So, with Week One in the books, coming up it’s Week Two of the Rugby Europe Championship 2021 and Spain’s first game of the competition. ESP vs GEO
You couldn’t ask for a harder game but perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise. No one is expecting a Spanish win in Spain vs Georgia and a tune-up before a vital game against Romania could be perfect.
Georgia get off to a fast start vs Portugal
As predicted, Georgia already looks head and shoulders above the rest. After their win versus Portugal, Spain could very well be Georgia’s toughest test of the tournament with Spain having come second the last two years. Regardless, most would expect Georgia to have secured their place at the World Cup in four weeks time.
Of more interest to Spain was the victory for Russia against Romania in Week 1 of the Rugby Europe Championship 2021.
Кубок Киселёва — наш! 🔥 🏆 pic.twitter.com/AitSh4KmZM
— Russian Rugby / Федерация Регби России (@RugbyRussia) March 6, 2021
This win blows the race for the second automatic qualification to France 2023 wide open. For Romania, a tough game versus Portugal (who put in a great display versus Georgia) now becomes a huge game. Sadly for Russia, they only have one game now before the summer and this is against Georgia.
As a consequence, they won’t be able to build momentum from this result. However, in the long run, should Russia qualify for France that would be consecutive Rugby Union World Cups. Combined with a bid for the Rugby Union World Cup 2027 and Russian Rugby could be heading in exciting directions.
For Spain simply putting in a good performance against Georgia this weekend, before the vital game against Romania on the 20th March, will be all that is expected.
Missed Opportunity to ‘harvest’ more viewers in 6 Nations-free week
Rugby Europe’s decision to force everyone who wanted to watch last weekend’s games to register by email seems shortsighted. In this data-driven age, harvesting information will be important to Rugby Europe for future purposes, yes. However, in a week with no other international rugby, there was potential to reach more viewers with a Rugby Europe Championship match in a Six Nations bye week. How many people who would’ve watched saw they had to register and thought “No thanks”?
Perhaps Rugby Europe could have just left that registration until a week later. Lost opportunity.
Still, there is plenty to look forward to, with this weekends ESP vs GEO sure to bring in fully committed rugby fans.
División de Honor – still key games to be played
Back in Spain’s top flight, a truncated calendar means División de Honor had one round of fixtures this past weekend before a break now until March 28.
With the top six all guaranteed a playoff spot, the key games were to be found in the bottom half.
Arrancó la segunda fase de la @DHFerugby con doble derrota de los equipos de Valladolid 💥💥
▪️ Aparejadores 33-24 El Salvador
▪️ Ordizia 21-15 VRAC
▪️ Barcelona (aplazado) Alcobendas
▪️ Getxo 29-30 Independiente
▪️ Santboiana 26-32 Cisneros
▪️ Les Abelles 10-17 Ciencias pic.twitter.com/EJ59sqF5Vj
— Juan Rugby (@JuanCouselo) March 7, 2021
This week featured two huge results, with Santander’s Independiente winning a nail-biter vs Getxo and Ciencias defeating Les Abelles. In terms of keeping it interesting, you couldn’t ask for two better results. With just four games left, it is now a four-way fight to avoid the drop and once the international break is over, División de Honor will really heat up.
The key fixture for International fans of Spanish Rugby will undoubtedly be the Rugby Europe Championship 2021 match; ESP vs GEO.
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