Romania 29 v 08 Spain
ENC1A Romania Vs Spain Hard fought bonus point
One of the intriguing questions the match Romania v Spain was supposed to answer was whether Spain’s demolition of Russia in the first round of Rugby Europe Championship was just an accident, or whether Los Leones have become a power to be reckoned with among the Continental rugby nations. Chris Thau writes;
Although defeated by an increasingly competent Romanian side, and judging from Spain’s assertive performance at Cluj Arena, the answer is an empathic ‘Yes’. There is very little doubt that Spain has made considerable progress since last year and their ability to combine effectively and create opportunities behind a dominant pack makes them a significant threat to any of the Rugby Europe Championship high-flyers. And mind you they are only in an early stage of development. “They are well organised, have got a strong pack and, credit to their coach, they are very astute tactically”, observed Romanian Head Coach Lynn Howells, who described the match as a battle of wills and wits, between two sides who seem to know each other’s relative strengths and weakness reasonably well.
What seemed to surprise the Spanish, expecting a hard slog up front, was the decision of the Romanians to play wide, no doubt helped by the return to international duty of their wunderkind, fullback Catalin Fercu, released by his London Saracens club to country duty. And this is exactly what happened after the first penalty landed by Spain’s outside half Daniel Snee some seven minutes into the game for a Romanian front row misdemeanour. It was Fercu who gathered a ball at the back and launched one of his hallmark counterattacks, dummying and sidestepping his way through with uncanny ease, with the supporting winger Adrian Apostol at the scoring end of the move, for the first Romanian try. This gave the Oaks the confidence to start what Howells describes as “creating opportunities”, in other words playing a more adventurous game and putting the Spanish defensive establishment under intense pressure. It took a while until it cracked, with numerous occasions wasted either by Romanian unforced errors, or repulsed by firm Spanish defence. It was the increasingly influential flanker Viorel Lucaci who went over from a driving maul initiated at a lineout near the Spain line and Calafeteanu, who did not have such a impressive day with the boot, slotting the conversion through.
After the break, the Spanish bounced back with a vengeance and after some ten minutes of abrasive and well-constructed their outstanding scrumhalf and play-maker Guillome Rouet went over for a try that brought them within striking distance (12-8). Two changes in the Spanish pack added further momentum to their game, which somehow got dissipated when their veteran No8 Jaime Nava was sin-binned. His yellow card was, according to Spanish coach Santiago Santos, the turning point of the game.
“I was quite happy after the first half, which I thought we played well. We had a strong scrummaging platform and competed in the lineouts. The first 40 minutes of the game were very positive for Spain. We didn’t have too many attacking opportunities, but then we were very solid and organized on defence. Without doubt the decisive factor in the game was Jaime Nava’s yellow card, it was exactly in a moment when we were in ascendance. We just scored a try, the score was 12-8; and the team was feeling confident. Nava’s absence for ten minutes was a huge blow to us, especially against a country like Romania who have such strong forwards. By that time he returned they had scored to tries and we could not do much to alter the game.”
In the view of coach Lynn Howells, the Romanian team is shaping up nicely after the below par start against Portugal, and although trying to play an expansive game has its hazards, it is worth pursuing this line with the RWC in the offing at the end of the year, coach Howells observed. “I am happy with the score, though our place-kicking was well below par. We could have scored another 10-15 points from penalties, not to mention the missed opportunities in attack. But then, as I said, I am happy we have created opportunities, which was our plan, now the next step is take them and put points on the board. In this respect, Fercu is making such a difference to us and I am happy to have him back. But here, I would also like to give credit to Dan Dumbrava, who has had a very good game. He might be a veteran, but he knows the outside half game inside out, and got the backline running extremely well. In fact, our more expansive game against Spain had to do with the excellent understanding between him and scrum-half Calafeteanu, who also had a cracking game, though his kicking may have not been on song on Saturday.”
Romania 29- Spain 8
Romania (1-15) Mihaita Lazar (Constantin Pristavita 56th min), Otar Turashvili, (Andrei Radoi 73th min) Andrei Ursache (Horatiu Pungea 71st min), Valentin Poparlan, Marius Antonescu (Marius Sirbe 49th min), Viorel Lucaci (Stelian Burcea 70th min) Valentin Ursache, Mihai Macovei (Captain), Valentin Calafeteanu Danut Dumbrava (Dorin Manole 72nd min),, Ionut Botezatu, Csaba Gal, Robert Dascalu (Florin Ionita 54th min), Adrian Apostol, Catalin Fercu
Scorers: Tries: Apostol, Lucaci, A.Ursache, Macovei, Sirbe, Cons Calafeteanu, Dumbrava,
Spain: Fernando López (Javier Sanz 62nd min), Marco Pinto ( Juan Anaya 54thmin), Jesus Moreno (Agustín Ortiz 51st min), Iñaki Villanueva (Javier de Juan 54th min) Jesus Recuerda Nunez (Captain), David Barrera, (David Gonzales 40th min) Gautier Gibouin, Jaime Nava Olano, Guillaume Rouet, Daniel Ross Snee, Sebastien Ascarat, Martin Heredia (Paul Fontes 70th min), Marcos Gustavo Poggi., Julen Goia (Pablo Feijoo 14th min), Angel Lopez (Gregory Maiquez 52nd min)
Scorers: Try Rouet, Pg Snee
Yellow Card Nava
Referee David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Romania 1. Mihaita Lazar, 2. Otar Turashvili, 3. Andrei Ursache, 4. Valentin Poparlan, 5. Marius Antonescu, 6. Viorel Lucaci, 7. Valentin Ursache, 8. Mihai Macovei (Captain), 9. Valentin Calafeteanu, 10. Danut Dumbrava, 11. Ionut Botezatu, 12. Csaba Gal, 13. Robert Dascalu, 14. Adrian Apostol, 15. Catalin Fercu,
Replacements : 16.Andrei Radoi, 17. Constantin Pristavita, 18. Horatiu Pungea, 19. Marius Sirbe, 20. Stelian Burcea, 21. Grigoras Diaconescu, 22.Florin Ionita, 23. Dorin Manole.
Spain: 1. Fernando Martin Lopez Perez, 2.Marco Pinto Ferrer, 3.Jesus Moreno Rodriguez, 4. Ignacio Villanueva Martín, 5.Jesus Recuerda Núñez (Captain), 6.David Barrera Howarth, 7. Gautier Gibouin Fontana, 8. Jaime Maria Nava de Olano, 9. Guillaume Guy Rouet, 10. Daniel Ross Snee, 11. Sebastien Ascarat, 12. Martin Heredia, 13. Marcos Gustavo Poggi Ranwez, 14. Julen Goia Iriberri, 15. Angel López Vázquez,
Replacements : 16. Lorenzo Gabriel Agustín Ortiz Crivelli, 17. Juan Anaya Lázaro, 18. Francisco Javier Sanz Benlloch, 19. David Gonzales, 20. Javier De Juan Roldán, 21. Gregory Maiquez, 22. Pablo Fontes de Castro, 23. Pablo Feijoo Ugalde.
Referee D. Wilkinson (Ieland) TJ : K. Barry (Ireland) B. O’Connell (Ireland)
RR World Rankings outcome on Result 29-08 Win to Romania
ROM (on 67.96 points) at home -vs- ESP (on 62.20 points)
|New ROM Rating||New ESP Rating||Will ESP overtake ROM?|
|ROM win by 21pts
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|