Friday, November 26, 2010

Romania vs Uruguay - Preview

With all of the international matches going on this weekend there is one that is head and shoulders above the rest. Only one match actually matters and it will take place in heart of the former Eastern Block - Bucharest, Romania with The Oaks vs Los Teros. Only one place remains at Rugby World Cup 2011 and it will go to the winner of this match - the Oaks of Romania or Los Teros of Uruguay. The winner will qualify as the 20th and final team and enter Pool B alongside Argentina, England, Georgia and Scotland. Whatever happens it will contribute to a first for a Rugby World Cup - either two South American teams will play each other or Romania will miss out for the first time ever.


The teams, despite being similar in ability have only played each other three times ever. The first match was in Bucharest in June 2008 with the hosts winning 10-6. The following year Uruguay returned again forthe IRB Nations Cup and were defeated 17-11. The other match was played two weeks ago with both temas scoring 21 points. The two narrow wins and the draw do little to suggest that Romania is the better side. Rather, this appears to be a dead even contest with either team capable of winning.

Romania are the favorites and have history on their side after having been to ever Rugby World Cup. However, they failed to capitalize on a good start in the first match in Montevideo and in the end returned to Europe after drawing the match with the South Americans. Uruguay have been to two Rugby World Cups - in 1999 and in 2003. They won a match in both tournaments which matches Romania at the same two Rugby World Cup´s and also at Rugby World Cup 2007. Romania, depiste having been to every Rugby World Cup, are in the Final Place Play-Off´s series after finishing third in Europe behind Georgia and Russia. They are, therefore not as good as former teams carrying their flag.


Despite never having defeated Romania, Uruguay are a very strong chance of getting the job done in Bucharest. The previous matched were all played during the late spring or the summer in conditions that enabled teams to play open rugby. Despite this, Romania always played forward orienteated matches. For tommorrows match it will not be summer, it will in fact be cold and played in conditions that do not suit open rugby. Is this good or bad for Romania? It will certainly mean they will play a tight game whis the South Americans, coached by a former Puma, will be trying to continue their revolutionary style which goes against the traditional style of Uruguayan play. They will, regardless of the cold, look to use their centres and wingers. Romania will have the edge up front but the willingness to play with the ball will be an advantage to the visitors. Uruguay to win by 1 point to qualify for New Zealand 2011.

1 Bogdan Bălan (Lyon, France)
2 Marius Tincu (Perpignan, France)
3 Mihai Lazăr (Aix En Provence, France)
4 Socol Sorin  (Lourdes, France)
5 Cristian Petre (Saint Etienne, France)
6 Daniel Carpo (Constanta)
7 Ovidiu Toniţa (Perpignan, France)
8 Alexandru Manta (Lyon, France)
9 Lucian Sîrbu (Millau) 
10 Dan Dumbravă (Steaua)
11 Cătălin Fercu (Timisoara)
12 Ionuţ Dimofte (Baia Mare) 
13 Csaba Gal (Baia Mare)
14 Nicolae Cătălin (Constanța) 
15 Iulian Dumitraş (Lourdes)

Reserves: 16 Cezar Cezar (Macon), 17  Dima Dragoş (Blagnac), 18 Valentin Ursache (Aix En Provence), 19 Stelian Burcea (Timișoara), 20 Valentin Calafeteanu (Timișoara), 21 Ionel Cazan (Steaua), 22 Mădălin Lemnaru (Timișoara)

1 Alejo Corral (San Isidro Club, Argentina)
2 Carlos Arboleya (Trébol)
3 Mario Sagario (Dax, France)
4 Diego Magno (MVCC)
5 Matias Fonseca (Los Cuervos)
6 Juan Pablo Gaminara (Old Boys)
7 Mathias Braun  (PSG)
8 Santiago Vilaseca (Old Boys)
9 Manuel Martinez (Old Christian’s)
10 Matias Arocena (Old Christian’s)
11 Gaston Mieres (Lobos)
12 Juan De Freitas (Champagnat)
13 Martin Crosa (Old Boys)
14 Leandro Leivas (Old Christian’s)
15 Jeronimo Etcheverry (Carrasco Polo Club)

Reserves: 16 Juan Pedro Rombys (Trébol), 17 Pablo Lemoine (unattached), 18 Martin Espiga (Old Christian’s), 19 Nicolas Badano (Old Boys), 20 Emiliano Caffera (Champagnat), 21 Nicolas Morales (Trébol), 22 Ivo Iugonjic (PSG)

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