germany (1-15;)Artur Zeiler, Alexander Widiker, Damien Tussac, Robert Mohr, Michael Poppmeir, Kehoma Brenner, Robert Hittel, Alan Kessen, Sean Armstrong, Christopher Hillsenbeck, Hendrik van der Merve, Paul Bosch, Clemens von Grumbkow (captain), Mark Styndera, Steffen Liebig
(16-23): Mikail Tyumenev Christopher Howells, Matthias Schosser, Robert May, Duwe Falk, Tim Menzel, Marten Strauch, Jeremy Te Huia
Russia: 1. Alexander Bezverkhov 2.Stanislav Selskyi, 3. Innokenty Zykov (Enisei-STM), 4. Nicholay Serkov, 5, Denis Antonov 6. Andrey Temnov 7. Artem Fatahov 8. Viktor Gresev , 9. Alexey Shcherban 10 Yuri Kushnarev 11. Andrey Otrokov , 12 Vladimir Rudenko, 13 Mikhail Babaev 14 Vasily Artemyev, 15 Ramil Gaisin
(16-23) 16.Vladislav Korshunov 17. Alexey Volkov 18. Sergey Sekisov , 19 Dmitry Krotov, 20 Pavel Butenko, 21 Rushan Yagudin, 22 Anton Ryabov, 23 Igor Kurashov
Referee Cedric Marchat (FR) TJ : Mourad Zitouni (FR) Thomas Dejean (FR)
RR World Rankings outcome on Result 46-22Win to Russia
GER (on 57.40 points) at home -vs- RUS (on 62.50 points)
|New GER Rating||New RUS Rating||Will GER overtake RUS ?|
|RUS win by 24pts
2014-16 European Nations Cup > ENC 1A
|1||RESULT||7/02/2015||Portugal||10 v 37||Romania|
|2||RESULT||7/02/2015||Spain||43 v 20||Russia|
|4||RESULT||14/02/2015||Georgia||20 v 15||Portugal|
|5||RESULT||14/02/2015||Romania||29 v 08||Spain|
|6||RESULT||14/02/2015||Germany||22 v 46||Russia|
|7||NEXT||28/02/2015||Spain||00 v 00||Georgia|
|8||NEXT||28/02/2015||Russia||00 v 00||Romania|
|9||NEXT||28/02/2015||Portugal||00 v 00||Germany|
|10||Not .Played||14/03/2015||Georgia||00 v 00||Russia|
|11||Not .Played||14/03/2015||Portugal||00 v 00||Spain|
|12||Not .Played||14/03/2015||Germany||00 v 00||Romania|
|13||Not .Played||21/03/2015||Romania||00 v 00||Georgia|
|14||Not .Played||21/03/2015||Russia||00 v 00||Portugal|