“This is something impossible.” Strela won the impressive final of the Russian Rugby Cup
Alexander Fedyakov September 17, 2023, 21:40 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
There were changes, deletions and a rejected attempt. And at the end, the ceremony of awarding the long-awaited cup to the winners.
After the final of the Russian Rugby Cup, which took place on Sunday, September 17, one thing can be said for sure: this men’s sport in our country continues to gain popularity at a dizzying pace. And after Sunday’s battle he will surely gain new followers.
First of all, it is worth noting that more than ten thousand spectators came to the Dynamo stadium named after Lev Yashin in Moscow. But there were no Muscovites on the field, not even the finalists of the previous Russian Championship. However, the sign of the final was intriguing: the trophy was shared between “Strela” from Kazan and “Krasny Yar” from Krasnoyarsk.
And these teams gave such a brilliant and memorable match that any other sports spectacle simply fades away against this background.
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The first half began with incessant attacks by Strela, and already in the seventh minute the Kazan team had its reward: Vitaly Zhivatov scored a try. It is true that Kobus Marais failed to add two conversion points to this, but closer to the end of the half he corrected himself by scoring a free kick almost from the center of the field (8-0).
Nothing worked for the Krasnoyarsk team for half an hour. And only after playing 15:13, the Siberians were able to score their first points: in the 38th minute, Robert Sutidze scored a try, and Jason Taumalolo scored from the stands (7:8).
After the break, the match seemed to be turned upside down: Krasny Yar increased the pressure and Sutidze scored on his second attempt (12:8). Taumalolo failed to send the ball into the goal from a difficult spot: he shot just to the left of the goal.
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Krasnoyarsk maintained the lead for several more minutes. He worked well in the corridors, won free kicks, but for some reason he did not shoot on goal from advantageous positions. Apparently, he tried to earn another shot, but it didn’t work.
Meanwhile, Strela has risen. After the German Davydov’s advance, Vitaly Zhivatov ran with the ball to the end zone and tipped the balance in favor of the Kazan team (13:12). Kobus Marais shot from the stands, but incidentally it hit the post for the second time in the game. At the same time, the Krasnoyarsk team also had a bar.
In the 59th minute, Egor Zykov once again delighted the Kazan fans: the ball in his hands ended up in the end zone. But the match referee decided to watch a video replay and, after much discussion, disallowed the attempt.
And towards the end, the teams looked at themselves again in the mirror of the first half. Now Krasny Yar was left in the minority and suffered. “Strela” bravely scored a try, which was already counted, and Marais added five more points: two from the conversion and three more from a free kick shortly after.
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“Krasny Yar” tried to come back until the last minute, but could not. “Strela” won the first national trophy in its history, breaking, by the way, an incredible series of Krasnoyarsk clubs. Since 2010, when the cup went to VVA-Podmoskovye, only Krasny Yar or Yenisei-STM received it. And now there is another strong team on this list. Competition is just an advantage.
“This is something impossible. I think we will have an unforgettable train ride home from Moscow. Happy for the team and the boys. Over the last three years we have achieved great victories and finally took the trophy. Yes, we had discipline problems, but for the final this is normal. In the second half we took control of the game and started celebrating about five minutes before the end. Now we have to repeat the same thing in the final of the Russian Championship,” JP Neal, coach of Strela Kazan, was happy for the success.