Dardzulidze scores hat-trick of tries as Romanian Wolves take RE Super Cup bronze
Romanian Wolves finished in the bronze medal spot in the Rugby Europe Super Cup standings after they defeated Castilla Y Leon Iberians in the third/fourth place match on Saturday.
The meeting was played at the National Rugby Centre in Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the Romanian side got the better of their Spanish opponents 41-17.
It was the Iberians, with a man in the sin bin, who took the lead after 10 minutes when winger Francisco Cosculluela scored a try converted by stand-off Gonzalo Otamendi.
The Wolves hit back almost immediately with a try of their own from second-row Mate Dardzulidze converted by Paul Popoaia.
That gave the Wolves confidence and the same duo were at it again twice before the half hour mark, Dardzulidze completing a try hat-trick and Popoaia on form with the boot.
When the Wolves had a man in the sin bin, No.8 Ignacio Vega scored an unconverted try for Iberians before a converted effort by Jason Tomane, the centre, put the Romanian side 28-12 up at half-time.
After the break, No.8 Beka Bitsadze and Popoaia scored tries for the Wolves with the latter also kicking a penalty while replacement Jon Zapiaian bagged a consolation try for Iberians.
Jacob Immelman, the Wolves skipper, said: “Amsterdam was a great venue for this match and I was pleased with the way the team played and it is good to finish third in the competition.
“A lot of credit has to go to the team, we have used a lot of players throughout the competition, but everyone has stuck to their job and really worked hard.”
Brad Linklater, the Iberians coach, said: “We are a bit frustrated because we just didn’t play the way we wanted to our adapt to the conditions in this game quickly enough.
“We have blooded a lot of young players in this competition though and that bodes well for the future.”
Before that match there were two placings matches at the same venue.
In the first game of the day, Lusitanos from Portugal won the fifth/sixth clash with the Brussels Devils from Portugal 46-29.
The scoreline does not even tell half the story though because this game went to extra-time after it was tied at 29-29 following a pulsating 80 minutes.
It was Lusitanos who just had that bit more energy left for the extra 20 minutes and they scored three tries in that period to take the win, replacement Joao Cunha, full-back Nuno Sousa and winger Manuel Cardoso going over with Sousa converting one. The last try by Cardoso was particularly special as he weaved his way through the defence from long range.
Meanwhile, in the middle game on the day, Delta gave the home crowd something to cheer about by winning the seventh/eighth place play-off convincingly against Bohemia Rugby Warriors.
The team from the Netherlands led the team from Czechia 29-3 at the break and never looked back, running in nine tries in total in a 55-3 triumph.
The final that will round things off for Super Cup action in 2023 will come on Friday when Black Lion, currently in EPCR Challenge Cup action, will take on Tel-Aviv Heat from Israel.
The Georgians will be looking for a third title in a row as they take on the Tel Aviv Heat this Friday at 12pm CET (3pm Local) the games will be on rugbyeurope.tv, FloRugby, RugbyTV in Georgia and Sport5 in Israel.