Announced as a derby game, following CSM Bucharest signing four former Timisoara Saracens players, the Saturday match kicked off with Timisoara Saracens first penalized mistake for not releasing the tackled player, allowing CSM Bucharest’s Valentin Calafeteanu to add the first 3 points into the guest’s accounts in min. 2.
Timisoara Saracens retaliated by succeeding a maul try 4 minutes later, when CSM Bucharest got penalized for deliberately falling over the ball in ruck, allowing Timisoara’s captain Valentin Poparlan to choose the lineout and hooker Eugen Capatina, to score, with the help of his colleagues, the first 5 points for Timisoara. Jack Umaga converted and Timisoara Saracens took the lead by 7 to 3.
Min. 13 brought another maul try opportunity for the guests, this time fructified by Marian Drenceanu, as Timisoara Saracens’ captain chose the lineout for the second time, following the guests’ being penalized for failing to correctly oppose the guests’ powerful scrum. Jack Umaga converted again and Timisoara Saracens led by 14 – 3.
6 minutes later, CSM Bucharest managed a turnover less than 2 metres far from Timisoara’s try line and opened up to the defenseless left side of the attacking team and Daniel Faasen easily scored the first try for the guests. Vali Calafeteanu converted to reduce the gap at 14 – 10.
For the next 13 minutes, CSM Bucharest unsuccessfully attempted to take over the lead, while Timisoara stood their ground and mistakes from the guests did not cease to appear. A forward pass in min 31 allowed Timisoara Saracens to prove once more their forwards’ superiority, initiating from a mid-field scrum a race along the right side line of the pitch, featuring the hosts’ fullback Stefano Hunt, the freshly entered Marius Simionescu and scrum half Henry Seniloli, who did not miss his chance of carrying the ball over the whitewash. Although unconverted, the try saw Timisoara Saracens raising the gap at 19 – 10 in min. 32.
Before half time Timisoara Saracens showcased another group build up to try, as they charged towards the try line from a lineout some 15 metres away from CSM Bucharest’s 22 line. Shifting the ball from one side to the other, while constantly pushing forward and breaking the guests’ defence, Timisoara Saracens scored their bonus point try through No. 8 Mike Stewart, after seven speedy and intense game phases. Jack Umaga’s conversion allowed Timisoara Saracens to take their half time break with a fair lead of 26 points to 10.
The first 15 min. of the second half were a display of the forwards’ packs, with lineouts and scrums mostly proving the hosts’ superiority. Timisoara Saracens broke through in min. 57 with Henry Seniloli’s second try finishing a mid field race initiated by Jack Umaga who sent Lötter Pretorius and Mike Stewart rushing unstoppable along the pitch’s left side. Jack Umaga flawlessly converted and the score board showed 33 – 10 in favour of the hosts.
Only three minutes later, Timisoara Saracens rushed off to their 6th try of the match following a won lineout close to CSM’s 22 line. Timisoara completely rattled CSM’ defence by switching passes from right to left field while pushing forward until Jack Umaga received one last pass from Lötter Pretorius to carry the ball over the whitewash. He missed the conversion, but Timisoara Saracens were already ahead by 38 to 10.
The hosts did not stop their charge and CSM Bucharest were left breathless and defenseless as Stefano Hunt found the wide gap on the left side of the pitch and after a 10 metres run, launched Lötter Pretorius who scored the guests’ 7th try. Man Of The Match, Jack Umaga converted and the score board showed 45 – 10 for Timisoara Saracens.
In minute 67 Timisoara Saracens were left with 14 players in the clash, following a yellow card showed to their captain as a result of tackling the man in the air, but only 9 minutes later CSM Bucharest’s fly half Daniel Faasen found a niche in the hosts’ defence to score the last try of the match.
Converting his own try, Faasen added up 17 points to CSM Bucharest’s account, but it was not at all enough to prevent Timisoara Saracens securing their bonus point first win within the second half of this SuperLiga season.
Full time: Timisoara Saracens 45 – 17 CSM Bucharest
Timisoara Saracens line up:
15. Stefano Hunt; 14. Vladut Zaharia; 13. Brian Sefanaia; 12 Florin Popa; 11. Fonovai Tangimana; 10. Jack Umaga; 9. Henry Seniloli; 1. Edmund Aholelei; 2. Eugen Capatina; 3. Horatiu Pungea; 4. Valentin Poparlan (C); 5. Marian Drenceanu; 6. James Doyle; 7. Dorin Lazar; 8. Michael Stewart.
Replacements: 16. Andrei Radoi; 17. Sione Halalilo; 18. Samuel Maris; 19. Ionut Muresan; 20. Lötter Pretorius; 21. Marius Simionescu; 22. Marian Gorcioaia; 23. Randall Morrison