Black Sea Cup Enters the Final Phase

05-Sep-2010

Black Sea Cup 2010 entered its final phase: yesterday Mikheil Meskhi Stadium hosted 5th and 3rd place playoffs.
The first game was played by CSM Bucuresti and Locomotive (Tbilisi). Though the title contested was rather modest, both teams played an intense, spectacular game.
First half of the match was clearly dominated by the Georgian team, though the Romanians put up a strong opposition. Apparently the fact, that these teams had not had a single win during the pool stage, whipped up their desire to contest in this particular match. In the beginning, both sides were very tense, slipping a number of technical mistakes early in the first half. The Georgians were the first to overcome their anxiety and focus on the game: after the first 10 minutes Locomotive continued with free-flowing open play with bold attacks and minimally short rucks and mauls, which did not give the Romanians enough time to realign their defense; as a result, the first half ended 20-0 in favor of Locomotive. But having strained themselves to the limit during the first half of the match, the Georgians maintained their advantage more due to mental toughness rather than good performance. As if this was not enough, one of key Locomotive forwards David Gasviani got sin-binned, and the referee was forced to order uncontested scrums, because CSM Bucuresti had all the front-rows injured. This stripped Locomotive of its physical advantage and provided the Romanians with extra options of developing their game from scrums. To put it shorter, the teams turned tables in the second half. However, Locomotive stood its ground bravely and won the 5th place in Black Sea Cup due to a deserved victory – 23-19. Considering that this team was invited to Black Sea Cup at the last moment and did not have its best players available, one should not underestimate the importance of the result they achieved.

 

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