Cyprus Mail

Moufflons in confident mood ahead of Slovakia clash

Cyprus thrashed Austria 42-5 in their first game of the season a fortnight ago in Paphos

The Cyprus rugby team has travelled to Bratislava for their game on Saturday against Slovakia.

Moufflons coach Andrew Binicos said he expects a win will set the team on the path to leading Rugby Europe Conference Division 2 South.

The Slovaks started playing rugby in the capital in 1927, but the experience has previously deserted them as they have lost heavily to the Moufflons when previously matched in the European Nations Leagues.

Following their big win over Austria (42-5) two weeks ago in their first home game of the season at the Paphiacos Stadium, Binicos – considered one of the best players to wear the Cyprus shirt – could be excused for being quietly confident of winning the division.

The Cypriots have beaten group rivals Slovenia, now topping the table, in Paphos in 2012, in a European Nations Cup game 49–8 and again in Ljubljana in November 2013 34-3.

The recent Austria game attracted a number of foreign visitors, who expressed surprise and delight that they were able to watch rugby on a sunny day in the EU City of Culture.

The former players among them were complimentary about the Moufflon defence, which is the most improved feature of their game.
Pundits claim the Cypriot defence has improved, but the team must strengthen at the set pieces: scrums and lines, before they can be confident of gaining promotion.

The sporting press were very impressed with young captain Luke Frixos and playmaker Marcus Holden, who seems to improve with age.
The next home game will be on March 24, 2018 against Slovenia at the Paphiacos Stadium.

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