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Review Semi-Finals - Men's Rugby Europe Championship 24

On Saturday in the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia got the better of Romania 43-5 in their last four tie.

Two tries from winger Akaki Tabutsadze put Georgia 10-0 up at the interval and then they found another gear after the break.

With half an hour remaining, full-back Mirian Modebadze scored their third try with winger Davit Niniashvili converting.

Six minutes later their fourth try came via Beka Gorgadze, the back-rower, before, in the 64th minute, Luka Ivanishvili bagged their fifth which was converted by Niniashvili.

That was 29-0 and Romania were really up against it, but they did get on the scoreboard when centre Fonovai Tangimana scored a try.

There was still time for Tabutsadze to complete his hat-trick while replacement Demur Tapladze went over late on and, with both converted, it finished 43-5.

Georgia won the Antim Cup as a result and their head coach Richard Cockerill said:  “I am very pleased with the win, I am very proud of the team. The exciting thing is we can play a lot better, so I am looking forward to the final.”

On Sunday in the Estadio do Restelo in Lisbon, Portugal and Spain played out a realm cracker with the former just getting over the line 33-30 to book their Cup final spot.

The respective stand-offs both kicked early penalties before Spain went 10-3 up when centre Martin Mateu scored a converted try.

A second Hugo Aubry penalty for the hosts pulled things back to 10-6 before a three-pointer by early Spain replacement Bautista Guemes made it 13-6.

In the 36th minute things were level when winger Lucas Martins scored a converted try for Portugal.

Spain took a 20-13 lead into half-time though when winger Martiniano Cian scored a converted try with the clock in the red.

A Guemes penalty early in the second period stretched their lead to 23-13 before two converted tries suddenly had Portugal 27-23 up after 58 minutes.

They came via captain Tomas Appleton and full-back Manuel Cardoso Pinto with Aubrey converting both.

Two Aubry penalties then made it 33-23 with 12 minutes to go before Portugal suffered a yellow card late on. Spain took advantage with a converted try, but it was just too little, too late after an enthralling contest.

Portugal skipper Appleton said:  “I want to thank our crowd, they were brilliant and it was great to play in our own country. We are into a final and we have two weeks to prepare.”

Pablo Bouza, the Spain head coach, said:  “We had a great first half, but we missed a couple of chances. In the second half Portugal played much better and it is a tough defeat for us.”

The final will take place on March 17 in the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris, France, and it will be a real festival of rugby that day.

Romania and Spain will be meeting in the bronze medal match while two rankings matches will also be on after the semi-finals were completed at the weekend.

On Saturday at the National Rugby Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands were on top form to get the better of Poland 54-7.

The hosts led 32-0 and never looked back.

Their try scorers on the day were hooker Ross Bennie-Coulson, centre Daily Limmen, back-row Wolf Van Dijk, scrum-half Pieter Schoonraad, No.8 Christopher Raymond, stand-off Vikas Meijer, winger Siem Noorman and replacement Maxime Van Hilst.

Meijer kicked the rest of the points while Poland’s try came from second-row Max Loboda converted by stand-off Mateusz Kolas.

“We managed the game very effectively and we want to keep developing now,” Netherlands head coach Lyn Jones said.

Mateusz Plichta, the Poland captain, said:  “We expected more from ourselves and we are disappointed.”

Netherlands will battle it out for fifth place in Paris with Germany after they shock Belgium in the Stade du Pachy in Waterloo on Saturday evening.

The visitors won the game 21-11, leading 8-3 at half-time and then coming through a tough test.

Hooker Mika Tyumenev and winger Felix Lammers scored tries for Germany with stand-off Edoardo Stella and full-back Nikolai Klewinghaus kicking the rest of the points between them.

Winger Thomas Wallraf was the Belgium try scorer and stand-off Hugo De Francq kicked two penalties.

Hassan Rayan, the Germany skipper, said:  “We are very happy, the work rate was excellent, especially from the forwards, and our tactical game was excellent.”

Laurent Dossat, the Belgium head coach, said:  “Germany won the battle at the ruck, at the breakdown, and it is a very important part of rugby.”

Focus now turns to the French capital for Finals day, which takes place at Stade Jean-Bouin on March 17 with tickets now on sale.

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