6NB The Virus Wins Again
All three of Rugby Europe’s International Championship matches have been postponed.
Also postponed is its trophy match between Switzerland and the Netherlands in Geneva.
The three championship matches are Georgia vs Russia in Tblissi, Spain vs Portugal in Madrid and Romania vs Belgium in Botosani.
Even if the matches fail to take place in the future, Georgia will stay clear winners of the Championship, as was expected. But at least two of the matches have extra needle in them.
Georgia was once a part of the USSR and there has been tension between the two since Georgia’s independence, even resulting in fighting.
Georgia and Russia have met 23 times. Russia won the first match in 1993 when it was part of the qualifying process for the Rugby World Cup in South Africa. The Bears have not won since though they got a draw in Tblissi in 2002. Georgia have won the other 21 times and would be expected to do so again this year.
The other match with neigbourly rivalry is the Battle for Iberia – Spain vs Portugal. There have been 36 Tests between the two countries, Spain winning 24 and Portugal 10 with two draws. Both countries have been to the World Cup – Spain in 1999, Portugal in 2007.
Results this year, suggest that this would be a close encounter.
Spain beat Russia who beat Portugal.
Portugal beat Romania who beat Spain.
Both beat Belgium and both lost to Georgia. The points’ differences in all four matches were much of a muchness.
Both have the same number of points on the Championship log – 9.
Log after Round 4
1. Georgia 19 points
2. Portugal 9 points
3. Spain 9 points
4. Russia 8 points
5. Belgium 7 points
6. Romania 5 points
Fixtures, Round 5 – all postponed
Georgia vs Russia in Tblissi
Romania vs Belgium in Botosani
Spain vs Portugal at Campo Central, Ciudad Universitaria Madrid
Results, Round 1
Spain vs Russia, 31-12
Georgia vs Romania, 41-13
Portugal vs Belgium, 23-17
Results, Round 2
Belgium vs Russia, 38-12
Georgia vs Spain, 23-10
Portugal vs Romania 22-11
Results, Round 3
Russia vs Portugal, 19-18 in Russia
Romania vs Spain, 24-7 in Romania
Georgia vs Brussels, 78-6 in Georgia
Results, Round 4
Georgia vs Portugal, 39-24
Spain vs Belgium, 30-23
Russia vs Romania, 32-25