France and Ireland will contest the FIRA-AER European Under 18 Championship final for the second year in a row after they overcame host nation Italy and England respectively in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
A penalty shootout was needed to determine the champions in 2007 and France will be hoping to retain their title without such a tense finale when the sides meet at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo – the home of Benetton Treviso – on Saturday.
Rédouane Boussetta, Benjamin Petre and Gilles Bosch scored France’s three tries as the defending champions came from behind to beat Italy 22-15 at Casale sul Sile in Piacenza after centre Tommaso Benvenuti had kicked his side into the lead with five penalties.
The other semi-final in a sunny San Dona’ di Piave was a closer affair with Kieran Brookes scoring the only try of the match as Ireland again ended England’s hopes of making the final with an 8-3 victory, just as they had done in 2007 by winning 10-7.
England and Italy will now meet in the third place playoff on Saturday in Treviso, while Romania and Georgia will face each other in the fifth place playoff after they overcame Romania 24-12 and Russia 25-6 respectively.
Those defeats mean that whoever loses the seventh place playoff between Russia and Spain at Villorba will be relegated to Group B for next year’s FIRA-AER European Under 18 Championship with either Belgium or Poland taking their place.
Promotion and relegation at stake
Belgium and Poland will meet in the Group B final at San Dona’ di Piave in Venice on Friday. The Belgians ended Portugal’s hopes of an immediate return to Group A with a 31-22 win in their semi-final, while Poland edged the other by a single point – 8-7 – against Germany.
The two other ranking games in Group B played on Tuesday saw the Netherlands beat Lithuania 20-12 and Ukraine edge the Czech Republic 25-23. This means that Lithuania and the Czech Republic will face each other with the loser relegated to Group C in 2009.
Hungary or Switzerland will be the side replacing them after both won their semi-finals. The Hungarians ended Bulgaria’s hopes of promotion with a 29-8 victory, while Switzerland scraped home 26-25 against Sweden.
The playoff to avoid relegation will be between Denmark and Israel after they lost to Latvia 24-7 and Austria 22-5 respectively in the fifth to eighth ranking games. They will be replaced by either Luxembourg or Serbia from Group D.
The six sides in Group D were split into two pools with Luxembourg finishing top of Pool A following their 34-6 defeat of Croatia on Wednesday. Serbia are yet to concede a point after beating Moldova 15-0 to top Pool B, having already beaten Slovenia 58-0.
The third place playoff will be between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia, while Moldova and Croatia will be seeking their first victory when they contest the fifth place playoff.
All the games can be followed on the FIRA-AER website – www.fira-aer-rugby.com.
- Irish Rugby Football Union »
- The RFU »
- Fédération Française de Rugby »
- Federazione Italiana Rugby »
- Deutscher Rugby Verband »
- Netherlands Rugby Board »
- Federación Española de Rugby »
- Federation Suisse de Rugby »
- Svenska Rugby Forbundet »
- Rugby Union of Serbia »
- Polish R.U. »
- Federação Portuguesa de Rugby »
- Osterreichischer Rugby Verband »
- Fédération Belge de Rugby »
- R.F.U. Of Bosnia & Herzegovina »
- Bulgarian Rugby Federation »
- Dansk R.U. »
- Georgia Rugby Union »
- Magyar Rogbi Szovetseg »
- Israel Rugby Union »
- Latvian Rugby Federation »
- Fédération Lituanienne de Rugby »
- Fédération Luxembourgeoise de Rugby »
- Federatia de Rugby din Moldovei »
- Ceska Rugbyova Unie »
- Federatia Romana de Rugby »
- R.U. Of Russia »
- Rugby Zveza Slovenije »
- National Rugby Federation Of Ukraine »
- Croazia »
- Wednesday 1 October 2014 - HSBC Sevens World Series - Australia
GC7s squads: Pool B (RSA, KEN, WAL, ASA)
- Wednesday 1 October 2014 - Asia
Asian Games set for gold medal rematch?
- Wednesday 1 October 2014 - South America
Rugby aims to reach new heights in Bolivia
- Wednesday 1 October 2014 - Press Releases
IRB announces record investment programme
- Tuesday 30 September 2014 - RWC 2015
RWC 2015: General ticket sales update
- 01 October - Avan Lee, IRB General Manager for sevens on the upcoming Sevens World Series
- 01 October - Andrea Masi profile
- 30 September - Richard Hill on the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final
- 29 September - Russia's Vasily Artemyev on the first leg of their RWC qualifier against Uruguay
- 29 September - Conrad Smith on his career
- 28 September - Jean de Villiers 'Tackle These'
- 27 September - Sam Warburton 'Tackle These'
- 26 September - Uruguay captain Nicholas Klappenbach
- 26 September - (RWC Memory) Jonny Wilkinson 2003 drop-goal
- Listen to this week's Total Rugby show