Friday 23 March 2018

European Watch: Enisei-STM prove mettle again

David Kacharava. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
David Kacharava. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

John Fallon

Any notions that Enisei-STM were content just to be participating in the European Challenge Cup for the first time were long ago dispelled but their 24-7 win over Newcastle Falcons last weekend showed exactly what the Russians can contribute.

They had already taken Brive's scalp 10-7 at the Yug Stadium in Sochi before they ruined Newcastle's hopes of getting a break from their dismal domestic season.

And the Russians did it in some style: having lost 55-7 at Kingston Park, they ran in three tries to win 24-7 last weekend.

Georgia centre David Kacharava, who played in all of his country's five matches at the World Cup, was the hero with a try in each half.

Winger Denis Simplikevich got the home side off to the best possible start with a try after just six minutes, with Kacharava getting his first try to lead 14-7 at the break.

They held Falcons scoreless during the second-half as Dean Richards' men bowed out of the competition and will now concentrate on their uphill battle to avoid relegation.

They are currently bottom of the Premiership, with just one win from nine outings.

Enisei-STM controlled the second half and wrapped up the win with a second try from Kacharava.

Out-half Iurii Kushnarev converted all three tries in addition to a penalty in the second half as they secured their second win of the campaign.

Irish Independent

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