After six competitive weeks of action, Black Lion, Lusitanos, Castilla y León Iberians, and Tel-Aviv Heat move on into the Rugby Europe Super Cup semi-finals, from the Eastern and Western Conferences.
The Georgian champions came out firing over RC Batumi, the Heat finished on a high, the Lusitanos successfully held on to their first place, and the Iberians put in a strong display against a spirited Brussels Devils side.
HOT STATS OF THE ROUND
- Lusitanos have set two new all-time records: team with most points scored (297), and with best defence (only 66 points conceded).
- Pedro Lucas finishes the pool-stage as the leading point scorer with 52 points, followed closely by Jordan Chait (Tel-Aviv Heat), and teammate Nuno Sousa Guedes.
- The Brussels Devils forced 5 scrum penalties on their Iberians counterparts, mounting the best scrummage exhibition of the last three rounds.
PEDRO LUCAS (LUSITANOS)
Apart from Nuno Sousa Guedes, Manuel Cardoso Pinto, Tomás Appleton, and Rafael Simões – all rested in this round -, Pedro Lucas was just immense for the Lusitanos in this season’s Super Cup, and against Delta, the scrum-half shined again.
He finished off an excellent team try, broke the line four times, with two of those leading to Lusitanos scores, and constantly wriggling through Delta’s defence.
In a Friday Lights match, he played a vital role to keep the Lusitanos team tidy, not losing focus in their last pool home match, gifting his side that much-needed consistency at the back of the scrum or ruck, while making himself a gamechanger while on the offensive manoeuvre.
MIKHELI GACHECHILADZE (BLACK LION)
Two tries, two turnovers, and two clean-breaks, too good for RC Batumi to handle. The ferocious flanker, Mikheli Gachechiladze was incredible from the first whistle, pursuing and taking down opposition carriers, looking to find a way to turn over the ball and working tirelessly.
Beyond the turnovers, tries, carriers, or meters ran in contact (33 to be exact, overpowering the first tackler in most of his 7 carries), the international Los Lelos player showed why his vast experience could be a driving force for Black Lion when the knockout stage comes following the International break.
DAMIAN HUBER (IBERIANS)
What is the best way to crown a debut in the Super Cup? To achieve a MoTM performance, and guide your team towards victory, just as Iberians fullback Damian Huber did. The newcomer scored two pivotal tries to gift the Spanish franchise a hard-fought win, and was just pitch-perfect at the back, holding on well 11 out of 12 Devils high kicks, granting the stimulus that the Iberians needed.
As rain and handling errors plagued the whole 80 minutes, both sides kept a tight battle in the scrum, looking for any penalty to drive their team forward, and mount a serious challenge to get over the whitewash. Damian Huber’s extreme speed and ability to apply a higher gear in a matter of milliseconds put an end to the uncertainty in the match and produced two clean breaks that would help the Iberians to a victory
A super debut, and maybe the fullback can dream of a call-up in the upcoming semi-final against the Black Lion in December. If he does make the team, it can be a valuable unit to find gaps in the Georgian champion's defence.
PECELI NACEBE (TEL-AVIV HEAT)
Tel-Aviv Heat concluded their last match of the pool stage in style, as the Israeli franchise brought their best display of the season, scoring 9 tries to 1, and Pecele Nacebe was one of the main standouts.
The versatile back was a treat to watch with a display of eye-catching offloads while paving away a glorious path of running meters, achieving an astounding 106. His solo try was a sight to behold.
An unstoppable speedster who brings joyfulness to his fans, while proving to be a handful for the opposition.