Apr 27, 2016
Timisoara Saracens Secure Historic Win To Qualify For 2016/17 Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup dream comes true for Timisoara Saracens after they won the two legged knock-out stage against Calvisano Rugby in the EPCR Qualification Competition.
The second encounter of Timisoara Saracens and Calvisano Rugby, this time on the Peroni Stadium in Italy, kicked off on Saturday, April 23rd, with a Sarries holding a 13 point advantage after their 36-23 first leg win in Timisoara.
The first minute of the match gave Timisoara Saracens the opportunity to pin their first 3 points on the board, as Calvisano Rugby committed their first offence in the ruck. From a centre-field position, 5 metres short of the 22 line, Valentin Calafeteanu made the most of the penalty chance to give Saracens an early lead.
It was a close start to the game with both team holding the ball in midfield, neither succeeding in breaking through the other’s defensive lines. However with just over ten minutes played a penalty against Timisoara gave the home side a chance to equalise and Calvisano’s Buscema easily kicked the penalty through the posts.
The first half was defined by the physicality of the forwards, with neither side managing to carry the ball over the try line, although Calvisano got close with half an hour played as De Jager sprinted away from the centre field only for Timisoara’s Stephen Shennan’s try saving tackle, inches away from the whitewash.
Right before the half time whistle Valentin Calafeteanu’s penalty kick helped Timisoara Saracens finish the first 40 minutes in the lead, the half finishing with the score at 3 – 6.
Calvisano Rugby entered the second half 16 points short of their Challenge Cup pools place and desperate to decrease the deficit. Shortly after the restart Matteo Minozzi cut loose on the left flank to score the first try of the match. Buscema easily converted from under the posts and Calvisano Rugby took the lead 10 - 6.
Yet Timisoara Saracens showed their determination to hold their advantage, replying with a score from lock Marian Drenceanu shortly afterwards. Vali Calafeteanu added the points from the conversion and the score board showed 10 – 13.
Timisoara Saracens increased the gap further just before the hour mark when centre Jack Umaga broke through the entire Calvisano defence line. Tackled only 5 metres short of the whitewash, he offloaded to skipper Stelian Burcea, who crossed to secure the next five points for Timisoara. Valentin Calafeteanu converted to give Timisoara a 10-20 lead.
Calvisano Rugby however continued to stay in the game and a try from Jim Tuivati reduced Timisoara’s lead to just three points with 20 minutes left to play. Timisoara hit back minutes later with a try of their own from Brian Sefanaia to stretch Timisoara’s lead once again with a final penalty from Valentin Calafeteanu securing a 17-28 victory and Challenge Cup qualification for the first time in Timisoara’s history.
Full time: Calvisano Rugby 17 – 28 Timisoara Saracens
Timisoara Saracens: 15. Gabriel Conache; 14. Fonovai Tangimana; 13. Jack Umaga; 12. Paula Kinikinilau; 11. Stephen Shennan; 10 Jody Rose; 9 Valentin Calafeteanu; 8. Stelian Burcea (C); 7. Dorin Lazăr; 6. Daniel Ianuș; 5. Marian Drenceanu; 4. Valentin Popârlan; 3. Alexandru Țăruș; 2. Andrei Rădoi; 1. Gigi Militaru.
Replacements: 16. Eugen Căpățînă; 17. Sione Taupaki; 18. Samuel Mariș; 19. Ionuț Mureșan; 20. Marian Gorcioaia; 21. Brian Sefanaia; 22. Tevita Manumua; 23. Viliami Moala.
Calvisano Rugby:15. Matteo Minozzi ; 14. Benjamin de Jager; 13. Alberto Chiesa; 12. Tommaso Castello (C); 11. Marco Susio; 10. Filippo Buscema; 9. Riccardo Raffaele; 8. Jim Tuivaiti; 7. Renato Giammarioli; 6. Alessio Zdrilich; 5. Luca Beccaris; 4. Augustin Cavalieri; 3. Marco Riccioni; 2. Gabriele Morelli; 1. Sami Panico.
Replacements: 16. Luhandre Luus; 17. Luca Scarsini; 18. Rudy Biancotti; 19. Davide Zanetti; 20. Nicola Belardo; 21. Michele Andreotti; 22. Giacomo de Santis; 23. Daniele Di Giulio.