Decisive week for Krasny Yar

Krasny Yar (Krasnoyarsk) is facing a decisive week in the qualifying competition of the Challenge Cup. Placed in the best pool of an unbalanced competition, the Russians beat German vice-champion Heidelberger RK on Saturday (21-50). They will have to beat Italian champion Rovigo with a bonus to secure their place in the knock-out stage.

The Russians had to face a lot of obstacles in Germany. After an humiliating defeat in Calvisano (60-19), Heidelberg called a much better team to take on Krasny Yar, including  current national team players Jorn Schröder, Raynor Parkinson, Clemens von Grumbkow, Harris Aounallah.

Krasny Yar didn’t expect to dominate the German improved front row of the HRK but finally outclassed the German scrum. Russian captain Vasily Artemiev hails the improvement. « We have been working hard on our set pieces this year, so I think now we see the results of that work paying off. We didn’t expect to have that advantage but once we saw the opportunity to earn those penalties we used it to our advantage« . At the end, Krasny Yar won every scrums excepting one.

Russians finally rolled in Heidelberg to score eight tries. « It was good to get a first away win in the competition first of all. We started off a little nervously but then settled in a little bit and played with better confidence in the second half. » But the Russians will have to remember the three tries against them. « Credit have to be given to the opponent as they used their opportunities very well when visited our 22 meter zone. They mauled very well and capitalized on the couple of our mistakes » added Vasily Artemiev.

For the first time of the year, Krasny Yar had to play on artificial pitch. But the national team players benefit from their trip in Hong Kong exclusively played in artificial surface. « The game was played at the artificial grass so we were preparing to play a fast and expansive style of rugby with the accent on the set piece. Many of our players have had experience playing on astro turf before for national teams but for a good few it was a rather new experience » explained Vasily Artemiev. « We arrived one week before the game to get used to it so the transition was quite smooth. Now we have to prepare to play on natural grass. »

So, natural grass is coming and the pitch won’t be dry in Rovigo. A bonus win would guarantee Krasny Yar spot for the next phase. A four-point win and a five-point win from Petrarca in Heidelberg would force to tie-break both teams with points difference. Vasily Artemiev doesn’t think about this for the moment. « Win is the priority first of all. We expect this to be the hardest fixture of all that we have played. Away in Italy against a good and motivated Italian side will be very hard. » He doesn’t want to look at the other games. « Well regardless of how the other games went we have to focus on one game at a time. » Rovigo all but lost any chance to go further as they trail Mogliano who’s facing lowest side Dendermonde. But Vasily Artemiev wants to be cautious. « We expect a strong and motivated performance at home, a big pack of forwards with a focus on set piece. They seem to like to scrum and to maul in line-out so we will have to match them physically to compete« .

Qualifying competition standings :

Pool A Pl W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Krasny Yar Rugby Club (Russia) 3 3 0 0 130 50 80 19 8 3 0 15
Petrarca Rugby (Italy) 3 3 0 0 94 38 56 13 5 2 0 14
Pataro Calvisano (Italy) 3 2 0 1 108 73 35 17 8 2 0 10
Dendermonde Rugby Club (Belgium) 2 0 0 2 15 86 -71 2 13 0 0 0
Pool B Pl W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Mogliano Rugby (Italy) 3 1 0 2 81 105 -24 12 15 3 0 7
Femi-CZ Rugby Rovigo Delta (Italy) 3 1 0 2 61 53 8 6 7 1 1 6
Club de Rugby El Salvador (Spain)
3 1 0 2 65 79 -14 10 11 1 0 5
Heidelberger RK (Germany)
2 0 0 2 40 110 -70 6 18 0 0 0

Competition system is a cross-pool competition. Each team only play teams from the opposite pool.

Round 4 fixtures : 

Rovigo – Krasny Yar 2.30 pm
Calvisano – Club de Rugby El Salvador 2.30 pm
Heidelberger RK – Petrarca 2.30 pm
Mogliano – Dendermonde 6 pm

Qualification scenarios :

Krasny Yar progress with :
– Win with offensive bonus (scoring 4 tries or more)
– Win and a win without bonus of Petrarca against HRK
– Win and a win with bonus of Petrarca against HRK with a 24 point margin or less
– Win with a better margin than Petrarca against HRK starting from a 25 point difference


Crédits : Tobias Keil