Ukraine take a 46-6 lead into the second leg of their European Championship C decider with Czech Republic tomorrow (Saturday) as the two nations clash at the Vrchlabi Rugby Stadium (kick off 4pm).
The hosts have had two games in preparation, defeating Norway (when unconverted tries from Petr Šedina, Petr Fanda and Jan Howard gave them a narrow 12-6 win in Krupka), and the Canadian Military Wolverines (made up of personnel from bases in Poland).
Czech Republic national team manager, Tomas Ripcsik, commented: “This home game against a very strong Ukraine is the peak of our 2016 season. We’ve had good preparation with coach Ladislav Cintler giving an opportunity to some young guns and bringing in a lot of new ideas.
“The Czech team is mix of hungry youngsters and experiences old heads, and we believe that we can perform better then in our game against them in June in Riven.”
The bulk of the visitors come from Legion XIII, who picked up their eighth Ukrainian domestic title recently and Artur Martyrosyan, Ukraine Federation of Rugby League, president said: “This game is very important for us – we want to come back into European Championship B. For this match we have selected our best proven players along with our most promising youngers, who are keen and eager.”
Czech Republic 20-man squad:
Jaroslav Bžoch, Petr Franta (Dragons Krupka), Jiří Novák, Ondřej Preininger, Patrik Koliska, Tomáš Řičica (Chrudim Rabbitohs), Pavel Mikeska, Petr Šedina (Mikulov Roosters), Jan Klement, Lukáš Pinc, Milan Pešout, Vladimír Pleskač (Orli Havlíčkův Brod), Jan Heininger, Karel Hojda, Lukáš Pospěch, Pavel Pavlík, Tomáš Adamec (Slavia Hradec Králové), František Petr, Jakub Hudrlík, Jan Hovard (Vrchlabí Mad Squrrels)
Ukraine 18-man squad:
Shakura Andrii (Kyiv), Коval Valentin (Korzo), Andrieichenko Sviatoslav, Bashevskyi Andrii, Hrankovskyi Anatolii, Kozak Oleksandr, Scorbach Oleksandr, Semerenko Dmytro. Shcherbyna Oleksandr, Syvokoz Oleksandr, Troian Mykhailo, Trusov Yevhenii, Vepryk Bogdan (Legion XIII), Shalaiev Mykola (Girnyk), Hryshchenko Ostap (Sokil), Khrusiuk Andrii, Kyrylchuk Volodymyr, Poliuhovych Vadim (Veres)