Romania's national rugby team late last week succeeded its first win as part of the Rugby Europe Championship's ongoing edition. In the northern Romanian town of Botosani, Romania thrashed Spain, 24 to 7. The Romanians ended the first half with a 6-nil lead, thanks to the points scored from penalty kicks by Florin Vlaicu, on minutes 5 and 33. On 50 minutes, the Romanian succeeded a 9-nil lead, thanks to three more points also scored by Florin Vlaicu from a penalty kick. In minute 53 Ionel Melinte succeeded try, and the scoreboard displayed a comfortable 16-nil advantage for the Romanians. Once again, Florin Vlaicu scored points from another penalty kick granted to the Romanians on 76 minutes. On added time's first minute, Spain's Richard Stewart managed a try, successfully turned into points by Brad Linklater. However, Ionel Melinte's unsuccessful try sealed the fate of the game on 84 minutes.
Unfortunately, the confrontation between the Romanians and the Spaniards went beyond the rugby turf. The local media in Botosani informed that seven rugby players of both Romanian and Spanish national squads Saturday night got involved in a pub brawl, as too much drinking made both parties lose control and use offensive language in conversational exchange. Security sprayed teargas and evacuated the bar, according to Agerpress news agency. The Romanian Rugby Federation is to initiate an inquest on the incident.
In the Rugby Europe Championship's two previous rounds, Georgia thrashed Belgium, 78 to 6, while Russia defeated Portugal by the narrowest of margins, 19 to 18. After three rounds, Romania is still 5th-placed with 4 points, on a par with bottom-of-the-table team Russia, which is 6th-placed. Romania will face Russia in the forthcoming round on Saturday, March 7, in Krasnodar. Also on March 7, Belgium play a home game against Spain, while Georgia take on Portugal, away from home. Romania's last game in the Rugby Union Championship is scheduled on March 14, 2020 in Botosani, when Romania take on Belgium.
( Translation by Eugen Nasta).