This week in the División de Honor Rugby Week 10 round-up: Covid claims a game and Edward looks ahead to the final round of 2020 Rugby Europe Championship.
División de Honor Rugby Week 10
This week, we had planned to talk about El Salvador vs Ordizia Rugby Elkartea. As explained last week, this game is also a quarter-final for a place in the next round of the Copa Del Rey De Rugby. Plus with points counting for more against your rivals post the 11 game split, it made this 4th vs 3rd clash doubly important. Sadly, Covid decided that would be too much excitement for us all. Luckily, it was the only game claimed by Covid and we’ve scoured the league for the best of División de Honor Week 10.
➡+ info, en nuestra web oficial 👇
— SilverStorm El Salvador🏉 (@Chami_Rugby) January 30, 2021
Mind the Gap
With the Cup decider off, Week 10 was all about the top half versus the bottom half. As there is a considerable gulf between the two halves and results against teams in the opposite half post the Week 11 split don’t count, you could almost view this week as a dead rubber. In reality, not a single team from the top six would slip up to their bottom half counterparts. With wins for VRAC and Alcobendas, both have booked spots in the top six.
One game that would have serious implications was 8th placed C.P. Les Abelles taking on 7th placed UE Santboiana. Promoted last season, Valencia-based Les Abelles have made a solid start to life in the top flight and a win here would keep their top-six hopes alive.
Game of the Week
Les Abelles shot out of the blocks, with a disgustingly good no-look pass from Jean Baptiste Rubio creating the opportunity for Cosmin Matei to leap over the try line. After less than two minutes, Les Abelles were seven points to the good. Both teams would trade penalties until Santboiana would create a try of their own. Having spread the ball the width of the pitch twice, the gap would appear for Pau Anguita to gallop home in the 20th minute. Less than three minutes later, a rapid attack from Les Abelles and several off-loads in the tackle had captain Lucas Martin over the line. Sadly for Les Abelles, they would concede two tries in less than ten minutes but the game was perfectly balanced 17-24 at the break.
The next try would be crucial and it would be Santboiana who got it in the 57th minute. Several tired and missed tackles meant the elusive Pau Anguita would hurdle his way over the try line and end the game as a contest. A late consolation meant that Santboiana would win a crucial game 31-24.
That result means UE Santboiana are still in the hunt for that final guaranteed playoff spot in the top six.
⌚️FINAL al Jorge Diego “Pantera”!
✅ TRIOMF santboià molt treballat. Ens emportem 4️⃣ punts cap a Sant Boi‼️
🤝 Gran partit de @lesabellesrc.
— U.E. Santboiana (@UESantboiana) January 31, 2021
More drama in the 2020 Rugby Europe Championship
With División de Honor not scheduled for next week, the 2020 Rugby Europe Championship reaches a close. Georgia will be taking on Russia and crowds are sadly denied entry into what is a great fight for 2nd between Spain and Portugal. However, the most important game of the week is the one not being played. Last week, Belgium announced their squad would not be allowed to travel to Romania for the final game. With this being a de facto relegation playoff decider, it presents a difficult challenge for Rugby Europe. The 2021 Championship cannot begin until the last-placed team of 2020 takes on the winner of the division below (The Netherlands). As a result, Belgium may find themselves playing The Netherlands in three weeks for their place in the 2021 Rugby Europe Championship.
🇷🇴v🇧🇪| A notification regarding the match between Romania and Belgium in the final round of the Rugby Europe Championship 2020.https://t.co/FiuyQSr99s
— Rugby Europe (@rugby_europe) January 29, 2021
So that’s a wrap on this week. Attention now turns to the International Calender and LWOS Rugby looks forward to following Spain’s fortunes in the Rugby Europe Championship throughout 2021.
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