This division 2 European Cup game has taken on an importance far beyond its divisional role, because it is the first time any rugby-playing country has been able to challenge the world record of consecutive wins held by Lithuania (18) which most pundits claimed could never be exceeded.

Rugby is so controlled, that it is extremely difficult for a single country to dominate the opposition, to the extent that long runs of winning games are impossible.

However, Cyprus was obviously not taken into the equation, because when they met Bulgaria, a nation they had destroyed on the field by accumulating 149 points against them over the last year, they thought they were about to equal the world record of 18 consecutive wins.

Until October, the only countries in the rugby world that could challenge the record were New Zealand, the world champions, and the might minnows, Cyprus.

The All Blacks dominate world rugby and Cyprus doesn’t.

But, the mighty All Blacks drew with Australia and fell off the tree, leaving the field clear for the Moufflons.

So could Cyprus continue their winning ways against the Bulgarians and equal the world record?

You bet your life they could – and did.

The Moufflons’ starting line only included one non-Cypriot in the form of the ever reliable but unconventional Marcus Holden.

There was a degree of understandable nervousness among the Moufflons and inevitably it resulted in a penalty within the first two minutes: 3-nil to Bulgaria.

Within the next minute Cyprus responded with an aborted attempt at goal by Holden that was swiftly followed by a movement from Binicos, the playmaker, which saw Rennos Iouannides cross for the first of his four tries.

Play continued with a number of penalties and some sloppy play that was soon rectified by the Moufflons taking complete charge of the game, their handling – which many six nations sides would envy – was excellent throughout, and scores tumbled in by Torgut and Loizides and many conversions by the ultra-reliable Holden, enabling the Cypriots to leave the field at half-time with an extra score, Fidias Efthymiou (3) taking the total to 46-3.

The play continued in the same vein with Holden grounding the ball behind the try line and some excellent work by the young giant Frixou, who is one to watch.

The Bulgarians caused many difficulties in the set pieces and the mauls, but lacked the nous to capitalise on it.

By now, the Moufflons were rampant, but a break in concentration allowed the Bulgarians to score from a bounce off the post, giving them an easy conversion with a score of 10 points that they never improved on.

More tries followed from Loizides (2), Binicos (1) . Holden converted 8 times. Final score: Cyprus 79-Bulgaria 10. My man of the match was the amazingly unselfish Gorgious George Agathacleous, whose distribution was first rate.

A magnificent crowd enjoyed a splendid afternoon of carnival rugby and, while believing they were supporting the national side in equalling the world record, were unaware that it has now been established that the previous claim of 18 consecutive wins was flawed because two of the games were friendly and therefore not eligible for consideration in world title claims.

This means that Cyprus could have claimed the title when they beat Slovenia.

They now can claim to hold the record for most consecutive wins: most consecutive winning games of margins of four tries or more; most consecutive international winning games by the same coach; and most consecutive wins with the same captain.

Cyprus Mail

One Response to Cyprus rugby team break record

  1. Nik says:

    Bravo Cyprus!!!! what n game

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