Timisoara Saracens will face Enisei STM in the 2018/19 Continental Shield Play-Off




The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) have finalized and have announced the details of the 2018/19 Continental Shield play-off rounds



Organised by the EPCR, in conjunction with the Italian Rugby Federation and Rugby Europe, the Continental Shield offers the opportunity of qualifying for the European Rugby Challenge Cup, to European teams from countries affiliated to Rugby Europe, as well as to Italian teams competing in the Eccellenza championship. Each season, the teams competing within the Continental Shield clash against each other in the spring play-offs for the two available spots guaranteed by the organizers for the following season of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.


This year, the participants in the play-off rounds are the teams which have participated in the pool stage of the current ER Challenge Cup season (Enisei STM and Timisoara Saracens) and the winners of the Continental Shield 2018/19 pool stages (Kawasaki Robot Calvisano and Femi CZ Rugby Rovigo Delta). The play-off rounds are scheduled on the same day as the Heineken Cup and the Challenge Cup quarter finals and semifinals, respectively on March 30th and April 20th 2019.


Here is the schedule of the play-off fixtures which Timișoara Saracens will play against the winners of previous Continental Shield editions, Enisei STM from Russia:


  • March 30th 2019 – Timișoara Saracens v Enisei STM, kick-off time h15:00, Dan Păltinișanu Stadium, Timișoara, România
  • April 20th 2019 – Enisei STM v Timișoara Saracens, kick-off h15:00 (local time) / h10:00 (Romania time), Avangard Stadium, Krasnoyarsk, Russia


Just like in the previous seasons, the winning team will be the one that registers the highest overall points difference and it will be guaranteed one of the two available spots for the 2019/20 European Rugby Challenge Cup.

If, after the final wistle of the second play-off match, the overall points difference of both teams is equal, then extra time will be played, consisting of two periods (each of ten minutes), the winner being the team which scores the highest overall number of points at the end of the extra time. If after extra time the points difference is still equal, the winner will be the team that scored the highest overall number of tries (in both matches, plus the extra time). If the overall number of tries is equal, then the referee will conduct a place kick competition to detemine the winner of the play-off.


During the three consecutive seasons in which Timișoara Saracens competed in the Continental Shield, they took on in play-off fixtures Pataro Calvisano Rugby Italy (currently Kawasaki Robot Calvisano), Krasny Yar Russia and Heidelberger RK Germany. The play-off against the Italian team was won by Timișoara Saracens in the spring of 2016, with the overall score of 64 – 40, ensuring the historic qualification of the Romanian side in the 2017/18 European Rugby Challenge Cup, while the play-offs against Krasny Yar and Heidelberger RK were lost, with the overall scores of 39 – 35 (in favour of the Russian side) and 47 – 36 (in favour of the German side). The 2018/19 place in the ER Challenge Cup pool stage was granted to Timișoara Saracens after Heielberger RK’s disqualification from the competition.


„I am very excited and looking forward to playing Enisei for another opportunity to be involved in the 2019/20 ER Challenge Cup season. It’ll be the first opportunity to play Enisei, so it’s going to be a big challenge and a big ask from everyone involved, to make sure we are as well prepared as we are excited. Enisei is a strong and tough team to beat, but I am confident and have a lot of belief in my players that we can take our performance to the next level, especially after a good learning experience, playing some very tough games in the pool stage of this season’s ER Challenge Cup. I am very motivated to start our preparation for these play-off matches and I am sure the boys are too. But for now, we just have to take it day by day, week by week, so that we are all fit and ready to play some good rugby leading to the play-offs.” (Sosene Anesi – Head Coach)

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