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Russian Bears

he Russian Bears have made the world cup finals! Their first game and best hope of a decent result is against the USA on 15th of September. The Churchill Cup pits some of the top countries’ B teams against the emerging nations’ best sides. Defending champions, England’s Saxons, beat Canada in the final. Russia met USA in a playoff, also at Worcester’s ground in June. After good performances against strong Canada and Italy B teams, hopes were high. In the prequel, the lead changed hands half a dozen times. 8-8 at half time, before four American tries meant a 32-25 win for the Eagles, despite scores by Ostroushko, Voytov and Artemyev, and kicks taken by Kushnarev. Disappointing, but too close to offer a prediction for the big one in New Zealand, except that neither will qualify from their group. The hosts are hot favourites, and play also-fancied S Africa and Australia soon. Watch this space.

Russia 19-24
Tries:   Tries:
Yagudin   Pratichetti, Toniolatti
Penalties:   Penalties:
Kushnarev 4   Tebaldi 3, Bocchino
Conversions:   Conversions:
Kushnarev   Tebaldi
Canada 34-18
Tries:   Tries:
Mensah-Coker, Trainor,
Monro, O’Toole, Evans
Penalties:   Penalties:
Pritchard   Kushnarev 2
Conversions:   Conversions:
Pritchard 3   Kushnarev

Canada 26 -12 Italy; USA 8 – 87 Saxons;
Tonga 14 – 41 Saxons; USA 13-44 Tonga

USA 32-25
Tries:   Tries:
Emerick, Suniula,
Clever, Enosa
  Ostroushko, Voytov,
Penalties:   Penalties:
Malifa 2   Kushnarev 2
Conversions:   Conversions:
Malifa 3   Kushnarev 2

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