The Autumn International Series is upon us. There are many, many internationals being played over the next couple months. This week we see three internationals kick things off with The Colonial Cup, Euro Shield and Australia v PNG. Also coming up are the European Cup and also European Tri-Nations tournaments with Australia taking on new Zealand in Townsville as well.
The final game of the 2012 slew of matches in the 2012-13 European Shield will take place on Saturday in Naro-Fominsk, just outside Moscow.
Table-toppers Russia, who out-lasted their closest rivals Italy two weeks ago in a tight, tough contest, play Serbia. Russia has won all three previous encounters, but the Serbs are closing the gap: the score was 44-6 in 2006, then 30-4 in 2008, whilea late Petr Botnarash try in last year’s world cup qualifier secured the Bears’ 36-28 win.
“We see the game in Naro-Fominsk as another opportunity to get over the Russians,” said Serbian head coach Marko Jankovic. “We always seem to play interesting matches against them. The Russian national team and their results are highly respected…but what is certain is that we will try our hardest to upset them at the halfway mark of the competition.”
The Serbs will be hardened by the recent conclusion of their Origin series, won 2-1 by Serbia Country over Belgrade. Radnički Nova Pazova’s Nemanja Božić is the only debutant, while veteran hooker Zoran Pesic is set to extend his cap record of 27 consecutive matches. “The atmosphere in the team is very good,” continued Jankovic. “There are no injuries, everyone is highly motivated and believes we can perform at our best in front of a big crowd.”
His counterpart, the highly respected Eduard Ososkov, has the luxury of making only one change to his 20-man squad, with the industrious Andrey Sevostianov, who travelled to Germany in May, replacing flanker Rustam Bulanov. Classy Sasha Lysokon will again lead the side which has played expansively and ruggedly in both its previous games.
“We understand that the upcoming game will be quite a bit different compared to the Italy match,” said the player-coach. “The Serbian team is stocked with powerful forwards so it promises to be a tough game full of massive contact. We also shouldn’t forget that the coaching staff and the Serbian federation are very ambitious. It is going to be a breathtaking game.”
The return fixtures for 2013 will be announced in due course.
RUSSIA 20-MAN SQUAD
Sergey Beliavskiy, Alexey Mikhaylov, Alexandr Samuylov, Victor Tolstov, Sergey Zuev (MGPU), Grigoryan Artem (RBC Red Arrow), Dmitriy Bratko, Igor Chuprin, Vadim Fedchuk, Alexey Volkov (Storm), Petr Botnarash, Sergey Gaponov, Anatoly Grigorev, Sergey Konstantinov, Aleksandr Lysokon (c), Alexey Nikolaev, Eduard Ososkov, Andrey Sevostianov, Maksim Suchkov, Vladimir Vlasyuk (Vereya Bears)
SERBIA 20-MAN SQUAD
Mirko Božović, Danilo Delić, Dejan Lukenić, Stefan Nedeljković, Stevan Stevanović, Ivan Šušnjara, Vuk Tvrdišić, Dalibor Vukanović (c) (Dorćol), Ilija Radan (Hemel Hempstead RLFC), Lazar Živković (Niš), Nemanja Božić, Pero Madžarević (Radnički Nova Pazova), Miloš Ćalić, Vladislav Dedić, Vojislav Dedić, Vladica Nikolić, Zoran Pešić, Miloš Zogović (Red Star Belgrade)
In the second game of the series its comes down to a tight one. The Canadians need to win by 5 points or more to win their first Colonial Cup title. The USA is trying to retain it and maintain their title as the number one team in the Americas. The match is being played at Westport in Connecticut. with events kicking off at 1pm and the main game at 4 pm. The Canadians have announced their 18 man squad with the USA tomahawks having released a 30 man squad that is yet to be reduced. Pre game entertainment will include two Rugby Union games, cheeleaders and also Ju Jitzu demonstrations.
