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Hungary bounce back to Euro Division A

Relegated from Division A in 2013, Hungary dominated the Division B tournament in Vilnius last weekend to bounce straight back, alongside hosts Lithuania.

In good conditions at the Rugby Academy Club in Vilnius, teams competed in what was an intensive single day programme and provided the spectators with at times some entertaining rugby.

Local spectators had plenty to cheer for as Lithuania, previously one of the also-rans of European Sevens made the most of their home-field advantage to win Pool A, kicking off a dreadful day for the Austrians with a win in the opening game before sneaking past Slovakia as well to win a pool where they started as the third-ranked team.  

Fellow Baltic challengers Latvia also won Pool D, but only thanks to a close 10-7 win over fancied Malta in the group decider.

Pools B and C, on the other hand, were rather more one sided. It was no great surprise to see Hungary cruise in to the semi-finals from the first of the two, scoring 90 points in two games and conceding none. However, Israel were more of a surprise as they took Pool C - which what was admittedly the weakest-looking pool, also without conceding a point following a tight 10-0 win over Turkey.

However, Israel's luck did not last the semi-final draw. Despite having clearly the second-best record they found themselves drawn against Hungary in the all-important semi-final which would also decide who would be promoted to Division A next year. Israel fought hard, and gave the Hungarians their closest game of the day, but eventually went down to a 32-12 defeat.

The other semi was an all Baltic affair, and it was the home side who were again lifted by the home crowd to beat Latvia 15-5.

Elsewhere Austria's day went from bad to worse as the pre-tournament favourities lost their bowl semi-final, before salvaging 11th place with a 48-0 win over Slovenia, with Bulgaria taking the bowl with a 21-5 win over Serbia.

Malta made up for their disappointment from missing out on the cup semi-finals to win the Plate with an impressive 26-12 win over Turkey, who will also be happy with 6th place in only their second year of international sevens.

Israel also showed how unlucky that cup semi-final defeat was, thumping Latvia 31-14 to take third before the Lithuanian story finally came to an end, in the final as Hungary showed themselves to be a cut above the rest of the tournament, winning 40-5. 

Pool A

TeamPldWDLPFPAPDPts
 Lithuania22003419+156
 Slovakia21013634+24
 Austria20022239-172
  • Austria 7-15 Lithuania
  • Slovakia 12-19 Lithuania
  • Austria 15-24 Slovakia

Pool B

TeamPldWDLPFPAPDPts
 Hungary2200900+906
 Luxembourg21012247-254
 Serbia2002065-652
  • Hungary 43-0 Serbia
  • Luxembourg 22-0 Serbia 0
  • Hungary 47-0 Luxembourg

Pool C

TeamPldWDLPFPAPDPts
 Israel2200580+586
 Turkey21012910+194
 Slovenia2002077-772
  • Israel 48-0 Slovenia
  • Turkey 29-0 Slovenia
  • Israel 10-0 Turkey

Pool D

TeamPldWDLPFPAPDPts
 Latvia22004619+276
 Malta21013522+134
 Bulgaria20022464-402
  • Latvia 36-12 Bulgaria
  • Malta 28-12 Bulgaria
  • Latvia 10-7 Malta

Bowl semi-finals (9th/12th)

  • Austria 12-17 Bulgaria
  • Serbia 25-0 Slovenia

11th/12th

  • Austria 48-0 Slovenia

Bowl final (9th/10th)

  • Bulgaria 21-5 Serbia

Plate semi finals (5th/8th)

  • Slovakia 0-39 Malta
  • Luxembourg 0-33 Turkey

7th/8th place

  • Slovakia 24-5 Luxembourg

Plate final (5th/6th)

  • Malta 26-12 Turkey

Cup semi finals (1st/4th)

  • Lithuania 15-5 Latvia
  • Hungary 35-12 Israel

3rd place

  • Latvia 14-31 Israel

Cup final

  • Hungary 40-5 Lithuania