Massive Faka’up

Episode 4 in the long-running and very confusing telenovela that is the 2018 Rugby Europe Championship. If the European qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup are series one of Twin Peaks, then we are now at the bit where we see Leland seeing Bob in the mirror. (I think.)*

If you don’t know what’s been going on up to this point, and you have a bit of time, I implore you to read my posts view episodes 1, 2 and 3 before continuing; otherwise what follows will mean very little.

Ready to proceed? Rather you than me…. Continue reading

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Those were the days

The British football monthly When Saturday Comes runs a feature in the back, where they review a season from times gone by and track what has happened since then to selected teams and individuals. I thought it would be fun to do that for the Romanian league. Let’s see if I’m right. Cast your mind back to a time when the iPhone was brand new, Avril Lavigne was a superstar, and the USA had its stupidest ever president… up to that point… Continue reading

Clash of the… clash of the…

“Coming up this week: the giants of Charlton play host to the titans of Ipswich… making them both seem normal size.” …as David Mitchell says so portentously in this marvellous clip.

This Saturday – Rapid v Steaua – is a clash between giants and titans, two of the biggest clubs in the country facing off in (of all places) the fourth division, almost the bottom level of the senior football pyramid. The occasion permits us to pretend. Continue reading

Grounds for complaint

Saturday 14th January 2017 should have been a big day for Romanian club rugby. Stade Francais, champions of France in 2015, were coming to Timișoara to play a European Challenge Cup game. The hosts, Timișoara Saracens, are the best (and richest) team in the Romanian game: champions three out of the last four years. The 36-man squad for the national team, announced last week for the forthcoming Rugby Europe Championship fixtures, includes no fewer than sixteen Timișoara Saracens players.

Having qualified for the group stage of the competition by beating Calvisano home and away, the Romanian side struggled badly against the far superior opposition presented by Harlequins, Edinburgh and Stade (away). French teams have often been known for not travelling well and for not taking certain competitions seriously, and in temperatures well below zero on a difficult surface, after several days of snow, a tight-knit, powerful Romanian pack might be expected to cause problems for a second-string Parisian team. This was to be a golden opportunity for the home side to get some points on the board.

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Fotbalnomics part 1

The football business in Romania

In my endless quest to find out what the hell is going on in Romanian football, I’ve been researching the financial side of things – which, let’s face it, is probably the dominant facet of the game. Certainly the actual ball-kicking element is not much to shout about as far as I can see. Anyway, to that end, besides bringing you a little piece about Liga 1 side Pandurii Targu Jiu, this week I have diligently skim-read two recent reports.

gheorghe-hagi
Picture neatly combining money and Romanian football. Source: colnect.net

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