Nearly 18 hours after lightning forced Romania’s match with Uruguay at the World Rugby Nations Cup 2016 to be suspended, the match was played to a finish on Tuesday with the Oaks running out convincing 40-0 winners at the stadionul National Arcul de Triumf.
Romania had been leading 18-0, courtesy of tries by Otar Turashvili and Stephen Shennan, both converted by Florin Vlaicu who also added a penalty, when referee Damian Schneider took players off the field for the second time with 36 minutes on the clock on Monday.
The match was due to resume from that point at 15:00 local time on Tuesday and heavy showers returned to the skies over Bucharest as the teams began their warm-up, but there were no flashes of lightning this time and the by the time the action resumed the dark clouds had given way to sunshine.
Romania picked up where they left off against fellow RWC 2015 participants Uruguay, their forwards pounding relentlessly against the gallant Los Teros with centre Vlaicu kicking a penalty to increase his side’s advantage to 20-0 at half-time.
The second half proved a tussle between the never-say-die Uruguayans who were consigned to defending heroically for the duration against the powerful Romanian forwards who kept on pounding away at their try-line.
It did, though, take Romania 22 minutes to cross for their third try of the match, through flanker Dorin Lazar, the younger brother of the Oaks’ 51-test veteran Mihaita, and that was a credit to the organisation of Uruguay’s defence and their indomitable spirit.
Romania’s tight five, coached by former captain Marius Tincu, were simply imperious and it was hooker Turashvili grabbed his second try with 10 minutes remaining to secure the bonus point for the hosts. There was still time for replacement back Sabin Stratila to cross for the Oaks’ fifth try.
The Nations Cup concludes on Saturday with the final round of matches when Romania and Argentina XV, who top their respective pools, meet in the last match with the title at stake. Uruguay and Spain, two sides looking for their first win, will open play at 16:00 before Namibia tackle Emerging Italy.
Romania coach Lynn Howells and his Uruguayan counterpart Esteban Meneses were both happy with the challenges their sides faced in the drawn out match.
"It was a good match which showed that we are making progress," said Howells. "I am pleased we maintained our shape after such a break, and the Uruguay match has showed that we are capable of handling stronger opposition, which is probably what we need at this moment in time."
Meneses added: "Without doubt we have to admit Romania were the better team. But as far as we are concerned, the most important aspect was the opportunity to take part in a high intensity, challenging game that stretched us a lot. This is the way to make progress."
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