Basic handling errors has seen the touring Russian National squad hand over a 32 ? 16 victory to the Tasman Orcas in the first match of the NZ South Island tour. Russia who have send across a 28 man squad to New Zealand in preparation for the 2004 Victory Cup and European Nations Cup tournaments were their own worse enemy in the opening clash handing over the majority of possession to the home team.
The Orcas, who participate in the South Island Super 10?s capitalised on the large amount of possession scoring six tries to the Russian?s three. The final result however didn?t show how close the Russians did get when they did hold onto the ball. In the first half, Tasman only lead 14 ? 6, scoring two tries to the Russians? one.
Russian forward Aidar Akhmetshin from the Strela Kazan scored the only try for the Bears in the first half.
Early in the second half, Russia clawed the Orcas lead, with tries to forward, Alexander Lysenkov (Strela Kazan) and half, Rafael Yakubov (Moscow Dynamo) to put the score at 20 ? 16, with the Bears on the attack.
Handling errors again saw the match swing against the Russians in the final ten minutes, with the Orcas scoring three unanswered tries to secure victory.
Tasman Orcas 32 T. Ione, P. Taviti , R. Dixon , J. Parata , V. Maea , M. Matekohi tries; J. Gunn 4 goals
Russian Bears 16 A. Akhmetshin, A. Lysenkov, R. Yakuvov tries; J. Gunn 2 goals
Halftime: Tasman 14 - 6