Game Preview – Scotland vs Romania

Rugby Park, Invercargill, Saturday 10th Sep 1pm
Head-to-head: Played 12, Scotland 10, Romania 2
Last meeting: Scotland 42 beat Romania 0 in Edinburgh (Pool stage 2007)
Last meeting at a World Cup: Scotland 42 beat Romania 0 in Edinburgh (Pool stage 2007)

Team news: Romania have been rocked by the late withdraw from the squad of Catalin Fercu. A fear of flying prevented the winger from making the flight to New Zealand. Scotland made eight changes to side that beat Italy 23-12 in their last warm-up game before the World Cup. Chris Paterson has been named at fullback. He will earn his 106th cap for Scotland, and become its first player to play in four World Cup’s.

Form: Scotland come into the World Cup in decent form, with warm-up wins over Ireland and Italy in August. The win over Ireland will give Scotland some confidence after a disappointing RBS Six Nations, where they finished fifth. Romania come into this match after a strong victory 41-16 victory over the Ukraine in the European Nations Cup. They will hope to carry the momentum gained with that victory into this match.

Prediction: Scotland really do have too much class all over the park for the Romanians. It could be tight in the first exchanges, but expect the Scots to run in a few tries when the Tall Oaks start to tire.
Scotland by 45

Scotland: 15.Chris Paterson, 14.Max Evans, 13.Joe Ansbro, 12.Sean Lamont, 11.Simon Danielli, 10.Ruaridh Jackson, 9.Mike Blair, 8.Kelly Brown, 7.John Barcley, 6.Kelly Brown, Alastair Kellock (capt), 4.Richie Gray, 3.Geoff Gray, 2.Ross Ford, 1.Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16.Scott Lawson, 17.Alasdair Dickinson, 18.Nathan Hines, 19.Ross Rennie, 20.Chris Cusiter, 21.Dan Parks, 22.Rory Lamont.

Romania: 15.Iulian Dumitras, 14.Stefan Ciuntu, 13.Csaba Gal, 12.Ionut Dimofte, 11.Madalin Lemnaru, 10.Marin Dumbrava, 9.Lucian Sirbu; 8.Daniel Carpo, 7.Ovidiu Tonita, 6.Mihai Macovei, 5.Cristian Petre, 4.Valentin Ursache, 3.Paulica Ion, 2.Marius Tincu (capt), 1.Mihaita Lazar.
Replacements: 16.Bogdan Zebega Suman, 17.Silvui Florea, 18.Valentin Poparlan, 19.Stelian Burcea, 20.Florin Surugiu, 21.Ionel Cazan, 22.Florin Vlaicu.

By Alex Barlow-Smith