Title contenders remain unbeaten in Nations Cup

(IRB.COM) Sunday 10 June 2007
 
 Title contenders remain unbeaten in Nations Cup
Romania had the edge in the forward exchanges to beat Italy A 19-8 in Bucharest Photo: Bodgan Iorga

Argentina A and the Emerging Springboks both remain unbeaten in the IRB Nations Cup after picking up victories over Namibia and Georgia respectively in Bucharest on Sunday.

The defending champions were first up against Namibia with Gonzalo Camacho scoring two of their seven tries in a 47-13 victory over a much improved side at the 'Arcul de Triumf' stadium.

Then it was the turn of the Emerging Springboks, although they were made to work very hard by an impressive Georgia defence for a 24-7 victory with centre Marius Delport scoring a hat-trick of tries.

The final match of the day saw Romania claim their first victory of the competition, beating Italy A 19-8 to the delight of the home crowd with a much improved performance from their opener against the Emerging Springboks.

NAMIBIA 13-47 ARGENTINA A

Defending IRB Nations Cup champions Argentina A scored seven tries to beat Namibia 47-13 in a highly entertaining match at the 'Arcul de Triumf' stadium in Bucharest on Sunday.

Both sides tried to keep the ball alive, but it was the South Americans' superior skill and endeavour which proved the difference and maintained their unbeaten record in the competition after a 27-20 defeat of Italy A last Tuesday.

Namibia, who had lost their opening match 26-18 to Rugby World Cup 2007 opponents Georgia, were very much in the game for most of the first half but small unforced errors saw them lose touch with Argentina A as the match progressed.

The Namibians' cause was not helped when they had flanker Jan Hendrik Duvenhage and replacement Jacques Burger both sent to the sin-bin in quick succession to reduce them to 13 men.

Unfortunately for Namibia, in the nine minute spell when both players were in the sin-bin, Argentina A scored 22 unanswered points to ease to victory over a much improved Namibian side.

Argentina A led 25-6 at half time after tries from wing Gonzalo Camacho and centre Juan Ignacio Gauthier, both converted by fly half Santiago Fernandez, who also kicked two penalties to cancel out those by Namibia fullback Tertius Losper.

Tries from second row Diego Stuart, number 8 Miguel Achaval, Camacho, wing Roman Miralles and flanker Santiago Sanz in the second half saw Argentina A to victory, although they did have Camacho sin-binned.

Namibia's only try in the match was scored by replacement Jacques Nieuwenhuis and converted by Losper. They now face hosts Romania on Saturday, the same day that Argentina A face the Emerging Springboks.

Argentina A will definitely be without Daniel Augusto Petrilli for that match, the Lyon flanker having broken his right leg in training.

Match statistics:

NAMIBIA:
1. Gideon Lensing (Captain) 2. Rudolf Scheepers Bardenhorst 3. Jane du Toit 4. Heino Senekal 5. Uakazuvaka Kazombiaze 6. Jan Hendrik Duvenhage 7. Herman Lindvelt 8. Jurgens van Lill 9. Eugene Jantjies 10. Pieter Rossouw 11. Melrick Africa 12. Corne Powell 13. Du Preez Grobler 14. Stefan du Rand 15. Tertius Losper.

Replacements: 16. Hugo Horn 17. Marius Visser 18. Jonny Redelinghuys 19. Nico Esterhuizen 20. Jacques Nieuwenhuis 21. Lu-wayne Botes 22. Heini Bock 23. Tinus du Plessis 24. Ryan Witbooi 25. Jacques Burger.

Tries: Jacques Nieuwenhuis
Conversions: Tertius Losper
Penalties: Tertius Losper

Yellow cards: Jan Hendrik Duvenhage, Jacques Burger.

ARGENTINA A: 1. Daniel Rodriguez 2. Javier Caratti 3. Francisco Gomez Codela 4. Diego Stuart 5. Felipe Aranguren 6. Santiago Sanz 7. Genaro Fessia 8. Miguel Achaval 9. Lucio Lopez Fleming 10. Santiago Fernandez 11. Gonzalo Camacho 12. Gabriel Ascarate 13. Juan Ignacio Gauthier 14. Roman Miralles 15. Bernardo Stortoni (Captain).

Replacements: 16. Francisco Lecot 17. Pablo Cardinali 18. Matias Cortese 19. Pablo Bouza 20. Alfredo Lalanne 21. Santiago Bottini 22. Federico Amelong 23. Pablo Gomez Cora 24. Francisco Merello.

Tries: Gonzalo Camacho (2), Juan Ignacio Gauthier, Diego Stuart, Miguel Achaval, Roman Miralles, Santiago Sanz.
Conversions: Santiago Fernandez (3)
Penalties: Santiago Fernandez (2)

Yellow card: Gonzalo Camacho

EMERGING SPRINGBOKS 24-7 GEORGIA

Centre Marius Delport scored a hat-trick of tries to help the Emerging Springboks overcome a committed Georgia 24-7 and remain unbeaten in the IRB Nations Cup 2007.

The Emerging Springboks played to win the match, but were rattled by the Georgian tackling in an impressive defensive effort from start to finish in the Romanian capital's new national rugby stadium.

Georgia, who like the Emerging Springboks enjoyed a victory in their opening match, were very hard and committed up front, although their fly half Merab Kvirikashvili also impressed with an excellent kicking game.

It was the Emerging Springboks, though, who led 14-7 at half time in the day's second match, with a penalty try for Georgia sandwiched between two of Delport's tries with Kvirikashvili and Peter Grant converting them respectively.

Delport completed his hat-trick after the break with Grant converting the try and then kicking a penalty against a Georgian side who had two players sin-binned in the match - lock Levan Datunashvili and replacement George Jenti.

