A return to international rugby by our mighty Mouflons ended in a 29-8 defeat to Croatia over the weekend at the Stelios Kyriakides Stadium in Paphos.
The game was attended by an impressive crowd of fans, plus special gues Andreas Michaelides, President of KOA (Cyprus Sports Organisation). Michaelides thoroughly enjoyed his first live rugby match and proudly wore the Cyprus Rugby shirt that was presented to him at half time by Cyprus Rugby Federation President Constantinos Constantinides.
It was a closely fought game, with Cyprus having a great deal of the possession, however it wasn’t to be, with the superiority of the Croatian team prevailing.
The game started brightly with Cyprus winning a penalty kick and Marcus Holden successfully converting to take them into an early 3-0 lead. However, it was Croatia who turned the tide, taking the score to 3-5 in their favour following a try.
Cyprus then had an opportunity on attack to retake the lead, however the final pass went astray.
The game remained evenly balanced with both sides giving little away until the 23rd minute when Croatia scored their second try, successfully converting to extend their lead to 3-12.
Cyprus held their own forcing the Croatian team back but not managing to score despite the pressure.
They were then made to pay by Croatia who scored their third try just before the break, taking the score line to Cyprus 3 Croatia 19 at half time.
Cyprus reorganised at the break and the early pressure was again telling. Dominic Georgiou broke through the middle to score a try, closing the gap to 8-19. The crowd roared them on, but that was the last time they would score in the game.
It was Croatia who held their nerve and made Cyprus pay for their mistakes. Croatia scoring on 59 and 75 minutes, taking the final score to Cyprus 8 Croatia 29.
This was Croatia’s second game following their first outing a week earlier with a win against Slovenia.
The mighty Mouflons take a lot of positives from the game, having lost the same fixture two seasons ago in Paphos. Everyone involved at the Cyprus Rugby Federation would like to thank all the fans who showed their support by attending the match and watching the live stream around the world.
The next international will be at home on March 26, 2022, when Cyprus will host Slovenia.
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