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Romania’s impressive performance against Scotland

I’m quite excited. Our rugby union National team was only 5 minutes away from the biggest performance in a Rugby World Cup, namely a tie with one of the rugby union’s big forces, Scotland.

Scotland won several times the Six Nations tournament. During the World Cups, Scotland always qualified for quarter finals and in 1991 they even qualified for the last 4.

Unlike football, rugby union is a sport with very cemented hierarchies. Since the very first World Cup, which took place in 1987 in New Zealand, rugby’s big forces are always the same: from Europe – England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; from Southern Hemishpere – Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Every World Cup ¬†semifinal was played between teams chosen from these 8, with one, noticeable exception: Argentina in 2007.

These teams form the rugby’s perenial elite. There are also some contenders, equally cemented. These are Italy, Argentina, Fiji and Samoa. From time to time, these teams win a match against the worst teams from the big 8 and they even manage to play in a World Cup’s quarter finals. But in general they always lose. Only Argentina in 2007 managed to win matches against France, Ireland and Scotland and finally get the 3rd place. But this was rather an exception.

Then come “the others”. Teams that never – and in rugby never is really NEVER – win against the big 8, and rarely win against the secondary 4. Romania is such a team. In general we win one match per World Cup, against the weakest team. In 2007 we won against Portugal and in 2003 against Namibia.

That’s why today it would have been a massive shock if Romania managed to keep the Scots to a 24-24 tie. Unfortunately the Scots scored two tries in the last 5 minutes and won the match 34-24. But for us the display was excellent and full of hope: the hope to lose honorably against England and Argentina and win the final match against Georgia…