The Latvian rugby-1 national team, widely represented by the players of Ķekava and Garkalne rugby clubs, has won the sixth place in the second stage of the European Trophy Division Championship held in Budapest over the weekend. It has already been reported that in the first stage, Latvian rugby players ranked 10th in the 12-team competition.
The Latvian rugby-7 national team for the tournament in Budapest included players of Kekava club “Butchers” Elmārs Šefanovskis, Aigars Šilo, Lauris Dūzelis, Toms Asejevs and Juris Iesalnieks, representatives of Garkalne “Livonia” Reinis Pepa (captain), Miķelis Jurēvičs, Valērijs and Janeks Taškāns, as well as Matīss Zicāns from the rugby club “Eži” and Dāvis Bajārs from Valmiera “Phoenix”.
The Latvian national team started the subgroup tournament with a game against Belgium and a loss of 5:15 – the only landing was made by Vigo Valdavs, according to the Latvian Rugby Federation. In the next game, the Israeli rugby players had to capitulate 0:43, but in the last match Hungary was convincingly defeated 40:12. Reinis Pepa landed the ball twice, Toms Asejevs, Elmārs Šefanovskis, Janeks Taškāns and Juris Iesalnieks twice, four sales shots were accurately executed by Vigo Valdavs and one by Miķelis Jurēvičs.
This victory allowed the Latvian national team to rank third in their group and qualify for the quarterfinals as the second best team among third place winners.
In the first round of the elimination tournament, on Sunday, the superiority of the previously won Czech rugby-7 national team had to be acknowledged – 0:26. However, in the game for the 5-8th place in a fierce battle, the Israeli team managed to revenge at 14:12. In the match for the fifth place, the Latvians were confronted by the Romanian rugbyists, who turned out to be superior at 19:12 – thus the sixth place for Latvia.
In the first stage, which took place in Croatia, the Latvian national team took the tenth place. The three worst teams in the sum of two stages will leave the trophy division, but the two best national teams will go to the strongest “Championship” division.