Robin Legault (Toronto City Saints), Tony Felix (Toronto Centurions), Geoff Bylund (Toronto City Saints), Chris Chalmers (Surrey Beavers), Lorenzo DeSantis (Hamilton Hammers), Chris Diamond (Hamilton Hammers), John Felix (Toronto Centurions), Cam Grace (Ottawa Rhinos), Jamie Lester (Toronto City Saints), Matt Wyles (Toronto Centurions), Sam Nady (Toronto City Saints), Nick Hails (Toronto City Saints), Graham Stevens (Ottawa Rhinos), Louis Robinson (London Skolars), Christian Miller (Hamilton Hammers), Matt Pettie (Hamilton Hammers), Henry Miers (Toronto Centurions)
Fitzjames Adams (NY Knights), Ryan Sadano (BC Sharks), Loto Tagaloa (Hawaii Islanders), Mike Garvey (Ipswich Jets – PA Bulls), Anthony Sunia (Hawaii), Vai Notoa (Hawaii Islanders), Dusten Umeda (CT Wildcats), Luke Collins (PA Bulls), Todd Fisher (NY Knights), Justin Ripley (NY Knights), Matt Walsh (CT Wildcats), Zac Padgett (BC Sharks), Bryan Confer (PA Bulls), CJ Cortalano (NY Knights), Curtis Cunz (CT Wildcats), Salesi Tonamoa (CT Wildcats), Dennis Schmieler (CT Wildcats), Sean Taylor (NY Knights), Kali Tavake (Utah Avalanche), Josh Rice (Ipswich Jets – Hawaii Islanders), Andrew Kneisly (PA Bulls), Kelly McGill (Hawaii Islanders), Josh Latu (Utah Avalanche), Adam Wendland (Northern Raiders), Louis Tulio (PA Bulls), Mike Schachter (CT Wildcats), Luke Hume (NY Knights), Alejandro Valentin (PA Bulls), Aaron Thompson (Utah Avalanche)
Colonial Cup Game 2
USA v Canada
Staples HS Football Stadium
70 North Ave Westport CT 06880
Saturday 9/22 at 4pm
Gates open at 1pm
Pre games featuring local rugby
Kids under 18yo FREE
12:00pm – Gates open
1:00pm – A Game; Connecticut Yankees RFC v Rockaway RFC, NY
2:30pm – B Game; Connecticut Yankees RFC v Rockaway RFC, NY
3:30pm – Ju Jitzu Demonstration and Cheer Leaders from BK Athletics Crossfit Performance
3:50pm – Teams announced
3:55pm – National Anthems
4:00pm – Kickoff
5:30pm – Post Game Presentations on Stadium
6:00pm – Post Game Party at the East Side Cafe in Norwalk, CT. Join both teams, fans, and families right after the game thanks to Miller Lite and Star Distributors!
Also this weekend is the annual match between the PNG Kumuls and the Prime Ministers XIII. As always it is sure to be a fiery match. The Kumuls always play it tough, they certainly make up for the passion and the locals up there love their Rugby League. The Australian PMXIII team is made up of players that are not involved in the last two rounds of the play off series, that is from 12 of the 16 teams in the NRL. Adrian Lam is back coaching the national team and has selected a squad of 18 to face the Aussies. Its predominantly a local team with only Marsen Marabe based overseas. The Australian team has not been announced as of yet.
PNG PM’s XIII team
Josiah Abavu (Port Moresby Vipers), Mathew Puke (Mendi Muruks), Richard Kambo (Port Moresby Vipers), Jason Tali (Mt Hagen Eagles), Albert Patak (Rabaul Guria), Dion Aiye (Rabaul Guria), Israel Eliab (Port Moresby Vipers), Rodney Pora (Rabaul Guria), Charlie Wabo (Mendi Muruks), Gonzela Urakuse (Goroka Lahanis), David Loko (Enga Mioks), Mark Mexico (Lae Tigers), Glen Nami (Goroka Lahanis), Wesley Mohukule (Goroka Lahanis), Larsen Marabe (NSW), Enoch Maki (Port Moresby Vipers), Wartovo Puara Jr (Rabaul Guria) ,Essau Siune (Simbu Lions), Shadow players: Roy Kela (Mendi Muruks), Thompson Teteh (Goroka Lahanis)
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