With a win over Romania, Spain took the lead in the battle for one of the two automatic qualification. Spots for the Rugby World Cup 2023 in front of a large and grateful crowd at the Estadio Nacional Universidad Complutense. Spain came into the match on the top of the Rugby Europe Championship 2022 table. But third in overall qualification behind Georgia and Romania, therefore a win was crucial for both teams. Rugby Fans can buy Rugby World Cup 2023 Tickets from our website.
Los Leones were victorious, despite a sensational late try by Romania’s explosive winger. Marius Simionescu denying them what could have been a crucial try bonus point. Georgia continues to lead the qualification race with 31 points, while Spain moves up to a second-place with 25 points. And Romania in third place with 22 points.
Meanwhile, Portugal’s hopes of qualifying for a second RWC were boosted with a 59-3 victory over the Netherlands. Putting them on 21 points overall. The teams who finish first and second in the two-year qualification cycle (results from the Rugby Europe Championships 2021 and 2022). Will automatically qualify for France Rugby World Cup 2023. As Europe 1 and Europe 2, respectively, while the third-place team will compete in the Final Qualification Tournament.
Spain hit the ground running
With victories against the lowest two teams in the world. The Netherlands and Russia. Spain faced a far tougher battle in Romania. Who came into the game on the strength of a five-match winning streak. Los Leones, on the other hand, got right to work right away and stormed into a 14-0 lead after only 12 minutes. Due to tries from Marco Pinto and Matthew Foulds, both converted by Manuel Ordas.
When Afa Tauli was sent off for a second yellow card. Romania took advantage and scored through Hickley Vaovasa. With Ionel Melinte converting to cut the deficit to seven points. When Fernando Martin Lopez burrowed over from close range and Ordas added the extras. Spain was able to balance out that score.
After being restored to full strength, Spain extended their lead when Alvar Gimeno intercepted a Romania ball near midway. And ran home for Los Leones’ fourth try. With the conversion, Ordas’ reliable boot turned the five-point lead into seven. At the end of the third quarter. Spain had a 38-7 advantage after Ordas kicked a penalty and then converted a try from Fred Quercy.
Romania, on the other hand, showed the remarkable will to finish the game on a high note. With Vaovasa scoring his second and Simionescu adding a beautiful solo effort. While Spain defended with 14 men owing to Manuel Mora’s yellow card. Both tries were converted by Daniel Plai. Rugby Fans can buy Rugby World Cup Tickets from our website.
While the late tries prevented Spain from a perfect score in the match, the winning margin was enough for the teams to switch places in the Cap Gemini World Rugby Men’s Rankings. Spain has reached a new high of 15th place, with Romania two spots behind them.
Record win for Portugal against Dutch
Pedro Bettencourt scored a pair of tries against the Netherlands in Lisbon in the other Rugby Europe Championship 2022 match, marking his return to the Portuguese starting back division for the first time in nearly six years.
In what was Portugal’s biggest triumph in 52 years of playing against the Dutch. Joo Belo, Duarte Diniz, Rodrigo Marta, Raffaele Storti, and Dany Antunes joined them on the scoreboard.
The Netherlands seized the lead thanks to a Te Campbell penalty in the second minute. But that was the most the bottom-placed side could do.
The outcome had no bearing on either team’s ranking
The second round of Rugby Europe Championship 2202 matches will take place on March 12th. With Romania hosting Georgia and Spain facing Portugal. The Rugby Europe Championship 2022 begins the next weekend, in what promises to be an exciting climax to the qualification campaign.