The Emerging Springboks, who beat Romania 61-7 in their opening match, though missed out on a bonus point for scoring four tries.

Next up for Georgia is an encounter with Italy A in the opening match of the final day on Saturday, while the Emerging Springboks face Argentina A in the finale which will determine the IRB Nations Cup 2007 champion.

Match statistics:

EMERGING SPRINGBOKS:
1. Bandise Maku 2. Ashton Constant 3. Mxoli Songoni 4. Nikolai Blignaut 5. Wilhelm Steenkamp 6. Solly Tyibilika 7. Jonathan Mokuena (Captain) 8. Ernst Joubert 9. Jano Vermaak 10. Peter Grant 11. Howard Noble 12. Meyer Bosman 13. Marius Delport 14. Louis Ludik 15. Bevin Fortuin.

Replacements: 16. Schalk Brits 17. Heine van der Merwe 18. Eddie Andrews 19. Ross Skeate 20. Lucas Floors 21. Heini Adams 22. Tonderai Chavhanga 23. Odwa Ndungane 24. Hilton Lobberts 25. Bradley Barritt 26. Jaco Pretorius.

Tries: Marius Delport (3)
Conversions: Peter Grant (3)
Penalties: Peter Grant

GEORGIA: 1. David Khinchagashvili 2. Irakli Chkonia 3. Elizbar Kuparadze 4. Zurab Mchedlishvili (Captain) 5. Levan Datunashvili 6. Ilia Maisuradze 7. Rati Urushadze 8. Giorgi Chkhaidze 9. Bidzina Samkharadze 10. Merab Kvirikashvili 11. Otar Eloshvili 12. David Kacharava 13. Revaz Gigauri 14. Giorgi Shkinin 15. Malkhaz Urjukashvili.

Replacements: 16. Irakli Natriashvili 17. George Jgenti 18. David Dadunashvili 19. Viktor Didebulidze 20. Irakli Abuseridze 21. Davit Gurgenidze 22. Otar Barkalaia 23. Besiki Khamashuridze 24. Shalva Sutiashvili 25. Zviad Maisuradze 26. Mamuka Magrakvelidze.

Tries: Penalty try
Conversion: Merab Kvirikashvili

Yellow cards: Levan Datunashvili, George Jgenti.

ROMANIA 19-8 ITALY A

A sunny day in Bucharest ended with host nation Romania bouncing back from the disappointment of a heavy opening loss to the Emerging Springboks by beating Italy A 19-8 in their new national stadium, the 'Arcul de Triumf', in Bucharest.

Romania were better organised with their defensive line, while they had also rectified their lineout and scrummage problems from that 61-7 loss to the Emerging Springboks on Tuesday and they had the edge in the forward exchanges.

The Italians looked hungry and enterprising, taking the lead with wing Marco Rosa's try, although Romania led 14-8 at half time after wing Catalin Fercu's try and three penalties from the boot of scrum half Valentin Calafateanu.

Italy A's other points came courtesy of a penalty from fly half Andrea Marcato in the first half, and the match also saw second row Mario Vella sent to the sin bin by English referee Rob Debney.

The second half saw only one score, albeit an impressive try from the Romanians. Italy A were pounding at the host nation's line in search of a score to get back into the match, only for the newly arrived Ionut Tofan to intercept a poor pass.

Tofan launched a blistering counterattack on the right, back row Alex Tudori carried it forward and Fercu handled to pass the ball to the charging Iulian Dumitras for the fullback to go over in the corner.

Romania, whose number 8 Augustin Petrichei missed the win with a muscle tear, will finish the IRB Nations Cup against Namibia on Sunday, while Italy A will seek a first victory of the competition against Georgia A.

Match statistics:

ROMANIA: 1. Cezar Popescu 2. Marius Tincu (Captain) 3. Bogdan Balan 4. Valentin Ursache 5. Cristian Petre 6. Stelian Burcea 7. Alex Tudori 8. Florin Corodeanu 9. Valentin Calafeteanu 10. Ionut Dimofte 11. Ioan Teodorescu 12. Csaba Gal 13. Gabriel Brezoianu 14. Catalin Fercu 15. Iulian Dumitras.

Tries: Catalin Fercu, Iulian Dumitras
Penalties: Valentin Calafateanu (3)

Replacements: 16. Razvan Mavrodin 17. Petrisor Toderasc 18. Paulica Ion 19. Valentin Poparlan 20. Daniel Carpo 21. Lucian Sarbu 22. Ionut Tofan 23. Dan Vlad 24. Catalin Nicolaae 25. Florin Vlaicu. 26. Augustin Petrichei

ITALY A: 1. Giovanni Boccalon 2. Leonardo Ghiraldini 3. Lorenzo Cittadini 4. Enrico Pavanello 5. Mario Vella 6. David Dal Maso (Captain) 7. Aaron Persico 8. Jaco Erasmus 9. Nicola Leonardi 10. Andrea Marcato 11. Ludovico Nitoglia 12. Matteo Barbini 13. Walter Pozzebon 14. Marco Rosa 15. Alberto Sgarbi.

Replacements: 16. Luigi Ferraro 17. Luigi Milani 18. Alberto De Marchi 19. Aldo Birchall 20. Paul Derbyshire 21. Luciano Orquera 22. Pino Patelli 23. Michele Nitoglia.

Tries: Marco Rosa
Penalties: Andrea Maracto

Yellow card: Mario Vella


Tournament table

  1. Emerging Springboks 9 pts (1 bonus point)
  2. Argentina A 9 pts (1 bonus point)
  3. Georgia 4 pts
  4. Romania 4 pts
  5. Italy A 1 pts (1 bonus point)
  6. Namibia 0 pts