ROMANIA WINS RUGBY EUROPE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017
Thanks to its victory 8-7 on Georgia, Romania crowned Champion 2017
The last round of Rugby Europe Championship 2017 (European Tier 2) took place this week-end with three games with three different stakes.
Belgium played in Madrid on Saturday aiming to win to keep a chance of overtaking Russia in the standings. Unfortunately, the Black Devils failed their challenge, conceding 30 points without being able to score one. This defeat has condemned them to dispute the play-off game on May 20th against the winner of Rugby Europe Trophy. Thanks to this victory, Spain secured their 3rd place, with 13 points (3 W, 2 D, 1 Bonus point).
Russia / Germany, played this Sunday in Sochi, was then at stake the 4th place in the ranking. In a very open match, the two teams scored 11 tries (8/3) for a final score of 52-25 for the "Bears". Thanks to the offensive bonus point, Russia managed to overtake the Germans in the standings.
The last game of the week-end was played between Romania and Georgia, targeting the title of Champion 2017. To win the title, Romanians had to win the game.
In a crowded Arch of Triumph stadium in Bucharest, Romanians took the lead, scoring a first try at the third minute by Fercu but Florin Vlaicu missed the conversion. Unfortunately, the 101-capped kicker, missed three penalties in the first half, which would have consolidated the advance of the Oaks. On the contrary, Sharikadze scored after a long sequence and gave the advantage to the Georgians before the half-time (7-5).
The importance of the game engendered a lot of technical mistakes on both sides; the Romanian kicker, Vlaicu waited until the 53th minute to convert his first penalty (8-7), while captain Gorgodze's teammates had the opportunity to take the lead but Kvirkashvili missed the target twice (69th, 73rd), touching the post on his second kick. Romania resisted to Georgian attacks maintaining the tiny advantage, that was sufficient to win the game : 8-7.
Thanks to this victory, the two teams ended with the same points total (19) but Romania won the title as the winner of the direct confrontation. This title puts an end to the series of 6 consecutive crowns of Georgia and places Romania in good position on the race for 2019 World Cup qualification.