Jan 09, 2018
Timisoara Saracens continue on the road to the next season’s Challenge Cup
Timisoara Saracens will continue their European campaign this season after qualifying for the European Rugby Continental Shield play off stages by finishing top of their pool.
The aim of the European Rugby Continental Shield organized by EPCR with the participation of the Italian Rugby Federation and Rugby Europe is to give the opportunity to both emerging and established clubs from different territories of Europe to earn their spot in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
This season’s ER Continental Shield has seen Timisoara Saracens contesting so far against two clubs from Italy, one from Portugal and one from Georgia, on their way to hopefully qualify for the second time in their history to the ER Challenge Cup.
Timisoara started their campaign with a thrilling 29-25 win over Petrarca Rugby (Italy) at home. Winger William Helu and scrum-half Henry Seniloli crossed the whitewash for Sarries while fullback Luke Samoa added the penalty points and the conversions for the home team to secure the win.
For the second pool match Timisoara Saracens travelled to CDU Lisbon Rugby in Portugal in October, scoring seven tries as they secured a 45-10 victory.
The third pool match saw Calvisano Rugby return to Romania for the second time after the 2015/16 Play-Offs, when Timisoara Saracens won both legs against the Italians to secure their historical qualification to the 2016/17 Challenge Cup. It was going to be a tough encounter but despite the odds and the extreme weather, the game beginning on mild December rain and ending on heavy snow, Timisoara Saracens secured a 15-13 victory. The Italians lead at half time by 10-3, but Timisoara Saracens returned after the break to score two tries thanks to prop Ionel Badiu and wing Fonovai Tangimana.
Despite losing by their last pool match in Georgia 20-17, against RC Batumi Timisoara Saracens secured a losing bonus point and top place in the pool. According to the new format, the leaders of each pool will meet the runners-up of the opposite pool on a home and away basis, the winners to be decided on the aggregate scores of the two legs. The winning teams will then move up to the April/May play-offs where they will dispute against one another the spot available for the next season’s Challenge Cup.
Timisoara Saracens will face RC Batumi as follows:
- Round 5 – January 13th 2018, RC Batumi v Timisoara Saracens, Rugby Arena, Batumi, Georgia, KO 15:00
- Round 6 – January 20th 2018, Timisoara Saracens v RC Batumi, Cluj Arena, Cluj, Romania, KO 14:00