Cyprus Mail

Cyprus Mouflons beaten by last-gasp Israel

cyprus v israel 121122 (1)
The Cyprus rugby team produced a great comeback, but fell to a one-point defeat (Photo: Stephen Nicolaou)

The Cyprus national rugby team suffered a narrow 22-21 defeat to Israel in a very competitive and physical game over the weekend.

The Rugby Europe Conference 1 South division encounter was due to take place at a new venue known as the Maroni Community stadium located close to Zygi, before a late change saw it moved to the Stelios Kyriakides stadium in Paphos.

In the first half Israel proved to be the stronger side, forcing Cyprus to defend. The continuous pressure paid off for the visitors who scored three times, converting once.

Israel finished the half leading 17-0.

This was very much a game of two halves with the Mouflons starting the second half strong, fighting for every ball and applying pressure on Israel. This paid off with a try coming very soon after the interval.

As the half wore on, Cyprus continued to dominate and opened up a 21-17 advantage.

With minutes to spare though, Israel threw everything they had at the Mouflons, who stood strong until the dying seconds, despite being a man down following the referee’s decision to issue a red card.

With the final action of the game, Israel went over the line to win by just one point.

Captain Billy Cosma stated post-match: “Our boys showed real character coming back at Israel and taking the lead after the disappointing first half where we played well but didn’t get those valuable points on the board.

“We’re absolutely gutted to have lost the match on the final play. There are so many positives to take that we’ll apply at our next game when we face Malta away (on March 25).”

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