Romania's rugby team grabbed its first win in the 2023 edition of Rugby Europe Championship
The "Oaks" won 67-27 against Poland at home in a match played on the Triumphal Arch Stadium in Bucharest. Romania dominated the game, as expected, scoring 11 tries. Mihai Chirică and Taylor Gotineac scored twice, while Marius Simionescu, Tudor Butnariu, Gheorghe Gajion, Hinckley Vaovasa, Paul Popoaia, Robert Irimescu and Alexander Dinu once. Popoaia also converted two tries, and Ionel Melinte four. One reason for concern is the fact that the Oaks conceded 27 points on home turf, the visiting side scoring three tries. The president of the Romanian Rugby Federation, Alin Petrache, said he wasn't expecting the Poles to score so many points, and admitted there are a few holes in the team's defenses.
Starting this season, Romania's rugby team has a new headcoach - Eugen Apjok, who previously coached one of the best clubs in the domestic championship - CSM Știința Baia Marei. Apjok was also part of the Romanian rugby team staff for a few years, and starting December last year he replaced the headcoach Andy Robinson of England.
Let us further note that the 2023 edition of Rugby Europe Championship will unfold in a new format. Teams are now divided into two groups. At the end of the group phase, the first two teams in each group will compete in a Final Four tournament. Romania is part of Group B, playing along Portugal, Belgium and Poland. Group A comprises the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. In the next feature this Saturday, the Oaks will play Belgium, then on February 18 they will play Portugal, both fixtures away from home.
This year Romania is competing in the World Rugby Cup hosted by France over September 8 - October 28. Romania was drafted in Group B alongside South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and Tonga. (VP)