A Jordan Meads penalty goal, as part of the Greece skipper’s 16 point tally, saw his side scrape home with a 28-26 win, at the Dinamo Stadium, Kharkiv. If the Greeks can now earn a point at home to Malta, in Athens, they will take the European Championship C – South crown, and play either Germany or Norway from the North group in a play-off, for a place in the next round of qualifying matches, due to be played next year.
In this qualifier, both sides scored four tries in front of an enthusiastic crowd, with the hosts coming back from 20-8 down at the break to leave the visitors hanging on for the final ten minutes.
“It was a very physical game, as we expected,” commented Greek head coach, Michail Chatziioannou. “The boys gave all their heart in both teams and my full respect goes to the Ukrainians who were really impressive. Thankfully, we won but we need to minimise our mistakes next time.”
Veteran home skipper, Skorbach summed up for his side: “We made a lot of mistakes in the first half and that just left us too much to do,” he said. “We had to chase the game and nearly managed it but that is something we need to work on. The try just before half time hurt us.”
Ukraine 26 : Bogdan Veprik, Sviatoslav Andrieichenko, Mikhail Troyan, Nikolay Shalaiev, Anatoliy Grankovskiy, Aleksandr Skorbach, Mikhail Pavliv, Vladimir Radchik, Dmitii Semerenko, Aleksandr Kozak, Andrei Shakura, Evgeni Trusov, Aleksandr Sherbina. Subs: Igor Yurkin, Ostap Grishchenko, Oleksandr Sivokoz, Dmitii Kaevich
Tries: Andrieichenko (26), Veprik (37), Sivokoz (44), Shalaiev (48), Skorbach (70). Goals: Skorbach 3/5
Greece 28 : Dimosthenis Kartsonakis, Michail Bosmos, Konstantinos Katsidonis, Alvaro Zota, Nikolaos Kourkakis, Nikolaos Bosmos, Jordan Meads, Stefanos Bastas, Ioannis Nake, Ioannis Rousoglou, Robert Tuliatu, Sebastian Sell, Terry Constantinou. Subs: Eugenios Malai, Panteleimon Tsattalios, Komninos Tsavaris, Konstantinos Koutras
Tries: Kartsonakis (2), Meads (13, 46), N. Bosmos (22), Constantinou (39). Goals: Meads 4/6
Half time: 8-20 : Referee: Matt Rossleigh : Man of the Match: Jordan Meads