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February 28, 2021

Rugby: Romania qualifies for WC 2011 after defeating Uruguay

The Romanian rugby team has qualified for next year’s World Championships in New Zealand after defeating Uruguay on Saturday, score 39-12 (21-0 at half time). The game counted for the return leg of the playoff fixture. Two weeks ago the two teams finished their first leg in a tie, score 21-21. The success of the Romanian team, which until now has qualified for all 7 editions of the World Championships, took shape in the first half hour that thrilled the 5,500 fans that managed to find a seat in the stands.

After forcing the opponents’ defence to shuffle from one side of the pitch to the other, Romania’s outside center Csaba Gal scored the first try in the 10th minute. The try was then converted by Dumbrava: score 7-0. The Oaks returned to the offence as soon as the Uruguayans kicked the ball back into play, obtaining a free kick in the 14th minute at the end of several charges. Team captain Socol chose a scrum, correctly staking on the superior value of the team’s forwards. The latter pushed decisively, determining center Martinez to deliberately enter off-side and thus winning a penalty. Manta scored another try in the 24th minute. The same Dumbrava converted it: 21-0 at half time.

With nothing left to lose, in the second half the Uruguayans charged continuously, scoring two tries. Romania however sealed the game by scoring 3 points in stoppage time after Dumbrava transformed a penalty.

“I was stressed out, although I didn’t want to show it. I lightened up thanks to the players that pulled off an exceptional first half. We will go up against anyone. We have to build around what we have achieved today,” Romanian head coach Romeo Gontineac stated for GSP TV after the game.

“It was beautiful, unbelievable. I never had such fans in the stands while I was a player,” Romanian Rugby Federation President Alin Petrache stated in his turn.

The 2011 World Championships will take place in New Zealand during September 9 – October 23. Romania will play in Group B, alongside Argentina, England, Scotland and Georgia. Romania will first play against Scotland on September 10, 2011.

Other international games on Saturday:  France-Australia 16 – 59 on Stade de France; Wales – New Zealand 25 – 37 on the Millennium Stadium; Spain – Namibia 33 – 20 on  Estadio Principes de Espana, Palma; England – South Africa 11-21 on Twickenham.

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