2017 Rugby Europe Championship

Discussion in 'Tier Two & Three Rugby' started by Bruce_ma_goose, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Under exposed and under appreciated the Rugby Europe Championship kicks off tomorrow and contains five improving and competitive rugby nations that I believe could all compete with Italy (plus Belgium :p ). Adding additional spice is that results for five of the sides will decide their RWC 2019 fate, with one automatic qualification spot up for grabs and another spot for the RWC qualification repechage. Georgia have already qualified courtesy of their impressive RWC 2015. And in a novel twist for Europe in rugby the wooden spoon risks relegation.

    The opening weekend contains two excellent fixtures, with the fast improving Spain and Germany hosting the more fancied Russia and Romania respectively. Expect open, attacking rugby if the weather allows it.

    Promo video:

    https://youtu.be/ssZRDBmbx0Q

    Fixture list:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Rugby_Europe_Championship

    TV coverage:

    http://www.rugbyeurope.tv
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  3. Brigantine

    Brigantine Senior Member

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    And in a novel twist for Europe in rugby the wooden spoon no longer faces automatic relegation.

    FTFY :)
     
  4. Old Hooker

    Old Hooker Senior Member

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    Televised anywhere?
     
  5. Welshdragon2000

    Welshdragon2000 Senior Member

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    Pre tournament predictions?
    I'm going for Georgia to lose their crown to Romania this year due to a slightly weaker Georgian squad and the fact that they don't really have anything to play for in the competition apart from pride. So my final table looks like this:
    1. Romania
    2. Georgia
    3. Russia
    4.Spain
    5. Germany
    6. Belgium
     
  6. Brigantine

    Brigantine Senior Member

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    Rugby Europe TV

    I really don't see Georgia losing the title. For the other 5 teams in this competition, their game vs Georgia is the *only one* that doesn't count for higher stakes. Georgia has their umpteen year long title to defend, and their opponents have a bunch of players that they really want to rest.

    Romania is probably the exception there, because A) their path to qualification is less of a dogfight and more of a risk management exercise and B.) they meet in the last round (and on Romanian turf). *If* Romania has an easy enough time securing qualification, then they'll pose a threat. But Georgia will be 100% prepared.

    A relatively conservative prediction: 1 - Georgia, 2 - Romania, 6 - Belgium.
    3rd is the real prize in play to fight over, and I'd give it about 65% chance to Russia, 25% Spain, 10% Germany. Probably on the basis of a bonus point here or there or points differential.
    Whoever gets 3rd will win the Europe 2 Final, lose to Tonga (or Samoa), and progress to a very interesting Repechage Tournament.

    In the qualifying playoffs, Czechia will emerge from the conferences and give the 6NC Champion a real scare. The Final round for Europe 2 will be between Russia/Spain/Germany and one of Portugal, Czechia, or surprisingly - the Netherlands (which would also mean a promotion/relegation match between Belgium and the Netherlands).

    Also, I predict former 6NB participant Ukraine will continue their losing streak, even as far as losing to Switzerland, who are in the 6NC for the first time ever this year.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  7. Osezno

    Osezno Member

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    Well, I can tell you it will be raining in Madrid tomorrow...
     
  8. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Hah, thanks. I worded it vaguely as I didnt know. I think playoffs is better than automatic promotion / relegation to increase the chances of the bottom side being competitive.

    Predictions are impossible as the team selections will be strange in all Georgia games for both sides because of the unusual RWC circumstances. In terms of the other five teams I'd say.

    1. Romania
    2. Spain
    3. Russia
    4. Germany
    5. Belgium

    I really rated Spains performances in November. They were competitive against a Tonga who then defeated Italy and defeated a Uruguay who almost won in the USA last weekend. I would not be amazed if Spain finished top of this list. Their domestic season is still in full flow whilst the Romanian and Russian seasons are on a break. If they were playing Romania first I'd put Spain to the top of my list. I think Germany could also sensationally finish above Russia.
     
  9. Osezno

    Osezno Member

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    I like your enthusiasm about Rugby Europe Championship, but let's be honest: it's a championship where statu quo is clear. Spain has beaten twice Russia and Romania in 25 years. To qualify to repechage you need at least two victories in 13 months. To qualify directly to the RWC, at least three in the same span.

    Spain and Germany can give some upsets and Russia and Romania may suffer in the first week, but in the long run, over five, seven, ten games, it's hardly possible us or Germans sustain consistency.
     
  10. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Hah, you doubted my enthusiasm for Spanish rugby before the Uruguay game! I'll make a believer of you yet. Although if the weather is bad I will pick the Siberians over the Spaniards every time.
     
  11. Osezno

    Osezno Member

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    Well, I never thought Uruguay would be so angry that they would forget how to play. If they hadn't lost against Germany the previous week I doubt we would have been able to win. But Teros totally lost their mind and looked for brawls from the first minute of the game...

    Spain will be a pain in the ass for Romania and Russia, but in the end consistency is key and today only Romania and Russia can offer that. We know how to play rugby but we still have to learn how to win games even on a bad day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  12. dragos03

    dragos03 Senior Member

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    Spain is considered a favourite every year but fails to deliver. Everything depends on the first match, if they beat Russia it will be a huge morale boost and they should compete for qualification. If Russia wins, many of the French players won't bother to show up and Spain might even have to fight to avoid relegation.
     
  13. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Germany vs Romania has just kicked off.

    https://www.rugbytv.ro/vezi/live

    - - - Updated - - -

    Aaaaaand.... neither official link appearing to work. Good old Rugby Europe (unless it's me getting the kick off time wrong).
     
  14. Osezno

    Osezno Member

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  15. dragos03

    dragos03 Senior Member

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  16. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    The rugbytv.ro link is now working, and Romania are making hay in some perfect weather. Really showing their class now after going behind early and some cracking backline play. Absolutely no sign of rust whatsoever from their mid-season break which will be worrying for their rivals.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't know the rules on that one and have no commentary. How is that penalty try? Lovely movement from Germany showing they are able to play with ball in hand with forwards and backs.
     
  17. dragos03

    dragos03 Senior Member

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    Not really, we look very rusty.

    Penalty try to Germany, another absurd referee decision. Shennan wanted to gound the ball, not to throw it out on purpose.
     
  18. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Okay, you do look a little rusty! Game on!
     
  19. dragos03

    dragos03 Senior Member

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    And now an intercept try for the Germans lol. I hope we wake up at half time.
     
  20. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    I think both sides left their defensive formations back on the bus. I said it'd be attacking rugby but I wasn't expecting 44 points at halftime.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ooph! Great end to the half. Glad to see Romania play it out wide from that position rather than just rely on their forwards. Good last gasp tackle.
     
  21. dragos03

    dragos03 Senior Member

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    Very poor performance for Romania, we usually play like this in the first match. I hope we'll improve after the break.
     
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